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How to Use Facebook to Engage Users and Get More Downloads

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Depending on who you talk to, mentioning Facebook – or Twitter for that matter – as a promotion tool for your app may garner some eye rolls and nasty comments. Developers are so focused on short term user acquisition that they often miss the opportunity to engage existing users and drive additional downloads through social. It doesn’t have to be painful or overly time consuming.

Rather than giving you a listicle or generic how-to post, we’ll take a look at two examples of Facebook pages and see what we can glean from these two different pages.

We’re going to look at Clash of Clans’ Facebook page in contrast to The Room Two (from Fireproof Games). Some differences are subtle while some stand out a bit more. The point here isn’t to highlight the failings of one vs. the other, rather it’s to draw your attention to certain elements that you can immediately improve on your own Facebook page.  These small changes can turn your FB page into an inviting place for fans and encourages people to check out (download) your app or game.

Clash Of Clans

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Granted Supercell has enormous resources and you might think using them as an example is irrelevant for the average indie developer or small studio. With a few exceptions, you can emulate what Supercell has done with the Clash of Clans Facebook page without requiring a significant investment.

Cover Image – Clash of Clan’s (CoC) cover image speaks for itself. It’s vibrant, exciting, and definitely captures attention and interest. Your cover image is the first opportunity you have to make an impact and the excitement it communicates reflects the inherent excitement of your app or game.

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A) Tabs – A lot of brands using Facebook miss the opportunity to highlight secondary content through the use of Facebook page tabs. Clearly, CoC has maximized the use of tabs with attention grabbing (and clearly labeled) thumbnails to draw people into the discussion forums and FAQ pages.

B) About – This one seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many apps miss the simple opportunity to place a download link for their app in the about section (see The Room Two Below). Furthermore, it’s advisable to use a tracking link so that you can attribute downloads from your Facebook page. It’s also worth commenting that CoC’s description in this case is quite strong. “Epic combat strategy game” is a compelling way to create curiosity and interest.

C) Timeline – Brands, and apps in general, are notorious for using Facebook pages as a distribution channel for content and don’t put much effort into engagement. As this article from Pando Daily points out, engagement on Facebook isn’t easy so a lot of brands simply don’t try. Here we see that CoC systematically attempts to engage fans on its page.

D) Timeline – CoC is really good at mixing up the types of media it uses on its timeline including video trailers.

E & F) More attempts at fan engagement including a contest promotion inside its discussion forums with incentives aimed at current and new users.

General comments – CoC maintains one of the best examples of a Facebook page we’ve come across bolstered by:

  • Strong use of images and video
  • Very active looking page with fan comments and engagement
  • Various image styles and sizes
  • Custom designed images for its Facebook page

The Room Two

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Looking at The Room’s page In contrast to CoC’s, you get a feel for the differences between a superbly executed Facebook presence vs. one that seems a little less loved.  Full disclosure, I’ve finished both versions of The Room games on iOS and they are fantastic!

A) Cover image – The Room’s cover image isn’t overly compelling but it does fit with the theme of game.  Fireproof could have used the space more creatively to draw people in who aren’t familiar with the unique game play style.  The cover image does a nice job of highlighting which platforms the game is available on.

B) About section – The Room’s about section neglects to describe the game at all and is not compelling.  This section could have been used along with a better cover image to grab attention and create interest (see Alec Baldwin’s photo above).  

Perhaps Fireproof wants traffic going back to its website rather than directly to the app store, but without a tracking link Fireproof has no idea how many downloads originate from its fan page.    

C) Tabs – Almost no use of tabs which is a missed opportunity.

D) Timeline – The Room’s timeline isn’t terrible but you’ll notice that the frequency of posting isn’t all that high and the content is rather homogenous.  It consists mostly of a few cover photo changes, some announcements and not a lot of engagement.  

Conclusion

Setting up an engaging presence on Facebook isn’t going to turn you into Flappy Bird but it’s one piece of a larger puzzle.  If you’re Facebook page resembles The Room Two’s more than it does Clash of Clans, consider the impact this has on your current users and new users you want to attract.  Maybe now’s the time to invest a bit of time and effort into improving your overall Facebook strategy.