Acquire Customers at the Lowest Cost


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One of the biggest challenges for a mobile application startup is acquiring users on a 0 budget. I experienced this problem first hand while developing a note-taking application called Fetchnotes. We received funding from the Techstars Accelerator and the mentors their taught me effective ways to build viral loops, optimize ranking in the App Store and conduct a low cost social media strategy that wouldn't take all of my time. This thesis is a resource for any young entrepreneur looking to acquire their first 30,000 users.

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Acquire Customers at the Lowest Cost

  1. 1. Social Media Customer Acquisition Strategies For Mobile Application Startups Case Study Fetchnotes Drew Beaurline
  2. 2. Introduction The scalability of the Internet dazzled businessmen and women of the 1990‘s and for ashort period of time, website valuations soared. However, the bubble eventually popped andthe financing for new Internet ventures became much more conservative. Older businessmodels hadn’t worked because consumers found it hard to trust transaction- focused sites.Internet entrepreneurs had to reassess how to build a practical online business. The new websites that emerged following the Internet bubble are loosely defined asWeb 2.0. These sites are successful because, unlike the static websites of the 1990‘s, theyallow users to change and interact with online content. Sites with the highest amount of onlineinteraction are now the most valuable. Yelp overtook Yellow Pages in a few short years simplyby allowing users to comment and rate local businesses. Reviews help inform consumerpurchasing decisions which made Yelp a much more valuable resource than Yellow Pages. The relationship of total enterprise value to online interaction volume is often referred toas network effects, and mobile computing is strengthening this correlation even further.Consumers can now interact with online content at anytime of the day through a smartphone.In fact, mobile online usage is expected to surpass desktop usage by 2014 ( Likesand reviews from social media are becoming the first thing that people witness whenconducting an online search. Social media and mobile computing created a market that iscurrently in flux, causing a new wave of mobile startups to emerge.Mobile Application Challenges It is hard to scale a mobile application into a billion dollar company when there are somany platform and device specifications. Each mobile operating system has a uniquepresentation, interaction style and software stack. Devices have different screen sizes, inputmodes and hardware capabilities. The number of developers needed to handle this constantlychanging landscape can be expensive for a startup on a limited budget. Yet, building product is only half the battle. A mobile application’s true value isdependent upon its total number of users. This makes user acquisition equally as important asengineering. Luckily, marketers can also take advantage of network effects. Marketingcontent has the potential to spread quickly (go viral) on a highly trafficked social network at alow cost. Marketing content includes anything from a blog post or video to an eBook or review.
  3. 3. Building a strong social presence helps acquire users and increases the likelihood a mobileapp will be successful. To gain a better understanding of effective social media marketingstrategies for mobile application startups, I worked with a TechStars company calledFetchnotes that is pursuing a different approach to note taking.Section 1: Popular Social Media Marketing Strategies for Mobile App StartupsApplication Store Optimization The nature of being a mobile application makes obtaining users through social mediamore difficult. Marketers use to drive people from across the Internet to desktop landingpages. Now, to have a viable Internet business, consumers need to download a company’smobile application from an app store. Even if a user engages with a company’s social content,they still need to: 1.Pick up their phone or tablet 2.Search for the application in the app store 3.Select download 4.Input their password 5.Wait for the app to download 6.Then login to the app This equation has a lot of steps and moving parts. Therefore, a social media strategyfor a mobile app should be designed to increase downloads by making the process ofdownloading more efficient and a more positive experience for the consumer. However, themajority of smartphone users discover apps by typing keywords into the app store search bar(Exhibit 1). The mobile apps with the highest download rate, install base, social mentions andreview rating determine the overall rank of where an application will appear when specifickeywords and categories are searched (Exhibit 2). A mobile application’s app store rankingmeans the difference between the company or their competitor obtaining more downloads.The design of an effective social media strategy should therefore take into account increasingall four of these factors.
