How much of a viral uplift can I expect from social engagement

”]My Petal Model of Social Engagement seemed to go down well at TechHub yesterday when we applied it to social startup design. Whether the startup was a food social network, a new film about the monarchy or a train booking application, the group found examples of active viral loops, passive viral loops, positive and negative daily loop to apply to their products.

Indeed, one of the participants was a full time social game designer and the session prompted him to fix a negative daily loop on his application today!

A key question that came up, which is worth discussing here in the blog, is what percentage of acquistions are likely to come from the viral engagement channels (the viral petals in our model) versus from the initial discovery (the stem).

This relates to the virality of the app, as measured by the viral coefficient (the number of earned users you get relative to each paid user). Obviously benchmarks vary wildly depending on the application type but I would say that if you see 30% uplift (a viral coefficient of 0.3) on your initial discovery then you are doing well. For a product to ‘go viral’ – i.e. to spread of its own accord you would need to see a viral uplift of at least 100% – for each person you add they bring in at least one more.

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One thought on “How much of a viral uplift can I expect from social engagement

  1. Guillaume Foutry June 21, 2011 at 3:10 pm Reply

    Hey Toby,

    I think this article from the Harvard Business Review, Forget Viral Marketing – Make the Product Itself Viral echoes your model: http://hbr.org/hb/article_assets/hbr/1106/F1106Z_A_lg.gif

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