In 2008, there were only 1.574 billion users on the internet. A decade later and we’ve just breached the 4 billion mark, with 3.196 billion of those users on social media. The year is 2018, and social media is digital marketing.

Never before has it been easier to reach your target demographic. Looking to click with photographers? Connect with them on Flickr. Trying to tap the digital generation? Reddit is the “front page of the internet.” If you need to build a social graph for a particular market, chances are there’s a social platform and corresponding API to help you do it. At a minimum, having a presence on major social networking sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram is an essential component of a modern marketing campaign.

So you’ve got a sweet landing page for your business, signed up on all the social networks relevant to your target market, and even went the extra mile and integrated some social media API’s into your app. What’s next?

It’s time to scale up your social strategy with social APIs. In this post, we’ll look at three ways you can effectively leverage your social APIs to boost that user count and keep your app competitive.

1. Leverage Your Social APIs to Give Your Marketing Campaign a Boost

Downloads, conversions, and retention rates — these are just some of the metrics that lead many to integrate social APIs into their apps. Signing up and engaging with your target audience on social media is only the first step. It’s the data from your social APIs that will ultimately allow you to measure and improve the performance of your marketing campaign.

Most major social networks offer APIs that let you track useful stats like followers, hashtags, and likes. Facebook’s Graph API provides a low-level, HTTP-based interface for querying data, uploading photos, posting content, and other tasks. The Pinterest API lets you track boards, pins, and followers. Looking to manage your entire social strategy in one place? Tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social aggregate data from multiple social media platforms into a single dashboard. Pull all your digital assets together into one cohesive marketing campaign using social APIs.

Tip: All the data in the world won’t help your business if you can’t effectively leverage it across all your social networks. A data analyst can turn that data into actionable insights that a social media marketer can use to better engage your target market and drive traffic to your app.

2. Retain Users With a Polished UI/UX

It’s no secret that social logins, the APIs that make it possible for users to conveniently log into a new app or service with their favorite social networking accounts, are a great way to boost downloads and subscription rates. For the 86% of users that find account creation a hassle, the social login is one of the simplest tweaks to your UI/UX you can make.

But what about the rest of your app? You can get users through the door with a brilliant social media marketing campaign, but it’ll be the on-site or in-app UI/UX that will ultimately get them hooked. The best way to capitalize on a recent social API integration: boost your retention rates with a superior UI/UX.

Tip: A UI (user interface) designer can help you with the layout, typography, graphics, and other elements that give your app its distinct look, visually representing your brand. A

can help you with the research, user personas, wireframing, and usability testing that goes into the feel of your product. Together they can help you capture and retain the traffic that you drive to your app.

3. Rapidly Expand Your App’s Capabilities With Third-Party APIs

The digital landscape is constantly shifting — new trends emerge, technologies disrupt, and fads go into decline — for apps, evolution isn’t just a necessity, it’s a matter of survival. Now that you’ve gotten your feet wet in the API economy through social APIs, consider using third-party APIs in your next release cycle to add new features and capabilities.

Looking to add in-app transactions to your mobile app? PayPal, Square, and Stripe are there to help. Interested in push notifications, in-app messages, news feeds and other user-engagement tools? Consider Urban Airship, Kahuna or Appboy for your needs. Mapbox has a collection of RESTful APIs that are great for those who need more control and customizability over their in-app maps.

A new feature can breathe new life into an app, but sometimes you don’t have the time and resources to build something outside of your core competency. Consult with your developer and see if there’s an API that could expedite the rollout of a new feature.

Tip: You can leverage the data collected from your analytics APIs to highlight the areas of your app that need improvement. A data analyst can help you prioritize which features on your backlog for your development team, ensuring you get a higher ROI on your next major release.