  4. 4. Linking Social Content Social content is always linked so a consumer can easily check out a product if it seemsinteresting. The end desire for a mobile application company is to be downloaded. Toencourage this behavior, some companies will link their social content directly to the app store.However, there are so many formatting rules to follow that every app description looks thesame. The other alternative is to link to the companies desktop or mobile website. Yet, userson a mobile website have to constantly slide and zoom which creates a horrible userexperience. LinkedIn neglected to play by the rules of the app storeand still encourage mobile app downloads by creating anentirely separate mobile landing page. When a mobile userclicks on the company’s social content or searches in Google,it routes them to an ascetically pleasing page. The user isprompted to either “Get the App” or use the mobile webversion by selecting “No Thanks.” This strategy makes for asuperior user experience, increases download velocity, theoverall install base and app store click through rate. Thesethings all add to LinkedIn’s rating and presence in the appstore.App Store Ratings and Reviews App store reviews are one of the most heavily weighted forms of social engagement forconsumers and app store ranking algorithms. A recent study by L.E.K. Consulting found that“active mobile consumers value customer reviews above all other sources, including friendsand family, independent product reviews, store displays and sales associates.” Apple’s Appstore redesign for iOS6 makes it clear that Facebook engagement is now a part of the Appleranking system. The Facebook friends that like an application show up at the top of the appstore description. However, Facebook likes and Twitter followers are better at creating brandawareness and funneling people to the description. The app store reviews are what finalize thedecision to download.
  5. 5. The problem is that a great product does not guarantee a large amount of positivereviews because the only convenient time to write a review is when the consumer sees the appstore description before they download. Why would someone write a review before they’vetried the product? If the user does end up loving the product and wants to write a review, he orshe needs to go back into the app store, search for the application again and then fill out thereview. This is another process with too many steps. The pop-up review box is one solution. A dialog box appears that links to the app storedescription page. While this does streamline the process, it interrupts the user in the middle ofwhat ever they are doing. “Some apps will even remind a user multiple times which mayinspire a negative review” (Mobile Orchard). Gathering an increased amount of favorablereviews and at the same time keeping bad reviews out of the app store is a delicate balance. The mobile application 360 Panorama discovered this balance. Under settings, thereare two buttons, “Send Feedback,” and “Send Love”. Send Feedback opens a screen thatlooks and feels like a review, but sends an email directly to the developer. “Send love” takes the user to the app store where they can write an awesome review. When negative feedback comes to the company instead of the app store, the company can control it’s destiny. The firm can turn the angry user into a happy one by promptly responding and supporting them, learn more about the problem and fix it faster, optimize presence in the app store through fewer negative reviews and create a better user experience. 360 Panorama has a 4.5 star App Store rating.Social Buttons Strategically placed social buttons that are built into the application increase thelikelihood of engagement. Users will be more inclined to like or follow a company if the abilityto do so is readily available. Furthermore, allowing users to export the things they createwithin an app to a social media site showcases the purpose and functionality of a mobileapplication to the user’s friends at no cost to the company. Instagram was one of the first mobile applications to implement this strategy. When apicture is taken, the user can then decide if they want to upload the image to Facebook, Twitter
  6. 6. or Tumblr. Friends of the user see the value of adding filters to mobile images and are moreinclined to download the app. When social media touch points are integrated into the product, itcan create a viral loop. The company will not have to spend money or time creating marketingcontent because the users do it simply by using the product. While this strategy seems too good to be true, there are also some challenges. Someapplications do not produce share- worthy content. For example, GroupMe is a private groupmessaging service. People assume when they type a message to their friends that it will notend up on a social network. In addition, when a user can upload app content to a socialnetwork, the company runs the risks of showcasing the product in the wrong way. What ifsome of the initial users of Instagram were uploading inappropriate images? Regardless,placing buttons into an application to like or follow a brand helps increase overall exposure.Creating Share-worthy Social Content Although there are several