First of all, there’s no hidden formula to make your app go viral (although the viral coefficient comes pretty close to mathematically breaking down virality for you).
However, there are plenty of ways to increase your chances of making your app go viral. Some apps go viral because they follow tried-and-true methods, such as Smashing Magazine’s viral app test.
For other apps, virality is completely unpredictable (Angry Bird, anyone?). As the typical viral flow chart above shows, virality.
Want to know the most valuable 5 tips to making your app go viral?
There’s an easy-to-remember acronym that will break it down for you: Value, Intuitive, Reward, Ability, Like-able.
What does this mean?
Tips to Make Your App Go Viral
1. Value: You may think your app is perfectly suited to your target audience’s needs, but you know the saying about what assuming does.
You need to be absolutely sure that your app is exactly what your audience needs and answers a critical need – and how do you do this? Consumer testing!
Constantly test and integrate feedback at every stage of development, so when it becomes release time, you are positive that your target audience will be satisfied with your product.
After you release your app, it’s not time to stop testing. You should be consistently tweaking your app until your audience can’t live without it.
2. Intuitive: Your app needs to have intuitive design, and, more importantly, extremely intuitive sign-up and share functions, to ensure that users don’t get frustrated at the beginning stages.
Achieve this by making signing in through social media accounts automatic (today’s users don’t like mountains of usernames and passwords to remember).
And make sure sharing across social media channels is naturally engrained, not hidden.
3. Reward: Reward users with incentives and promotions to encourage them to share and invite friends to join.
Uber’s recent $20 for referrals and for the new sign-up is one example of a great reward campaign.
4. Awesome: Your app needs to be more than good, useful, and valuable – it has to be awesome. Today’s users are cool, and your app needs to be too.
Don’t think “awesome” is quantifiable when it comes to apps? Think about it – there are countless apps similar to yours, but what separates the fails from the successes is making an app that makes the user feel cooler.
Let’s look at Instagram. Plenty of other photo editing apps have failed, but Instagram rose to success. Why?
Because of it’s intuitive set up and instructions, the ease of sharing across social networks, its like-ability (both literally and figurability), the rewards (filtered pictures to make your friends jealous), and because, compared to other apps, it was just, well, awesome.
5. Like-able: Sorry, but this is one tip you can’t ignore. Your app’s brand needs to be like-able, both so users literally like it, and so they can “like” it easily across social media channels.
Users liking your app leads to them sharing it with friends. If, like being awesome, this seems too subjective to you, think about it in target audience terms.
What does your audience like? Look at their habits and see what they are sharing and liking across other sectors.
Mold your brand accordingly to ensure you are creating a product they don’t just need, but they like and want to share with others.
You’ve heard it time and time again: today’s users are more informed but have less time and more options.
This means they are more selective about what they like, dislike, and share.
When it comes to going viral, first impressions matter – and following these 5 key tips may not promise virality, but they will certainly give you an advantage over other apps.
What About You?
Share your ideas with us – what do you think causes an app to go viral?
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About the Author
This post was written by Eric, Bitshakers resident tech junkie who loves everything digital and sharing his knowledge. BitShakers is a technology house for engaging and creative Apps that lead to revenue. You can find them on Twitter.
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