Did you hear the news of that celebrity committed suicide last night or your next-door neighbor fighting with her husband and many other similar gossips? I am sure you must have got the whole news in few seconds. This is called viral sharing. Afterall the speed of the virality of gossip is way faster than the speed of light.
Human beings are naturally designed and built for viral sharing as we have shared stories, talks, history and tales since our ancestors have been using rocks as tools.
Similarly, the concept of viral sharing is quite prevalent in the mobile app development industry but the process is a bit different.
Having a brilliant mobile app idea, building a great team of developers, pouring your heart and soul into designing an outstanding application, promoting it through various social media channels, ensuring it has a product-market fit together can not make the app go viral.
So, what makes an app viral?
If you are thinking that using the traditional and regular method of advertising your app can drive millions of downloads and awareness among users, well, achieving virality is just impossible.
Before knowing how to make an app go viral, let us first refresh our understanding of app virality.
What is a viral app or what is app virality?
In plain and simple words, Virality is about interacting with people and users of society enticing them to participate in your app launch program. Though it is not the part of a viral app marketing strategy but it can be anticipated once you launch the application in the market.
In order to make your app succeed in the market, you need to pass four tests-
- Your app must have something valuable in it to share.
- It should be easier for people to share and join.
- The app should reward users for sharing along with offering some incentives.
- The more users will use the app, the more value and credibility of it will be created, make sure your app is a bit different from your competitors. It is up to you and your idea of how to attract more users to your app.
After passing the test, you will find yourself finding a way to make your app go viral. And when searching for how to make an app go viral, you might find a concept called App Virality, pushing your app to go viral.
Let’s check out how it works-
How Does the Cycle for a Viral Work
When someone becomes aware of your mobile application and is intrigued by the concept behind it, they will download it for sure.
Once they are done with the download, the next stage is the activation process where people get the chance to engage with your application.
Then comes third and the most important stage -sharing. To move users from activation to sharing, you need to tempt your users to keep using your application and then motivating them to share the application with other people.
Once the process of download-activation-sharing takes place, the viral loop successfully closes and repeats itself with other users.
In short, the secret to how to make an app go viral is- sharing.
This is not the ending of the whole process, there are principles attached to it.
But before that, let us not miss the most important hook- the Hook Model.
The Hook Model
Waking up, brushing your teeth, eating, checking your social media accounts, listening to the old playlist, wearing the same formal clothes, doing the same office work and other stuff every day are our regular activities.
Did you think for a second before attending to all these regular daily activities? Well, you just did it.
Afterall these daily activities have become part of our habits and habits are the basics of our behavior.
Using this behavior for helping startups and businesses, Nir Eyal has codified his findings on how to build habit-forming products into his Hook Model.
In his finding, Eyal found out that 50% of all that we do during the day is done with little or no conscious thought, all happens purely out of habit.
Eyal proposes a pattern to design habits called “a hook”. A hook is an answer to your question of how to make your android app popular or an iOS app.
It is basically a cycle of events, made to keep users coming. It consists of four parts- trigger, action, reward, and then investment.
4 Stages of the Hook Cycle
There are two types of Triggers- External triggers and Internal triggers.
External triggers are those that cue our next action.
External triggers contain all the information about what to do next.
It could be a billboard, an email, a tweet, a play button, a cop standing on the corner telling you which way to go, an alarm clock, your friend suggesting through word of mouth about the product you should try, etc.
Similar to external triggers, Internal triggers also cue our next action. The only difference here is that the information on what to do next is not contained within the trigger, but rather through an association in the user’s memory.
Internal triggers can come in the form of places we go to, the people with who we interact, the daily schedules and routines we follow, emotions we feel, etc. Furthermore, negative emotions like indecisiveness, powerlessness, bored, inferiority can also cue internal triggers.
Pressing the right nerve of users can help you discover their internal triggers.
To make users engage in a particular behavior, you will be required to focus on their behavior. Behavior comes in many forms like scrolling through the feeds of Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, searching on Google, playing button on YouTube, etc.