ways to encourage social sharing through productmodification, distributing share-worthy social content helps attract initial users and build abrand. Broad, visual social content increases engagement because it appeals to a widedemographic and is quickly digestible on a mobile device. Research conducted by M Boothrevealed “photos and videos drive the most engagement on Facebook’s top ten brand pages.Photos on Facebook are “liked” twice as often as text. Videos on Facebook are twelve timesmore likely to be shared than links and text postcombined” (M Booth). Pictures can communicateinformation quickly. The virtual recipe book, Epicurious,posts high definition images of delicious looking mealsto Facebook and Twitter. Foodies love it. Epicurioushas over 250,000 Facebook likes and 350,000 followers.They even coined a term around this campaign, “foodporn.” High definition images work, but the new type ofvisual content that is exciting everyone are info-graphics. Info-graphics utilize the data that a mobile
  7. 7. application collects to deliver meaningful discoveries to users. Consumers today are hesitantabout sharing their personal data. Yet info-graphics help make a company’s “Big Data”objectives more transparent. When transparency exists, people are more likely to provide theirpersonal information. The emphasis of visual content over text can also be seen in the newlayout of the Apple App Store. Comments and descriptions are in the background of largescreenshots.Communication Speed When a user communicates on a social network, a company’s response time isimportant. Most mobile apps and consumers use Twitter for customer support. A quickresponse can make a dejected user feel valued and mitigate bad press. Mobile app’s shouldtake advantage of the feedback and avoid making a costly mistake. Negative news forms onsocial media before it ever reaches mainstream media so it is important to react early and notwait.Section 2: Fetchnotes Overview Social networks have certainly helped connect the world. Yet there are now so manydevices, social networks and other communication mediums that it is difficult to stay focusedon what’s important. Individuals today have a lot to keep track of, and we’re not very good atit. We miss deadlines, forget to follow- up, and the resulting stress is only getting worse as ourlives get busier. People are feeling fragmented and on information over load.Fetchnotes is attempting to solve this problem by building a mobile application that combinesnote-taking, task-management and communication. (Graphic)
  8. 8. Task Management Our lives our filled with direct actions we need to take like remembering an email to acoworker or pickup the dry cleaning. Fetchnotes makes remembering these things easier.Users can quickly organize their tasks as they type through hash tags (Exhibit 3).Note Taking There are also the more latent things we want to jot down and save for a rainy day;music to checkout, books to read, ideas to refer back to. Fetchnotes users can easily retrieveany long-term idea from their tag drawer. For example, when I filter my tags based on theword Brazil, I see all the ideas, to do’s, and things to research before I book my dream trip tothe 2014 World Cup. (Exhibit 4).Communication Lastly, there is communication, which sends these notes or actions to the other peoplein our lives through SMS, email or any of the other messaging applications. I can assign a taskto my travel companion Chuck by placing an @ symbol before his name. The next time Chuck
  9. 9. logs into Fetchnotes, and looks at his #todo list, he will see that he needs to buy our tickets toBrazil (Exhibit 5).The Competitive Landscape Note taking, task management and communication are crowded spaces with lowbarriers to entry. Building a simple note-taking application requires little time and skill. Butwhat makes these spaces tough to penetrate is that Apple and Android develop their own note-taking, task-management and communication apps that come preinstalled on their devices.Evernote is a major player in the note-taking space because it provides a range of additionalfeatures that go beyond simple text note taking. Astrid and Remember the Milk are task-managers with large user bases. These apps provide many ways to manage reminders andschedules. Web communication has been evolving since email was invented. There arethousands of applications that allow a user to communicate with their friends or coworkers.Fetchnotes Differentiation There are several players in each one of these categories, but none effectively addressall three. Unlike all other note-taking applications, Fetchnotes doesn’t have a folder hierarchy.The notes are a stream- of- thought, which are organized by filtering hashtags. Actions andideas can’t be buried in a folder somewhere and forgotten. Fetchnotes is also pursuing a different business model than the larger incumbents. Thecompany will focus on idea conversion as opposed to idea capture. The most common tags inthe databases are latent with the intent to do something. Email, books, music, movies, read,checkout, buy, groceries — it’s all intent (Exhibit 6). Fetchnotes will be a place for action andmonazite the app by matching users to the products and services they need to get things done.The company wants to make the process of idea to action more efficient.Section 3: SWOT Analysis Fetchnotes is part of the TechStars accelerator, which adds a tremendousamount of value to the company. However, when entering a highly competitive space
