A Community App Built for You and Your Organization
A Lesson on Apps
The leaders at UpSquad believe in the power of education and we are here to provide a lesson on dedicated and branded mobile apps. Organizational leaders and community managers are often unaware as to what exactly is available to them from a technology perspective. Well, we’re here to fill in those knowledge gaps with a few pieces of information you may find useful.
A dedicated and branded community app provides your organization the ability to create indelible connections with members in a space they are intimately familiar with - their cherished smartphones. Mobile users are now spending four to five hours per day in apps and that number continues to grow each year. The opportunity to foster engagement and create brand recognition is undeniably available with your own mobile app.
A Community Growth Tool
The number one reason most communities have difficulties in growing their audiences and presence is actually quite simple - distractions. Traditional social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram) employ some of the smartest minds on planet earth to create those distractions. If you think about it for a moment, you will probably agree. So, what can be done to combat these online distractions? A branded community app is a great starting point. Instead of relying on a ‘dedicated group’ from these tech giants, your own app provides a distraction-free space to where your members are free to concentrate and collaborate on the mission of your organization.
Now that we have eliminated the distraction element from your community building efforts, let’s cover the second most important reason for creating your own app - marketing and branding. Think about the apps on your phone, specifically the apps you actually use. Those apps are part of your daily routine and that is a powerful tool from an organizational perspective.
Communities with a dedicated app have essentially created a private club where your most valuable resource (your members) come to hang out. That means your brand is literally illuminated in the form of your logo on the home screens of hundreds or thousands of devices. Your organization is now sharing space with Gmail, Facebook, ESPN, Spotify and other apps that realized the impact and value of occupying real estate on that home screen. Additionally, each time a member receives a push notification on their phone from your community, they are seeing your organization’s logo and brand - instead of Facebook or LinkedIn. Push notifications alone provide a great deal of brand awareness for your organization on a daily and weekly basis.
Dedicated apps also give your audience members the smoothest experience for consuming and interacting with content. The premise here is around reducing friction in accessing your community. The more clicks it takes to access your community and its content, the bigger chance you have at losing that user.
Own the Space & Control the Privacy
An inevitable reality for community managers is the concept of privacy and security as it relates to your online community audience members. Traditional social media applications like Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook offer an entire universe of people, which can be a good thing. However, there is also the chance that individuals attempt to join your community under false pretenses. In order to stay in front of these issues, ensure that your online community platform provides a secure app and you will have control around your community’s privacy. Privacy is not just important for community managers - your audience members will be confident that the content they share and the opinions they express are secure inside of their community.
Be Present & Stay Relevant
A tried and true philosophy in the community management world is to make your brand available to your audiences as much as possible. With a dedicated app your community is always at the fingertips of your members, making your organization’s content available to those members anytime and anywhere. In addition, a branded app is always available in the App Store and Google Play Store, where millions of people browse and shop 24 hours a day. Imagine your brand being ever present in any situation. That scenario gives your community members the ability to generate and capture content wherever they may be. Don’t limit your community to being available only when your members are surfing the web via their laptop - give them the opportunity to interact with fellow members and share content at a moment’s notice in your online space (not Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn).
Leading by Example
It is safe to say that we all agree a branded and dedicated app is a powerful tool and viable option for raising your community to a new level. So, how do you ensure that your members actually use it? The absolute most important idea here is to ensure that you and your organization’s leadership embrace your community and your app. The most successful online communities have one primary mantra - “Use the community for all communications.” Instead of sending an email with a simple question to a colleague or member, send an instant message via the app. If your organization has an important announcement worthy of sharing on social media, post that content in the community and then share to traditional social channels.
The bottom line is to lead by example and use the community every chance you get. This mantra should not only apply to you and your close colleagues. For a community to truly thrive, every member of your organization should view your community and your app as the primary communication tool. From the boots on the ground team to executive leadership, every member of the organization helps create buy-in and legitimacy for your online community.
Looking for more information on how a dedicated and branded app can help your organization grow your most valuable resource? Contact the UpSquad team today to learn all about the options available to you.