The research of BJ Fogg can help you understand the concept in a more precise and easier way-
According to Fogg, three things need to be covered at the same time-
- Sufficient motivation
- Sufficient ability
- Need for trigger
Motivation Towards Users Behavior
Fogg suggests 3 core motivation drives –
- Anticipatory: We look for hope and avoid fear
- Sensational: We look for pleasure and avoid pain
- Social: We look for social acceptance and avoid social rejection
Making Things Easier
Users have to perform specific behavior to make things easier.
Designing Powerful Triggers
Be explicit about what you want the user to do.
After all their hard work, you need to reward your users. Research shows that certain parts of our brains (nucleus accumbens) light up in expectation of a reward, more than receiving an actual reward.
Investment is the final step of the hook model making users ready for future rewards.
Five Principles of How to Make an App go Viral Strategy
The best and well-known apps appear to be effortless that the design immersed in the background. This is called “flow” and it has nothing to do with charts and processes.
Flow is about doing something you love to do and not being distracted by other things running in the background.
For creating flow in your applications, you need to remove all the obstacles and doubts that might affect users when they will be using or sharing the app.
Few of the examples of how your app can do that is-
- Offer one-click sign-in via, Google, Facebook or Twitter
- Prioritize what is on the screen, and show top actions right in view
- Let your users post on multiple social platforms with just one tap
Reward The Users
The reward is a trick which is working fine since our childhood, after all, who doesn’t like to get a reward for what they have done.
Similar is the situation with the users, if you want to encourage certain behavior of the users, give them rewards. Give them a gift for each friend they get to use your app.
Transparency is Must
More than a reward, your users want transparency in your application. Thus, be open and upfront about what your app is sharing while giving full control to users over whether to share their feeds or not.
No transparency can bring consequences like users might stop using your application or abandon it or maybe leave negative reviews.
Keep Calling Them Back
If your app is actually engaging, users will use it more often. There is a ripple effect, the more they will stick to it, the more users will say good things about your application. It will be like a word of mouth promoting your application while increasing your overall revenue.
Do not wait for them to use your app, send them quick notifications to let them return to your app. Keep sending them useful tips and advantages of using your app, along with sending them friendly notifications.
Spamming is a NO-NO here.
Be Useful to a Lone Person
Admit it, many users will not share your application until and unless they themselves try and test your app. Make sure your application carrying meaningful content and amazing graphics for the users.
Here, we are done with the tricks and tips to make your app viral. Make sure to use them for your next app development project.
Food For Thought
When working on how to make an app go viral, it is mandatory for the business to define features in their application that can differentiate them not just from their competitors but from every other app in the market along with using tactics to let users share the application.
There is no one-size-fits-all, some application doesn’t get the advantage of viral tactics. But why to lose any chance of making the app go viral, add viral features, use clever ideas and very mesmerizing design. Combine them together and form a fantastic viral strategy, these will surely be going to make your app go kiki style.
How to make a messaging app go viral?
1. Make your app smooth and effortless
2. Offer your users some reward or benefits
3. Give your users the control to share things along with informing them about the content which is being shared
4. Use tricks and tactics to make your user come back to you
5. Make your app beneficial and useful.
How do I get more users for my app?
Though the task is quite challenging but absolutely not unattainable. Here are 7 ways to attract a number of users to your app-
1. Focus on ASO
2. Promote your app on your website
3. If possible, develop an email marketing campaign
4. Make proper use of social media
5. Creat in-app and online ads
6. Develop a Public Relation Strategy
7. Create offline campaigns
How can I promote my apps for free?
There are various ways through which you can easily promote your app for free, a few among them are-
1. Look and reach out to influencers
2. Feature the app in your official blog
3. Make a demo video but do not extend the time limit
4. SEO matters here alot
5. Create an eye catching yet detailed and defining app icon
6. Show users some great screenshots
7. ASO is important
8. Include app downloads links on your website
Co-Founder and VP Mobile Architect at Appventurez. An expert programmer who is passionate and loves to explore emerging mobile technologies. As a leader, he is a perfect match as he is always there for the team to help and guide them to learn and implement smartly and effectively.
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