  10. 10. like mobile application development, it is important to be aware of your company’sstrengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.Strengths •TechStars: The TechStars accelerator has an exclusive 1% acceptance rate and provides a wealth of opportunity and resources. TechStars companies like Fetchnotes are given free access to video, UI and development experts to fill any temporary holes in the company. The TechStars program also exposes their companies to the most influential entrepreneurs in the Boston Area and showcases the teams to potential investors at a Demo Day presentation. The exposure and network makes it easier for each company to raise a seed round of investment. •Product: The product has already received significant traction and the proliferation of Twitter has made their note-taking syntax easy to understand. Since the product is also a communication tool, it has the opportunity to spread through its use. Users can send tasks and lists to their friends which then prompts the recipient to download Fetchnotes (Exhibit 7). •Data: Usage data is also strong. Daily active users divided by monthly active users is a measure of an application’s overall “stickiness.” Exhibit 8 shows that their “stickiness” is temporarily ahead of some of the most prominent apps on the market. Of the 35,000 users they have acquired since April, 25% are international and the application doesn’t even allow hashtags to be made with international characters.Weaknesses •Team: The team is a group of University of Michigan students that have little experience building a company. Their best engineer and CTO decided to leave the company. Fetchnotes does not have a UI designer or back-end engineer. •Space: There are many players in the note-taking, task-management and communication spaces which makes differentiating Fetchnotes a challenge. Note-taking isn’t a particularly exciting product to sell and there are many larger incumbents that offer a wealth of features.
  11. 11. •Free: Most note-taking applications are offered for free making monetization even more of a challenge. Matching people to specific products and services is a feat that Google has wrestled with for years and the tendency to write notes in shorthand will make uncovering a user’s intent even harder.Opportunities •Intent: The fact that Fetchnotes captures intent is a powerful thing. That is why marketers love buying ads with Google. Fetchnotes captures intent once it leaves the brain and before it reaches Google which makes the company uniquely, positioned to broker it into action. The company has already begun testing their idea conversion hypothesis with #books and #read.Threats •Evernote/Catch: Evernote and Catch are two well-developed platforms that also attempt to straddle the task-management, note-taking and communication spaces. Catch is a mobile app with the ability to take down any type of note and Evernote has a “family” of applications in its brand portfolio. Evernote could easily add an application like Fetchnotes and leverage their network effects. •Public Cloud: Business professionals enjoy incorporating Fetchnotes into their workflow. Businessmen and women can attach work- related documents to their notes so that they can reference the documents when they want to take action. However, many enterprises do not like the idea of a third party having control of their data and have started blocking public cloud sites like Dropbox. If working professionals can’t access Fetchnotes at work, it loses an element of convenience since it can’t go everywhere.Section 4: Customer Acquisition Strategies of the Fetchnotes CompetitorsEvernote Evernote is a note-taking application with a multitude of different services andcomplimentary products. The company’s goal is to help people “Remember Everything.”Users can create text, voice, image or video notes. Similar to other cloud service providers,
  12. 12. once a user reaches a specific data limit, they have to upgrade to a paid Evernote Pro account.Thus, Evernote wants content that is “data rich.” The application is functional on all devicesand platforms and recently closed a $70 million financing round. Evernote has effectively acquired customers by distributing marketing content with aninformational tone across multiple social platforms. The company believes that if “contenthelps to educate, then people will want to tell their friends.” Following the trend mentionedearlier, Evernote’s marketing collateral is typically visual. The firm has amassed a large “trunk”of videos that showcases everything from customer testimonials to partnershipannouncements. Evernote also encourages their entire team to be active on social media sothat company content receives a viral kick when it is first released. Evernote also works hard to establish a connection with their most raving fans. Brandadvocates are far more likely to recommend the product to friends, provide insights for makingstrategic decisions and engage