As mobile device usage becomes more and more widespread, it seems everyone is fighting for users and their time. This trend has brought about new ways to measure the value of an app, something called mobile user engagement. The more users that engage with your app, the better the app is viewed.
One of the best apps in mobile user engagement is the picture and video sharing app known as Snapchat. Snapchat has higher user engagement than any other social media app. According to Bloomberg, average active users spend anywhere from 25 to 30 minutes in the app every day. Most brands would kill for that kind of engagement. The question then begs to be asked, what is Snapchat doing differently?
In this article, we are going to look at mobile user engagement and what can be learned from Snapchat’s success. Hopefully, through reading this, you will be able to employ the same strategies to increase engagement on your own app.
The first thing we can learn from Snapchat about mobile user engagement is that people love games. Whether the games have a set purpose or are just for fun, gamifying your business model drives engagement. By having rewards and goals to achieve within your app, users have a reason to come back over and over again.
Snapchat understands this and has used it for their success. For example, they have a feature that tracks streaks of days you and a friend have sent each other pictures. This serves no purpose, but for some reason users want to keep their streaks alive and see how long they can go. This simple addition to the app gives users just another reason to come back to the app and stay active.
Another mobile user engagement tactic that can be taken from Snapchat is providing exclusive content through your app. Snapchat allows their users to get a behind-the-scenes look at major award shows, red carpet walks, and other exclusive content that is only accessible through their app. In doing so, users are directed to the app and engagement skyrockets.
Use this for your own mobile app by hosting exclusive content on your app that can’t be found anywhere else. Dedicated users will engage with your app more and new users who might not have used your app otherwise are likely to jump onboard.
Meet customers where they are
One of Snapchat’s greatest strengths comes from their ability to meet customers where they are. Snapchat engagement is higher than others because it resides exclusively on their mobile phones where customers always have them.
In this way, Snapchat users are more prone to use their app throughout the day than say Facebook where they might check it when they are on their computer. For your own mobile app engagement, consider new ways in which you can help users throughout daily activities.
For example, if you have a delivery service app, allow your customers to order on the go. Prompt them to try new places in their area. Give them the tools they need to engage with your app. By meeting clients where they are and giving them options for engagement, your numbers should increase. Additionally, users will keep coming back once you have proven to be a valuable asset to getting things done.
Don’t hide your features
Another one of Snapchat’s features that increases mobile user engagement is how easy to use their various features are. Just about everything in the app can be accessed by simply swiping up or down, left or right. Giving your users features but hiding them away in the settings or three pages deep is not actually that helpful.
Instead, let your users know about new features and consider creating a short tutorial on how to use them. Snapchat users are more than familiar with messages from Team Snapchat, but without them no one would know what was new. By continuously updating features and educating your customers, you will have less frustrated users and increased engagement.
Let your users choose how they interact
A trap that a lot of apps fall into is having too many boundaries or limits to what their users can do. Snapchat opened the floodgates when it comes to mobile user engagement by providing the canvas and letting their users paint the picture.
Obviously this can be a difficult task for a non-social app or enterprise mobile app, but the lesson still applies. Instead of dictating how your users go about working with your app, give them the features and enough freedom to decide for themselves.
Users who choose the way in which they interact with your service will be far more likely to remain engaged once they discover what problem they are fixing with your app. Don’t be afraid to show them how everything works, but when it comes to how they use it, leave that up to them.
Follow the trends
Something else that Snapchat has done well to engage with their users is to follow the trends. By analyzing their user data, Snapchat has been able to follow trends and then provide their users with related content and material.
For example, as more and more mobile users created BitMojis for their online presence, Snapchat allowed users to incorporate their personalities into their pictures and stories. By giving these users more of what they want, they are just giving them another reason to stay engaged.
While not everyone has the capabilities of Snapchat, you can still follow the trends and use them to your advantage. However, keep in mind that trends are just that: trends. They won’t be around long and you don’t want to appear out of touch. Jump on a trend early or wait for the next one to come. The last thing you want is to be late to the party.
Final thoughts on mobile user engagement
While there is a lot to be learned about mobile user engagement from Snapchat, no company has it all figured out. Snapchat has higher engagement than others, yes, but they also have a lot of areas they can work on.
As you create your mobile app engagement strategy, use these tips and strategies with a grain of salt. Find ways to use the psychology behind them for your own success. In the end, your own user engagement success will rely upon you providing a solution to your customers’ problems. Other than that, the rest will come as you go.
Co-Founder, Gleantap & Mastera