Audience growth and customer acquisition are exciting challenges for any business. The three concepts below have helped my team reach a monthly audience of over 55 million and supercharged the release of our new app for chat-style stories.

They're also actionable for any business hoping to get an edge in their respective industry:

There's No Such Thing as Too Easy

These days, people expect simple and easy interactions with your product or service. That makes ease-of-use a key advantage against competitors.

When Snapchat rolled out QR codes for user profiles, they really released an easy button. By keeping the experience of adding friends simple and frictionless, Snapchat cleared a path for users of their app and grew their social network as a result.

It takes 5 seconds to add a friend. No typing, no links, no need to use WiFi -- talk about easy.

Google Photos is another great example. When the product first launched in 2015, people flocked to the app because of how it simplified and improved photo management. Their product produced panoramas, GIFs, and stylized versions of your photos without requiring you to do anything. As A.I and automation continue to improve, this level of ease will be something people come to expect.

We created this guide to chat-style storytelling to help people understand the appeal of writing chat-stories. In a few minutes, anyone can write a story that pulls in thousands and readers can enjoy short, snackable stories. As time and attention become increasingly valuable, so does ease of use.

Remix is the New Create

Tumblr knows all about ease-of-use. They make it very easy to create new things from existing content on their platform -- this helps both content creation and consumption.

The Tumblr dashboard (their newsfeed) is easy to use and provides endlessly scrollable content. Through the "reblog" feature, they reduce the number of steps is takes for a person to produce new content without taking away credit from the original creator.

If you pay attention to how people are using your product or service, odds are there are some items or services that are currently being remixed by your most passionate followers. Invite people to create new offerings based on your existing products or pay attention to how your most loyal fans are already doing it. Through openness to remixing, you unlock the power of community engagement and network effects.

People Want to Feel Liked and Acknowledged

Instagram pays a lot of attention to onboarding users so that people feel welcomed on their platform as soon as they create an account.

Over six years ago, I posted my first picture to Instagram. Seconds after I posted, my picture received a few likes and follows. It was a very delightful experience as I felt instantly recognized and acknowledged as a new user. The likes provided the same surprise and delight as an engaging experience with a friendly customer service representative.

In today's competitive marketplace, regardless of how large your customer-base is, going the extra mile to make people feel liked and acknowledged will always pay dividends.

Just look at Snapchat's daily achievements. Their streak and score features gamify social interaction. Keeping a streak active with a good friend invests you into that relationship and the Snapchat app. Your Snapchat score is a fun way of keeping tracking your daily interactions.

Think about how your business can implement the instant acknowledgment that today's largest social networks provide. Every customer interaction provides the opportunity for mutual acknowledgment. Let your customers know you appreciate them and you'll gain a loyal following.

Published on: Apr 21, 2017