with social content. Evernote “ambassadors” are eager toshare how the application has changed their lives, made them smarter, more productive, andbetter gift givers. With the Evernote ambassador program, users can submit an application tobe profiled on the website. Currently, nine ambassadors are profiled on the company’swebsite. They “teach, share and help other less active users get more out of Evernote. Eachwas selected because of their passion for applying Evernote to a specific part of their dailylives” ( On Facebook, Evernote stresses the desire to go paperless and pushes productupdates and uses case videos. The company’s LinkedIn page focuses less on buildingcommunity and more on showcasing the team/open positions. Viral product features arelimited because the company only allows users to share notebooks if they have a pro account.There are buttons within the application to make uploading any type of note to a variety ofsocial networks easy.Catch Catch also aims to capture content that is “data rich” so that users will upgrade to a Proaccount. However, Catch has a faster and leaner mobile application than Evernote. Thebiggest concern for Fetchnotes is that a component of the Catch application allows users toorganize notes with hashtags. Fortunately, these notes still have to be created in a specific
  13. 13. folder, which means there is still a hierarchy element. Collaboration is free. Users spread theproduct by inviting their friends to share a workspace. Catch recently received $9 million inseries A financing. The company recently started investing in content marketing with an informational tone.The Catch Facebook page is their mostly highly trafficked platform, which they use to distributeanimated graphics and customer support. The YouTube channel contains a couple low-resolution movies demonstrating product features. The Catch Twitter following is about equalin size to that of Fetchnotes.Section 5: The Current Fetchnotes Customer Acquisition Strategy To obtain 35,000 users in six months, Fetchnotes followed a four tiered customeracquisition strategy.Public Relations Alex Schiff, the CEO of Fetchnotes, is a former writer for the popular financial blogBenzinga. While working for the company, he established relationships with writers at otherniche startup and technology blogs. He then utilized those connections to obtain a small 1,000person private beta group and generated hype for the product’s launch. Tech Zulu, All ThingsDigital, The Next Web, Launch, Make Use Of and even TechCrunch have featured Fetchnotesand helped the company gain some initial traction.Distribution Partners One of the biggest successes for Fetchnotes was their distribution partnership Users that signed up for Fetchnotes received 25GB of free cloud storage. The debutof the promotion was a chaotic day. The servers were so overloaded that even the teamcouldn’t log into the application.Social Content •Blog:The Fetchnotes blog used to be hosted on the Fetchnotes website and featured text based product updates, how-to’s, use cases and guest posts. Postings have been
  14. 14. infrequent since launch and have lacked a common tone and theme. Some blog content was syndicated with other sites in the past, but the infrequency of posts has resulted in lower traffic levels. A couple weeks into TechStars, Fetchnotes began to recognize the correlation between visual content and total engagement. Fetchnotes moved their blog to Tumblr because the platform is better designed for sharing visual posts across multiple social networks. •Video: TechStars provided Fetchnotes with free video production services. During this time, six videos were created. Two were tutorials, three promoted the distribution partnership with Box and one highlighted the redesign of the interface. Their videos had the highest level of social engagement. However, it will be tough for the team to continue distributing video content since none of the team members have prior experience. A lack of time prevented Fetchnotes from distributing videos on a regular schedule. •Facebook/Twitter: Fetchnotes has 2,000 Twitter followers, yet original tweets are rare. The platform is mostly used for customer service, product updates, and video/blog distribution. Since TechStars began, Fetchnotes has lost 25% of their followers and their Facebook engagement is very low. •Email: While Fetchnotes would post their text and video content to Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, promotion of their marketing content was mostly done through email. The user base receives an email when the product is updated. Fetchnotes would link the most recent video and blog posts in user emails. Sadly, the email list-serve is now encountering a bug. Fetchnotes was unable to promote the new redesign of their application or distribute a survey in late November.Viral LoopsThe primary focus of the Fetchnotes customer acquisition strategy is building viral loops intothe product. Fetchnotes will soon integrate with a user’s address book which will allow theuser to share a task via SMS or email. The recipient of the task will be prompted to downloadthe app via a link in the email or text message. Users will spread Fetchnotes simply by usingthe product (Exhibit 7).
