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App revenue – elusive for many apps, desired by all.

No matter what your revenue model is, one key to increasing your app revenue is user acquisition, user retention, and user engagement. No users = no revenue. Increase your app revenue by building a social community.

Integrating social media into your app (Facebook, Twitter, Etc.) can help increase revenue, but building a separate social community can have even greater rewards. In general, marketers will tell you that communities bring credibility to your brand, help keep in touch with customers, and connect with potential customers. But when it comes to apps, this isn’t the whole picture.

We’re going to take this to the next level and look at how building a social community relates to user acquisition, retention, and engagement, which every revenue model needs in order to increase profit.

User Acquisition

Building a social community can help you get new users because existing users invite others that fit into the community, not just everyone on their Facebook page. When the app deals with sensitive topics, like weight loss, health, or other subjects you may not want to share on Facebook, social communities are even more important.

One great example of a vibrant social community is on the diet and exercise app MyFitnessPal. Users can add friends by using e-mail addresses – they don’t have to connect to Facebook. The group solidarity, semi-anonymity, and strong community has led to 20,000 mentions on BabyCenter (a social app for expecting parents/parents) about MyFitnessPal. These mentions are usually members asking other members to join them on the app.

Another way to get new users is by posting forums and groups on your website. Forums and user generated content belong to you. Publish them on your website and you will improve your search engine results positions, thus bringing more trafc to your site.

User Retention

How many times a day do you check your email? What about posts in forums? Do you sign up to get notified when someone replies? The expectation of a message is a very compelling reason to open an app. And the more a user uses an app, the more likely they are to use the app again. Making friends, building teams, and getting in the habit of reading forums is one that keeps users around. Users don’t want to leave the app because they would lose their friends, their persona, their community standing, and the rewards they have gained for long term participation (badges, upgraded status, etc.).

User Engagement

It’s a small world, but it’s also a large world. With the large number of niche interests people have, it’s still difficult to find people ITRW (in the real world) that share their interests. From the time that human beings organized into cities, they formed community guilds or interest groups. This tradition continued into the formation of various societies. And in the old days of the Internet, forums were the way to do this. Now, apps and the communities in them are replacing the old ways of connecting with like-minded people. And when done anonymously, users feel more comfortable revealing secrets about themselves, and thus feel an emotional bond with the app.

Engagement can also mean who don’t participate can look forward to the reward of finding something new in the forums every time they open the app.

So there you go! Build your community and improve user acquisition, retention, and engagement, which will help you make more money from your app.

References and Further Reading

Encouraging Commitment in Online Communities” In Kraut, R. E. & Resnick, P. (Under contract). Evidence-based social design: Mining the social sciences to build online communities. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

The Online Disinhibition Efect,” J. Suler. Cyberpsychol Behav. 2004 Jun;7(3):321-6.

About the Author

Ran Avrahamy is one of Scringo’s Co-Founder. Scringo provides developers with an SDK to encourage users to engage, connect, communicate and turn into customers. Ran is passionate about all things-App and has vast experience with marketing & business development.

Read more about Scringo’s products here, or follow them @Scringo