Scaling User Growth

with Maud Pasturaud

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Make your product go viral

Maud Pasturaud

Growth Hacker, User Acquisition Expert

Lessons Learned

Want virality? Your product needs a feature that makes people share externally on other platforms.

Your product should be better with friends.

Build virality and sharing into the core of the product, not an add-on.


Lesson: Scaling User Growth with Maud Pasturaud

Step #5 Virality: Make your product go viral

If you look at the App Store, there are two types of apps and the ones that are top 10. Maybe games are a bit different. I am not really familiar with games. They go viral really quickly and I don't know the specifics of why. But it's either apps tapped on an existing user base that was huge like Amazon, Macy's, all those big guys. They just didn't need viral apps, or any virality features in their apps because they are already big and they have the brand name.

All of the outsiders, the ones that won on mobile and were unknown in those verticals before, have those virality features. So I take the example in commerce of Wanelo. They are one of the few that really blew up in the beginning. Keep is another one, its a social experience. Same thing with Poshmark, it was one of the best in the C2C marketplace. I have seen a lot of those apps having that virality. There are a lot of different components to being viral, but social is often what is viral. It's either social or you share the content on other networks and that gets people back into your app. I truly believe, at least for mobile, that it's very true.

Virality features, I think there are two aspects to virality features. One is just having a feature in the product that gets people to share externally, preferably with other platforms. Buzzfeed is not actually a feature in the product, it's just a content that they share. They have this huge machine where they know and try to optimize to put out there, content that is share-able. Then they engineer those shares to understand what the platform is that people are sharing it on the most. They optimize all that front open. In itself, Buzzfeed, because of the content, is viral.

With the app Yo, you yo someone else. You need to invite people to download the app as well. The sole use of the app is based on all of your phonebook. You need to connect with other people. This is how it was spread. It turned out it was something very new and exciting, but you had to share it with other people. It was within the feature of the app.

Another example is Meercat. It's the app everyone is talking about today. Meercat, the feature is that it needs to hook to all of your Twitter followers. It is sending out this little Tweet once your Meercat goes live. It's only relevant for your Twitter audience. Those little features that make it super viral. They are hooked onto other networks that are already established. So it is either your phonebook or social networks, like Twitter, Facebook, but not Instagram yet, but we have seen a lot of those cases. Maybe tomorrow SnapChat, I don't know. So that is one aspect of virality is the feature within the product.

Second is the social aspect of it. You want to invite your friends because it makes the product better. It allows you to use the product, which makes the product better. For example in Wanelo, it's not necessarily your own graph, it's not your phonebook, but you are following other people. It's this thing where social allows for better creation, it allows for discussions, it allows for an engagement within the product. By the way, that allows you as a developer to pin. Wanelo will tell me when someone is following me, so that is Pinterest as well.

That's what has made it viral. You have this whole community that is starting to build and do different actions. That often has proven to being very in viral products. There is a ton of different examples around those two case studies.

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