How Do I Get My App To Go Viral?
Overnight success is actually a thing but Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Inspired by the success of popular apps like Candy Crush Saga, Snapchat, Timberman, etc. mobile app developers start a project thinking their idea has the potential to grab the attention of millions of users and begin a viral loop. But wait, did you give your app the wings it needs to take off and become a viral sensation?
Sometimes, it really is just dumb luck but most of the time, app developers have worked methodically to ensure that their apps go viral. I will be revealing some trade secrets but first, check if you are making one these unforgivable errors causing you to lose millions of new users.
What you are doing wrong
- You haven’t identified your target audience accurately leading your efforts to go to waste
- There is nothing worth sharing in the eyes of the users so they don’t send invitations or updates
- You think launching the app was the final step and wait for your app to go viral by itself
- Lack of trust and transparency due to the vague or unethical sharing policies such as spamming
- You are not trying hard enough to draw in new users and make them fans of your app
- You are not treating it like a game so your users are quickly getting bored and giving up on your app
Basically, the biggest fault in your mobile app is that going viral wasn’t built into its code. Yes! There are some simple features that greatly increase the chances of your app driving users into an uncontrollable frenzy spreading by word of mouth and turning your app into a household name.
Word of mouth is the oldest and most effective way to enhance your user base because even with the lack of human touch in this modern era, we still turn to over friends and family for useful suggestions. The market is pretty tough so you can be sure it will be no easy task.
What makes an app go viral?
Learn and practice these golden rules of making users go crazy for your app and spend hours using it and recommending it to others bring in millions of new users and of course, satisfying revenue.
Some developers resort to trickery and their apps are all about marketing. They might get the attention they desired, but a single experience is enough for the user to decide that the app offers nothing its campaign promised. Beware the wrath of a fooled user! Not only does such an app get plenty of negative attention on app stores and social media but it seriously damages the image of the developers. Users do not forgive and they do not forget.
Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.” @TPLDrew
On the other hand, classy developers do not stoop so slow and focus on how to create a good UX and prove that their app deserves to go viral. Your development game must be strong and unique enough to stand apart from competitors. Do proper market research and capitalize on what your target audience demands. Look for problems users face and offer solutions through your new app. Users will gravitate towards your app and you will have taken the first step in the direction of a viral loop.
Instagram spread through the world like wildfire because it promised and delivered something that others have failed to do so in the past. The developers took advantage of the fact that image sharing was gaining a lot of popularity in the social sphere. It introduced a quick and easy way to do that with a great UI and good privacy options.
Sharing is caring but is there something worth sharing? Experts explain that app developers should exploit the human tendencies of desiring a good social image. That one perfect selfie among dozens of discarded photos makes a person feel cool about posting it. People also love to spread positive vibes and if your app creates something that sends a positive message, users will be more open to sharing it. On the other end of the emotional spectrum, curiosity and the irresistible need to stay in the loop drives people to click on controversial posts so that could also be included in your marketing strategy.
Social media is here. It’s not going away; not a passing fad. Be where your customers are: in social media.” - Lori Ruff
Now, how should you incorporate the sharing aspect into your app? A great way is to let users create something on your app and share that to multiple social media platforms. You could also check analytics and only include social media platforms most frequented by your target audience. Since people want to send out an impressive image, let them share their achievements too.
Mirror Image is a photo editor that allows users to create collages and put filters and text on their photographs. Immediately after creation it offers some great social sharing options, some closely related to image sharing, Instagram being the top one.
Allowing users to sign in via a social media account is an excellent way to gain access to their network there and give them the option of inviting their contacts to your app. Do not look desperate and never lose trust by posting something without their permission. Offer rewards to both those who send invites and those who accept them in the form of points, gifts, free upgrades, cash, etc. Adding a sense of urgency by introducing limited time promotions works well too.
Rising value & returns
You are in it for the long haul so make sure that your app constantly brings new and exciting things for your users. Keep introducing useful updates and listen to what your users ask for. This will really help you improve your app and establish a strong bond with your user base.
A good plan may include sending helpful notifications to your users with the latest promotions and enticing them with attractive rewards for availing them. Keep reminding them that your are there but do not become so annoying that they delete your app altogether and seek alternatives.
Something important to remember is that the user must always feel in control. This means give them plenty of options for viewing what notifications they feel are necessary for them leaving out the ones they are not particularly interested in. this can also help you narrow down user interests improving UX.
It’s all about entertainment these days so gamify your app. introduce some friendly competition between users and allow them to boast about their achievements. By building your app around the user’s competitive spirit you can accomplish a lot. This is the reason games like Candy Crush Saga and Angry Birds are the apps most likely to go viral.
Develop an easy and attractive point system that brings in more rewards for those who invite new users. Keeping some secret bonuses in your app will create a sensation every time a user unexpectedly unlocks one of them.
Follow these few basic rules of making your app go viral and who knows you might be the next lucky developer who creates the hottest new viral app this year.