Build virality into your product
Your product needs to be great so users refer it to their friends. If it isn't they won't recommend it to their friends. But when they really love your product you can do a lot to nudge users to invite others. Here are 9 common viral mechanisms from Gabor Cselle:
1. Two-Sided Reward
For example: Incentives for a user to invite their friends
2. Appeal to Vanity
For example: Appeal to users’ sense of vanity and competitiveness to encourage them to spend more time using your product and invite others into it.
For example: Apps built for collaboration or communication between coworkers are inherently viral.
For example: Create the ability for others to embed your product into their website.
5. Artifacts Shared on Social
For example: Your product naturally produces artifacts that can be shared manually or automatically on social networks.
6. Artifacts Shared via Messaging
For example: Your product generates artifacts or URLs that are expected to be shared via messaging.
For example: Your product sends messages of some kind. You attach a promotional signature to each message, linking back to your product.
8. First Message sent on Existing Messaging Platform
For example: Your product offers a differentiated type of messaging and encourages users to invite their friends to join them on the new messaging platform.
9. Highly Visible Hardware
For example: A hardware product set in a highly visible location that is exposed to potential customers.