Social media is like the Wild West: strange, exciting, and full of opportunities for both vast wealth and unseen pitfalls. It’s risky to go alone. You need to partner with an expert who knows the business like you do.

Now that custom apps are growing in popularity among celebrities and creators, it’s important to find a developer with the right qualities to send your app to the top. Here’s what to look for:

Social media savvy

There’s a temptation to focus entirely on technical knowledge when choosing an app developer, but that minimizes the unique challenges presented by social media. Building and maintaining an audience, balancing sponsors and ads, managing content production - these aren’t entry-level skills.

Creators spend years refining their techniques. A general software developer who assumes that a quick crash course in social media management is enough to make them a valuable partner is seriously underestimating the work creators do.

Technical expertise

While expertise isn’t the only trait to look for in a developer, it is still a priority. Creator apps have unmatched potential for monetizationand can help grow your brand, but in the wrong hands they become liabilities. 75% of apps are used once, then discarded. That isn’t because consumers don’t like apps; in fact, Americans use an average of ten apps a day, and in places like Brazil that number is even higher.

The reason these apps are being abandoned is that they don’t work. Users struggle with crashes, freezing, slow load times, confusing interfaces, bad cross-platform performance, and severe battery draining. The worst apps suffer from privacy and security issues. Usually budget software developers are behind this level of failure, though “do it yourself” app building tools can have the same result. Creators wind up paying experts to have their apps repaired or simply giving up.

A quality developer is the only way to get quality results. Image is key, and your app is a big part of your image. It has to look good and offer reliable performance, especially during the surge of curious followers at launch. That first impression determines whether your app is abandoned or becomes a daily habit for your fans.

More importantly, find a company with specific experience in features common to creator apps. For example:

  • paywall-protected premium content
  • paid livestreams
  • in-app stores
  • personalized media libraries

A developer whose business is entertainment already knows how to implement those features at scale. That leads to a shorter development cycle, better performance, and lower overall costs.

Business sense

Social media is as much business as it is entertainment. Apps should have the right creator-facing features to guide business decisions without adding unnecessary complexity to the management process. A good developer can recommend intuitive management and business intelligence tools for your individual needs.

Ideally, business advice starts during the planning phase and continues past launch. A few questions your development partner should be able to help answer:

  • What features do your followers want that they aren’t getting from social media?
  • What’s the best way to announce your app?
  • How can you attract users and keep them?
  • Which business intelligence functions do you need, and which will waste your time?

These are issues a general developer isn’t equipped to handle. Only a company that specializes in building custom content platforms has the knowledge base to position creators for success.

Closing thoughts

Don’t settle for inexperienced or incompetent developers. Social media is your business. You take it seriously, and you deserve a partner who does, too.

Are you thinking about increasing your audience and monetization opportunities with a custom app? Let FanHero show you why we are the best partner to navigate the noisy social media landscape!

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