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How to Make Your Startup Go Viral The Pinterest Way

How to Make Your Startup Go Viral The Pinterest Way
On Thanksgiving, Pinterest’s co-founder Ben Silbermann sent an email to his entire user base saying thanks. It was fitting, as Pinterest was born two years ago on Thanksgiving day 2009. Ben had been working on a website with a few friends, and his girlfriend came up with the name while they were watching TV. Pinterest officially launched to the world 4 months later. Some startups go crazy with hype and users right after launch. And some don’t. Take a look at Pinterest’s one-year traffic on Compete from Oct 2010 to Oct 2011, which is the picture in this post, and shows Pinterest rising from 40,000 to 3.2 million monthly unique visitors. Backing out of Compete’s numbers, we see Pinterest grew about 50% month over month from a base of zero since its inception (on average, smoothing the curve). Note these numbers are approximations and also do not count the significant traffic the service sees from mobile (Pinterest’s app currently takes the #6 social spot in the iTunes store).

http://techcrunch.com/2011/11/26/pinterest-viral/

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Marketing, startups and the importance of achieving a lot with a little (for startups) Over the weekend I was talking with an early stage VC about how much traction he likes to see in a company before he invests (answer: enough to have some confidence that the product works, the go to market works and there is some demand). Subsequently I was thinking through how companies would get themselves to that stage without needing the sort of funding he provides. There are a number of answers of course, including true seed stage friends and family and angel funding, but the most important answer to to find a way to achieve a lot with a little. Don’t Forget Your Logged Out Users I find myself saying this quite often these days to entrepreneurs and their product teams. It's something that I've noticed working with leading social platforms like Etsy, Twitter, Tumblr, and others. Services such as these have a large number of their users accessing the service regularly on a logged out basis. I can visit my friend Daryn's tumblog without logging into Tumblr and often do. My son can visit LeBron James' Twitter without logging in and often does. My daughter can check out vintage items on Etsy without logging in and usually does.

The Science of Social Timing Part 1: Facebook and Twitter Social Networks It’s important to know when the highest percentage of your audience is eavesdropping on your social networks—so that when you share content you’ll get maximum exposure. Use the following data to learn when your audience is most likely to tune in. Be sure to check in with us next week when we discuss timing & email marketing. Data courtesy of Dan Zarrella (@danzarrella) and HubSpot. Content available as a webinar by Dan Zarrella here. View an enlarged version of this Infographic »

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10 Questions to Evaluate a Social Media ‘Expert’ If you know more than 5 people, chances are you now know someone who declares themselves a social media expert. How can you tell if someone’s claim of expertise is legit? Here’s my quick quiz. Ask each question and take the appropriate action: 1: Do you have a blog? Never Take Your Eyes Off This Hacker Metric If you’re like me, you’ve had enough of the Facebook IPO story. For tech entrepreneurs struggling to build stuff, the cacophony of recent press is just more noise. That’s why when my friend Andrew Chen posted an insightful analysis of Facebook user data, I was happy to get back to learning from what the company did right instead of debating what its bankers did wrong. Chen calculated Facebook’s historical ratio of daily active users (DAU) to monthly active users (MAU) and the stats are startling.

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