Building an app is tough, but getting users on the app and making them use it is even tougher. This can get really tricky, as different users expect different things from an app and when their expectations are not met, they ‘uninstall’ the app.
To acquire the first 25,000 users, one must follow a very simple approach and that is to listen to what the users had to say and take our next steps from there.
So, here are six things we did to acquire our first 25,000 users and guess what? We were able to do so in a month’s time:
1. Look for hotspots of people and talk to them: This is the most effective manner of getting users on the platform. Since, you are directly communicating with a probable user and explaining them about the idea. The passion you have for your start-up and the clarity would be projected in your speech and will definitely convince the other person to use the app.
You can do this activity anywhere, at a party, a shop, a conference etc. The idea here is to sell it directly and efficiently. One thing which would help is to make a target for a month i.e. how many users do you want to acquire using this approach. In our case it was 5,000 users. My Co-founder Ridhima and I made a plan and identified different hotspots that we could target. At the end of the first month, we were able to acquire approximately 5,200 users from this activity.
2. Be very active on platforms like quora and reddit: People use quora for multiple reasons that range from getting educated about things to getting answers to problems they are facing. One very interesting feature in quora is the ‘up-vote’ and ‘down-vote’ of answers. If you can find the relevant questions in your domain and answer them in the best possible manner, then a lot of people having similar questions would try out your solution.
This activity becomes efficient only when done at a scale. We answered a minimum of 500 questions and asked our friends to ‘up-vote’ our answers and eventually we were able to get 3,000-3,500 users from this activity. Please note that the more number of questions you answer, the better results it will fetch you.
3. Create a community of like-minded people on Facebook: Facebook pages over time have been monetized by Facebook, but what they have not monetized yet is Facebook groups. A lot of activity can be done on these groups and over time a community can be carved out. Also, there are a lot of Facebook groups with similar interests. Post about your start-up in those groups and get people to know and talk about your app. Comment on other people’s posts and give them your opinion. The idea here is to make the entire community aware of your app and make them try it for different purposes.
4. Influencer campaigns: One thing which did wonders for us, were influencer campaigns. We did two campaigns with fashion influencers having 400k+ followers. With this activity only, we were able to acquire about 10,000 users.
All these influencers are like mini celebrities with a huge fan following and when they post about something, people actually take them seriously and want to try out products they have suggested. Our influencer campaign was targeted at tapping into the instagram following of these influencers.
Different activities were done on Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook which lead to a total reach of 1.5 million people and that’s how it lead to 10,000+ downloads. We still get users from this activity.
5.Sponsor a lot of college fests in kind: If you are a student and have a college network then exploit that. Sponsor a lot of college fests in kind. In our case, we became styling partners of a lot of college fests and also gave free photoshoots and styling sessions. Try to make app downloading a mandatory option for everyone who is entering the fest. This would give your app a lot of attention and fetch you a lot of users. We got around 5,000 downloads just from participating 3 fests. Please note that you will need to keep a track of the number of downloads and how things are moving at the fest.
6.Get some initial PR done on different Platforms: This is the most basic activity and is going to fetch a few users, but is very important in the long run. Try and get featured on good online platforms. This would give your app a much needed boost and would help you acquire somewhere between 1,000-2,000 users easily.
One thing that we were able to do efficiently was to set targets and work towards achieving them. The goal is to make a lot of buzz in the market about your app and results would start to follow.
Be aggressive and learn quickly!