Social media, the Web 2.0, call it what you want; it may not be as new as your software but you’d probably be richer than Bill Gates if your software had the rapid market penetration of social media. That is why social media is the perfect conduit for marketing your newborn software; it attracts users at an astonishing rate and these users set up communities with like-minded individuals. In short, it enables something to go viral faster than an outbreak of the Ebola virus – and who doesn’t want their software to go viral?
Just as creating software is a skill requiring many attributes, so too is marketing software. In general though, these two skill sets require disparate sets of skills that don’t really overlap. However, if you feel that you can go it alone on the marketing front; social media is the place to be.
Setting the Market with Social Media
Your social media marketing efforts should evolve concurrently with the development of your software so as to attain the full benefits that social media has to offer. Almost from the onset of your developing your software you need to be blogging and representing yourself as an expert in the field that your software is targeting so as to give your product credibility when it is released based on the credibility that you have during the development period. Of course, when offering your expert tips, make sure to include the address of your own blog or website so as to promote your own endeavors.
Contributing to these sites in a meaningful manner makes you an expert in the field so that when you release your software you are already a known entity and potential users are champing at the bit to trial or purchase your product offering.
Using Social Media to Research your Market
Social media is also a great way to get feedback and input into what you are doing. Let’s face it, you are not omnipotent and chances are that you have a very limited budget for such things as market research. For example, when you can run a feedback poll on your software within a LinkedIn community you are obtaining valuable feedback from your target market at zero cost. Attaining this information via an external marketing firm would cost you dearly.
Which Social Media is Right for You?
Knowing which social media is right for you is almost as important as knowing how to use social media for your marketing purposes. There is no logic in marketing your business software on YouTube which is a site dedicated to more general content just as there is no logic in marketing gaming software on LinkedIn, which is predominantly a business site.
That doesn’t mean that you cannot or should not market on multiple social media sites simultaneously. After all, the more you are “out there,” the greater your chances of recognition; however, just be careful in how you manage the process. For example, you would not start marketing your business software on Twitter, although once you have started to build a following on LinkedIn, there is nothing wrong with broadening your marketing strategy through Twitter.
Content is King
It is imperative that when you set up your blog or website that your content is compelling and credible, resulting in your target community wanting to frequently return for updates and to see how you are progressing in the development of your software. You must remember at all times that the marketing of your software is no less important than the software itself.
Social media is a brilliant innovation and when used for marketing it can save you a lot of money as well as giving you access to a huge market that you could not have accessed alone prior to the advent of social media. The medium is there, use it wisely.
Written by Sharon Robinson on behalf of Somoto, contact Somoto on LinkedIn for more information or just to say hi!