Many DoubleDutch customers and partners ask us how to best promote their mobile event app through their social media channels. I assume many people have the same question, so here’s a quick post to cover the basics.

We believe it starts with the content. Doesn’t matter how many times you post on your facebook fan page about something – if the content isn’t compelling, no one cares.

So. Let’s start with that.

Here are some suggestions on how to make compelling content. It’s by no means comprehensive.

1. Answer people’s questions. Make sure to have a post that highlights app specifics, how it functions, and how to maximize it at your event. App screenshots and download links are a must. Include the supported platforms (iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, etc) so it’s clear who can benefit from this app. Keep it as simple and clear as possible.

2. Build hype. Launch the event app with a bang and get the engagement you want with contests, competitions, and games. Users are likely to get excited about engaging with an app that will not only help them at their event, but also win them an iPad or free concert tickets (or a chance to meet someone famous! See below.)

3. Tell a story. Write a blog post that tells the story of the app – how it came to be, what the goals were, how people used it, and how it was received. Finish it up with a section on how having an interactive event app helps make more educated decisions in planning future events. This kind of content will showcase your team, your personality and your brand.

Cisco created incentives to download the Cisco Events App and encourages friendly competition. This was posted on various social media channels, on their blog, and on the website.

Once you have good, compelling content, there are a lot of things you can do with that content. Here are some options:

Blog

If you don’t already have a blog, consider guest-posting on a high-profile blog. Or, if you hope to have an ongoing blog, you can start one for free on WordPress or Blogger. Apply to have your blog added to Google News,

The nice thing about blogging is that it can be repurposed and linked to from your various social media channels, including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Video

Easily create a video showcasing your app, and post it for free on YouTube or Vimeo. It is free to set up an account and it can be used as a promotional tool to showcase future videos, interviews, etc. If you are doing an app demo, highlight the ease of use, features, and benefits of the app. Tag each of your videos and your channel with highly targeted terms to get recognized.

The video can be interviews with attendees about the app, an official demo from the event organizer, or just some footage of people using the app at the event with a descriptive voiceover.

From our experience, videos are most effective if they follow the “compelling content” guidelines (above). They should answer questions, build hype, or tell a story. Video can also improve SEO, create buzz, and be elevated through social media channels and on your website.

Watch a video from RightNow Technologies (now Oracle), one of our happy customers.

Twitter

Twitter is a great channel to promote the app, particularly if you have an official hashtag for the event. If you have apps on more than one platform (iPhone and Android, for example) we recommend tweeting out one URL that links to all apps, to keep things simple. Make this a mobile optimized page for easy tablet and phone viewing, and always include download instructions as well.

Tweet-ups can be a great way to promote the app and generate viral buzz. Gathering people around the app, even on Twitter, can help increase awareness of your brand and get people on your app.

Facebook

Start by leveraging your content (blog posts, video, contests, etc) on your company/event facebook page. Think like an attendee – where would you go to learn about that information? Second to the official website, we think the facebook page is a good place.

Another option is to set up a Facebook page to showcase your new app. It is free and easy and your page can be found publicly in search engines. When people ‘like’ your page, it’s published in their news feed for all their friends to read. It’s a great viral marketing tool and easy to set up.

Be sure to include a link to each app (if you have iPhone, Android, HTML5 versions) and a short, compelling reason why they should download it. Cisco uses Facebook to raise awareness, increase demand and usage, and to cultivate a collaborative, fun culture.

Summary

Getting a mobile app for your event is exciting – share that excitement with the people that will be using it!

Leverage your existing website and social media channels to promote all the app-related collateral you create (videos, blog posts, contests, competitions, etc). Use your personal accounts and your company/branded accounts to push out this content. And… have fun with it!