April 20 2017

We all know the one viral tactic you need to be using for your app this year are referrals. Whether you’re looking at growing your app’s user base or spreading awareness about what your app has to offer, referrals are the answer. But how do you make it an ongoing process that your users actively engage in?

Ways to incorporate viral referral loops in a game

1. Make user relationships a part of the referrals

You’re encouraging a user to refer your app to his friends – great! But what happens when this friend joins your app? You direct him straight to a quick tutorial that will get him started with what your app has to offer or how to play the game better.

But whatever happened to acknowledging the fact they were invited by a friend or have received a free gift from the referral they came through?

GetSocial deep linking helps you send user information along with the referral. The SocialGraph then auto-connects friends within your game, enabling you to thank a player who joins through an invite and tell them what their friend has been upto in the game. This creates a sense of gamification instantly.

getsocial social graph

After all, who minds getting some extra gold coins to catch up with a friend in a game and stand a chance to beat his score!

2. Gamify like your life depends on it

Yes, you already have a game. But where is the competitiveness amongst your players? The one and only way to keep them actively engaged in your app, is to constantly create competition amongst their circles.

For instance, let players challenge their friends to beat their score right after they complete a level. These could be players who haven’t yet joined your app and will be new to the game. So make sure you’re not just sending an ‘invite’, but also passing on the existing player’s configurations.

Using Leaderboards to create gamification

Simply put, if I have completed a level and want one of my friends who is not on the app yet to compete with me, I should be able to not just send him an invite – but also pass the player configurations (weapons used, perks availed, etc) and the level ID so that they can join me on the same level of the game instantly.

Now imagine if this friend of mine did beat my score. He’d want to immediately boast about it and challenge his friends to compete him. Well, you just scored another referral here!

3. Call on your users to invite their friends

Okay, it is decency to let your players experience the game and then waiting for them to refer their friends. But for how long? And what about the players who simply don’t think about inviting their friends because it never came to their mind?

It is important that you understand the player’s journey in the game and reduce the viral cycle time as much as possible. An engaged player is more likely to complete a referral than one who has lost interest in the game after a few sessions – yes, giving the player too much time can be a deterrent to your growth!

Call on your users to invite their friends – but do it in a way that doesn’t look too nudgy. Make it a part of the game or the player’s journey through it and see how you start bagging more referrals every day. Here are a few ways to do so:

(a) Introduce the ‘invite friends’ feature as a way to enjoy the game more in the tutorial.

(b) Offer timely incentives based on a player’s journey in the game, like 5 gold coins for every 10 invites sent.

(c) Make sharing of in-game achievements on social media and chat apps as easy as a single click. The simpler it is, the more shares you will bag.

make sharing easy
(d) Use in-app popups to encourage invites after every level completion – a happy player is more likely to participate!

(e) Have something special to offer to active advocates. For example, Candy Crush lets players unlock a new level only when they receive 3 tickets from their friends. So after every 50 levels, the player needs to buy coins or invite 3 of his friends to the game.

Now imagine if you implemented the above right from the beginning of a player’s journey in the game. Inviting friends to the game becomes a part of his sessions, making it more natural than forced.

400% increase in invites guaranteed!

Going viral

The only effective way to boost your game’s growth without burning a hole in your pocket for advertising, is word-of-mouth.

Engage your players right from the soft launch of your game, become a part of their break time and make it a social channel they want to be active on through the day. Use their experience and journey in the game to expand into their circles using smart referrals!

Not sure how to get started?

Here are a few must reads for you:

getsocial smart invites cta