  15. 15. Section 6: Social Media Marketing Strategies for Mobile ProductivityApplicationsSocial Product FeaturesThere is little doubt that building SMS, email and social sharing features will help grow a userbase, particularly for productivity/note-taking applications. Note-taking applications createsharable content and users want to collaborate. If communication features are not suited for aparticular mobile app, developers should still look to inbed social buttons so that it becomeseasier for users to engage with the brand. Facebook engagement is an important element ofASO. Note-taking applications certainly could use help differentiating their product in such acrowded space. Viral loops are especially effective for mobile applications because theyprevent spending on content creation when resources are scarce.Landing Page OptimizationSocial media marketing content should link to mobile and desktop landing pages thatemphasize downloading the application. Many note-taking applications have a webcomponent, but the future of the Internet is mobile so encouraging application downloads iscrucial. Simplicity, speed and convenience are the primary objectives that users want from anote-taking application. These criteria are not met when a user on a mobile device has tocontinuously zoom in and out on a mobile web site. A landing page that emphasizes appdownload increases the download velocity, install base and user experience which are criticalelements for ASO (Exhibit 2).Positive Review GenerationApp store reviews are also important for increasing an application’s presence and ranking inthe app store. As a result, encouraging users to rate an application without hindering the userexperience is important. A pop-up dialog box stops a note-taker from quickly jotting down athought. A better strategy for a note-taking application would be to place two buttons underpreferences; “Send Love” and “Send Feedback.” This encourages positive reviews to go to theapp store and negative reviews to travel to the company through email. This enhances the
  16. 16. total quantity of reviews and their average rating. Positive reviews mean a huge difference in aspace as crowded as mobile note taking.Social ContentVisual content generates the most engagement on social networks because it is easilydigestible on a mobile device. However, note-taking applications should look to distributespecific formats of image and video content. •Info-graphics: Info-graphics encourage users to share more personal information with a company. Info-graphics provide “Big Data” resources to consumers instead of other businesses. Note-taking application users would value data that reveals helpful productivity tips and strategies. •Tutorials/Use Cases: Users of productivity applications typically strive to increase their overall efficiency and possess strong type A personalities. Evernote leveraged these behavioral characteristics through their ambassador program. They essentially showcase the productivity kings and queens of a particular area by creating use case and tutorial videos around them. Tutorials highlight important app features for new users and use cases display new methods of applying the product in everyday life. If done correctly, these videos will flatter heavy users and encourage less frequent users to utilize the application in a different setting. This strategy increases word of mouth marketing on both sides. Yet, creating strong visual content can be expensive for a mobile application that is just starting out.Communication Speed and Frequency Productivity app users are also action oriented and time sensitive. These individualsare not afraid to make the extra effort to write an unfavorable review or blog post. Therefore,when an unhappy customer sends a tweet or email, it is best to respond quickly and mitigatethe bad press.The Future of Customer Acquisition It is hard for a new mobile application to rise through the ranks. App stores feel likesearch ten years ago. However, the launch of the new iOS 6 App Store proves that both
  17. 17. Google and Apple are trying to make application discovery more accurate. Now that theFacebook likes of friends are incorporated into application description pages, it is only a matterof time before Apple and Google start weighting reviews on other social platforms. Blog,YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter and LinkedIn engagement will influence rankings in the future.Beginning to develop social engagement from an early stage is therefore essential for any newmobile application.Section 7: Recommendations for the Fetchnotes Customer Acquisition Strategy Fetchnotes is facing branding, communication and targeting questions as theapplication gains more users. The company plans to portray a fun and cute image andpotentially target busy mothers so that the app will proliferate to the rest of the family. Whenquestioned about this strategy, Megan Calhoun, cofounder of a popular blog called SocialMom, explained that the Fetchnotes social tone and user interface felt “nerdy.” As TechStarsstarted to wrap up, the team issued a survey to help draft an effective customer acquisitionstrategy for the company moving forward.SurveyDue to problems with the email list serve, the survey was issued to 3,000 users and generated40 responses. The final results can be viewed in Exhibit 9. The most important takeaways arelisted below: •80% of survey participants said they discovered Fetchnotes through word of mouth or public relations. •70% had tried more than three task managers. •95% proclaimed they juggle multiple roles in their lives. •80% identified as a business professional or self employed •80% identified as list makers both at home and at work. •Users enjoyed using Fetchnotes because it was simple, quick and convenient. •Age was evenly distributed between 18-65 •80% of respondents were male.
