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AppFollow is Moz for Google, Apple, Amazon, and Windows Apps

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Everyone wants to make their quick fortune by coding the next TikTok and entering the billion-dollar unicorn club. Recently I had to become an expert in the space for a client who wanted me to consult her on the best way to promote a broad portfolio of products and services, some of which include iOS and Android apps. Not only do I need to understand submission and listing but I need to know how to do everything that will lure people gladly into the trap known as downloading, positively reviewing, and then buying an app in a sea of a thousand million apps—and games.

AppFollow is Moz for Google, Apple, Amazon, and Windows Apps Logo Graphic

Streamline App Workflow

Bottom line: your amazing app is only the easiest 20% of the equation, the other 80% is marketing, advertising, and community-engagement—which really should include app store optimization (ASO). 

One of the most interesting App Store Optimization tools I have explored so far is from a team in Finland that produces a dashboard that allows registered users to both track their apps and also the competition’s apps as well. A SpyFu for apps. What I like the most about it is that it offers some of the best features available amongst the most popular ASO services. They also have a free trial.

Knowing how your app is performing used to be a guessing game. A lot of the process has been in a black box behind proprietary walls. Essential aspects of marketing and advertising and even customer service have always been extremely hands-on and took a lot of work—especially if you have taken the time to get your app into a number of app stores across a number of platforms such as Apple iOS and Google Android. At least for me. I didn’t know. Now I do. 

There are several features I love about AppFollow, namely the ability to reply to reviews directly from the dashboard integration as opposed to needing to reply directly from Google Play, App Store, Amazon, Mac App Store, Steam, or the Microsoft Store. It allows one to monitor reviews and address them, track changes, and fix user problems all in one place. As an expert in online community management, one must always consider their customers as part of a family for whom one must sacrifice. AppFollow allows you to treat your app’s online reviews like trouble tickets directly from the users. Solving people’s problems online, in public, are also a very powerful online reputation management (ORM) tool. 

On this note—ORM—it’s simple to keep on top of reviews, comments, and complaints on both the Apple App Store and the Android Google Play store immediately after they’re posted onto the stores. According to a blog post on their site, it’s a snap to integrate Slack, AppFollow, and the two App stores into a Slack bot, called the @appfollowbot. This will allow anyone on your Slack with the authority to track both Google Play and App Store comments, reviews, and flames in real-time from one channel. And this sort of timely and engaged response to users and customers can really affect the brand perception of both your app and your company:

“Our observations show that a significant number of users who received a prominent and informative answer to their negative review tend to change it to a positive one within day or two.”

Next - analytics, the heart of app store optimization: real search results from Apple iOS 12 and above, keyword popularity (as well as keyword research), the ability to see what ads your competitors are running to see how they’re managing their critics and how they’re marketing their apps in contrast to yours. Integration with Slack to deliver ASO reports, analytics similar to Google’s, and App preview so that you can see how your apps look like across all platforms and stores. There is also the ability to see in real-time where your apps rank on Apple’s App Store and Google Play. And, as part of that, AppFollow’s dashboard integration sends its users notifications by Slack if their app is chosen to be “Featured: Today” by the Apple Store. 

In order to make sure that each review, critique, and bug is addressed by the app owner, AppFollow integrates to services such as Slack, Basecamp, Discord, Jira, Trello, Telegram, WebHook, and Facebook Workplace as well as Help Desk integration with Salesforce, Zendesk, Helpshift, Desk, Freshdesk, Front, Groove, Intercom, Help Scout, Kayako, Microsoft Teams, UseDesk, and Omnidesk.  

We as marketers can effectively, efficiently, and powerfully get the scoop in real-time, amplifying the good and correcting the bad. On the other hand, our clients can also check our work and see how all the treasure, advertising, and resources spent doing sales, PR, advertising, and customer support results in higher ratings, more downloads, better sales, stronger conversions, more engagement, and better reviews. If my client is paying me tens of thousands of dollars-a-month—be it in-house as a division or outsourced to an agency—they’re going to want to know what their money’s buying them. ASO tools cut right through hyperbole, pretty words, colorful pie charts, and allow everything to be as exposed and understandable as Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and Google Webmaster Tools.

There’s a lot of choices out there to track app analytics, to do business intelligence on competition, to get alerts on how your app is performing, to help you respond to and engage with users and critics, and to make sure all of this happens without anything falling through the cracks; AppFollow makes a lot of sense when it comes to your own app, all in once place via one dashboard. What’s nice is that the price goes from free—which is completely usable if you’re just starting out and don’t need ASO, auto-translate, or premium help desk—to around $119-$239/month—which gets you all the features. Even without the expanded services of the higher-priced solutions, the app is very useable and can get you started and keep all your work contained in one simple dashboard. You can scale your campaign up and down as you need or grow. It’s a very generous model and if you downgrade you don’t lose all your hard work, you just temporarily lose access to it until you scale back up to a higher-tier solution. You can’t go wrong, there’s nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

Originally posted on Biznology blog

Nov 27, 2019 10:10 AM