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Building virality for growth & retention: Mona Gandhi of Airbnb

Mona Gandhi, a founding member of the growth team at Airbnb spoke at the ProductGeeks Conference 2018 about how to embed virality in a holistic manner within your product.

In this part of her talk, Mona Gandhi talks about how to build virality that adds to growth and retention of users.

Key takeaways from Mona’s Talk

a. Virality is misunderstood in the Indian tech community as just being incentives and referral programs or rewards.

b. India is a highly word-of-mouth driven country and most tech firms seem to not make the most of this. Word of mouth doesn’t only mean building a hook within the product that leads to referral but creative implementation of the same. Mona cites the example of Urban Spoon which, in its early days, had users shake the phones to get a restaurant recommendation. This would lead to people around them asking about this and thereby causing word-of-mouth as dining out is a social activity and users are likely to be with their friends and colleagues while looking for restaurants.

c. Discover out of the box user actions that can be built to spark virality which isn’t dependent upon high tech but social engineering. It goes without saying that this should not simply be growth-centric but balance user interests as well as the product’s.

d. Try and clone as many ‘core’ users as you can through this form of virality as the users who you gain via this channel are high retention. Until your core user base doesn’t grow you don’t really have product market fit.

We will be sharing more of Mona’s talk going forward. Please subscribe to the NextBigWhat channel for more such product insights. And make sure to check out the site often for updates.


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