  18. 18. Targeting and Brand Positioning It is advisable for Fetchnotes to reconsider targeting mothers. 80% of the surveyrespondents were male and mothers would require an expensive PR push. The largestdemographics were male list makers who were identified as self-employed businessprofessionals. This can be explained by the initial PR push by Alex Schiff. Yet, the abundanceof males is concerning. If Fetchnotes is to effectively monetize the application through anecommerce/idea conversion business model, they need to get females onboard. Femalescontrol 85% of household purchasing decisions, are more likely to talk about products withtheir friends and share them on social media. Fetchnotes also should aim to target marketingchannels that span the wide age range and position the brand as a place for action instead ofjust note taking.Communication When communicating a mobile application’s value, especially for a startup in a crowdedspace, it is important to create an entirely new category away from competitors. DifferentiatingFetchnotes based on its features will ruin the company. Larger incumbents like Evernote offerso many more. Features alone will not persuade users to migrate from Evernote toFetchnotes. It is better to communicate a higher level of value and consumer benefit. It wasadvised Fetchnotes proclaim that the product causes less stress, more action and is fun touse. The tone of their marketing content should be broad productivity content with a comedictwist. Broad content increases engagement and comedy makes the content more likely to beshared.Product Recommendations •Email: In addition to sharing tasks via SMS and email, Fetchnotes could benefit from a weekly email marketing campaign. Email is an effective channel because it spans the wide demographic. Weekly emails would display personalized productivity information. This information could potentially be a user’s completed tasks, old #todos or a productivity comparison to other users in their demographic. These emails would be cheap to implement and would share- worthy. The Nike Running application is a good example. Individuals enjoy posting the long runs they endure to Facebook. User of Nike Running can
  19. 19. display how hard they are exercising to friends and family. It would be the same for Fetchnotes users when they completed a record number of tasks. •Build a Preferences Tab: Similar to how 360 Panorama separates positive and negative customer feedback, Fetchnotes should have “Send Love” and “Send Feedback” buttons under preferences instead of annoying note-takers with a pop-up dialog box. This will send happy users to fill out a review in the app store and negative reviews to the company. Facebook likes currently play an important role in ASO. In addition to having “Send Love” and “Send Feedback” under preferences, Fetchnotes should also add “Like us on Facebook” and “Follow us on Twitter.” Streamlining the path to engagement increases the likelihood a user will act. •Export to Twitter: Fetchnotes utilizes the same syntax as Twitter. If a user is acting on a fun task like “#Buy tickets to #Brazil,” they may want to upload it to Twitter to show their friends. When a user hits the @ sign, they should be capable of sending a task through email, SMS or Twitter. This would significantly help increase awareness for Fetchnotes.Distribution Partnerships and Public Relations Recommendations Alex Schiff’s prior experience at Benzinga allowed him to put the Fetchnotes logo onsome highly trafficked sites for free. Any press is good press for a startup in its early stages.However, it may be helpful if the CEO try to direct his PR efforts toward application reviewsites. These forums are important to consumers when searching for applications (Exhibit 1).The prior distribution partnership was highly effective for Fetchnotes. Future partnerships anddiscounts will help incentivize social engagement. Gartner Research found that discounts arethe primary reason a consumer will choose to engage a brand on social media.Customer Support Customer support helps expose bugs, mitigate bad press and uncover brand advocates.Evernote did a terrific job leveraging brand advocates to spread the product through word ofmouth. Brand advocates are also more willing to help create marketing collateral for thecompany. An example would be a use case. Fetchnotes should explore a similar strategy bykeeping track of the users that engage with them the most.
