Monday, 28 March 2011

How to increase user numbers through word of mouth and without spending any money

Imagine for a moment that you have 100,000 users on your website. What is the fastest way to increase that number in one week?

1. Advertise? - this costs you money
2. Build new services that attract new users? - this costs you time and money

The alternative is to encourage each user to bring their friends on board. This can be done for free, without building new services and in a way in which your users are happy to do it.

Word of mouth

We often use computers individually. However, when we go out, we go out with friends.

Imagine that we were photographers on the site Flickr and we took our friend to a night out in a bar full of fellow amateur and professional Flickr photographers. We did it because we have a lot in common with these people and it's a good atmosphere.

Inside, it's not a special event but a normal night out, however the atmosphere is unique as most people are talking about one subject - Photography on Flickr. Our friends, who previously have never had the time, would naturally get involved and learn about the service directly from other passionate users. How much would we normally pay for spreading something by 'word of mouth' like this? Lots.

Also, when people meet offline, guess what they end up doing online afterwards? Yep, they look out for each others comments and interact more often. They have a stronger bond to the site and the users on the site.

The big question is then, how do we organise these 'word of mouth' events?

We don't.

Users won't necessarily turn up to an event which you organise unless you put a lot of effort into it. It might not be a convenient time, place or they just don't want to go to a formal event.

The best thing is to let them choose the time and place themselves i.e. organise themselves individually to crowd together collectively in venues. Making it easy, makes it work.

How can we let users organise themselves?

It's free
It takes 60 seconds to switch on
In one day you can kick off city, country or even worldwide gatherings
In one week you can see the impact of those meetings on user sign ups and page views

As a website or group owner, see it here:

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