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Looking to get app installs? Start with Social

Published: June 13, 2016

Author: Elise Wang

If you’ve got a new app that you’re itching to get some install traction, but the tangled mobile landscape isn’t lending itself to a good starting point, we’ve got one piece of advice for you: start on paid social.
In this post, we’ll describe why paid social is the right place to go: it’s huge, it’s native, it’s targeted – and it’s rich with options for finding users who look just like your most valuable existing customers.
Let’s jump in.
Unparalleled Reach
With more than 1.44 Billion and growing monthly mobile users on Facebook, and 250+ Million active users on Twitter, social network provides scalable volume for app advertisers looking to grow in the mobile space.
In addition to the reach from the native Facebook and Twitter app, these networks now offer additional traffic through the Facebook Audience Network and Twitter Audience Platform – which together add high-powered channels for findingn more users on mobile apps/mobile sites.
Native Ad Format
Social networks have integrated ads into their native news feeds.
As opposed to Interstitial and Pop-up ads that interrupt user experience, and banner ads that are too small to see on mobile devices, Social ads are now a part of a news feed that Facebook or Twitter users read as they catch up with friends, hot topics, etc. This type of interaction means advertisers are more likely to get higher-quality installs and better users.
Powerful Targeting Tools

  • Arguably the most revolutionary tool that Social networks like Facebook and Twitter bring to the mobile space is their knowledge about their users and the targeting options that come with this knowledge.

For any single campaign on Facebook, advertisers have the ability to hyper-target bylocation (down to zip code), age, gender, education, interest, app activities, and many more levels. The sheer number of targeting options is impressive for any ad network. Additionally, social networks bring additional tools to help advertisers find quality users.

  • Audience Insights
    • On both Facebook and Twitter, app advertisers can use Audience Insights to learn more about their app users – information such as demographics, lifestyles, location, their behaviors on Facebook, etc.
    • Once learning the demographics, interests and behaviors of existing audiences, advertisers can leverage Facebook/Twitter targeting to find other similar users by targeting pages or handles that their users have high affinity with.
    • For example, knowing that their app audience likes retail stores like Walmart and Target, they can use interest targeting to target millions of users who like retail store pages such as Amazon and Macy’s.


  •  Lookalike Audiences
    • On top of precise demographic, interest, and location targeting, the most powerful tool on social network is their ability to create lookalike audiences based on a seed audience that advertisers deem good quality.
    • With lookalike targeting, advertisers are able to find users similar to seed audiences at different affinity levels, from 1% being the closest resemblance to 10% being the broadest reach.image007
    • These types of targeting options, coupled with tiered bidding strategy, allow app developers to find quality users and pay different amounts based on their expected return.

Variety of Creative Options
Knowing audience demographics and interests, advertisers can use the variety of creative formats that Facebook and Twitter offer to cater the right message to their audience.

  • On Facebook, advertisers can select standard native ads, carousel ads (a series of up to 10 ads), and video ads to drive installs. In addition, they can use the text area to send different message to different audiences.

Bidding Strategy
Using Facebook’s oCPM strategy with Mobile App Install ads, advertisers can optimize for installs while paying for impressions.
Similar to other mobile networks with fixed CPI bid options, advertisers can now bid for install on Facebook and Twitter. This option allows advertisers with strict CPI targets to bid and pay for installs.
Overall, Social provides scalable volume, precise targeting options, and a variety of creative formats to help app advertisers get quality installs on Mobile. Given the number of leverages that Facebook and Twitter provides, social network should be one of the first channels to test for advertisers looking to grow their app.

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