  20. 20. Social Content Recommendations It is in Fetchnotes best interest to produce broad, visual, social media marketing contentbecause it is 15x more likely to be shared on a social network. •Image: An image campaign could potentially consist of funny celebrity/athlete to do lists. I advised Fetchnotes to consider focusing on celebrities at first since they tend to resonate with a broader demographic. •Video: Video content should help increase the utility users receive from Fetchnotes. Tutorials and use cases help users gain the most from Fetchnotes, are great for showcasing brand advocates and increase word of mouth marketing.Social Platform RecommendationsThe following platforms would also add value to Fetchnotes marketing and communicationstrategy: •Facebook: Facebook plays an important role in Apple App Store optimization. •Pinterest: Pinterest is a hot social network that recently released business accounts. Pinterest photos provide SEO back links. •Twitter: Twitter provides the majority of Fetchnotes social engagement. Loosing this following would significantly hurt the brand. •LinkedIn: LinkedIn could help Fetchnotes uncover a talented back-end engineer or UI designer. It may also be an effective platform for showcasing team strengths since they are younger than most entrepreneurs.Mobile and Desktop Landing Pages Both the desktop and mobile landing pages should be modified to promote downloadingthe application. Fetchnotes does have a web application, but the future is mobile. Linking tothe desktop and mobile landing pages in the Google Play and Apple App Store will helpFetchnotes increase their overall presence in the respective stores. Social buttons should alsobe available next to the web application login to promote engagement.Conclusion
  21. 21. There are a lot of moving parts involved in creating an effective social media strategy.Starting to address these issues early is essential. As Fetchnotes evolves, it is important thatthe company differentiate itself by focusing on meaningful consumer benefits, more clearlydefine their target and decide on a tone of voice for addressing users. Social media on mobile devices is starting to play a more important role in capturingconsumer reviews. Social engagement with a brand helps legitimize the purchasing decisionsof other consumers. In the preliminary stages of product development, a mobile applicationstartup should look to engineer viral loops into the application. This could be anything fromcommunication features to social media buttons. If traction is achieved, distributing socialmedia content is important for retaining their status. Social engagement legitimizes thedecision for other users to migrate from larger incumbents and is also playing a more importantrole in application store rankings. A company’s level of social engagement increases theinstall base, download rate, social mentions and positive reviews. The complexity of formingan effective social media strategy means that a mobile application startup should look to startearly and not wait.
  22. 22. SourcesEckert, Peter. "Navigating the inherent challenges of creating a mobile app." Mobile CommerceDaily. N.p., 09 2012. Web. 9 Dec 2012. <>."Mobile Commerce and Engagement Stats." Carlisle & Gallagher ConsultingGroup, 2012) , 2012. Web. Web. 9 Dec. 2012. <>.Pim Bilderbeek, . "The future of mobile." GigaOM Pro. 02 2011: 120. Web. 9 Dec. 2012.<>."Improving Your App Store Rating." Mobile Orchard. N.p., 2011. Web. Web. 9 Dec. 2012.< >.Prete, Jared Del. "How To Navigate NEW Ranking Factors in Apple’s NEW App Store." TheROI Factor. Blue Fountain Media, 10 2012. Web. 9 Dec 2012.<>.Hoffman, Paul. "The Limits of Public Clouds for Business Applications." . N.p.. Web. 9 Dec2012.
  23. 23. Exhibit 1Exhibit 2
  24. 24. Exhibit 3Exhibit 4
  25. 25. Exhibit 5Exhibit 6
  26. 26. Exhibit 7Exhibit 8
  27. 27. Exhibit 9