Lessons learned from surviving the Scoble Effect

Is your company and product ready for waves of users?

Last month I sat down with Robert Scoble for a quick interview about Nimble. This 20 minute interview generated a huge rush in new registrations– I’m so grateful our servers and team survived the Scoble Effect.

Today I want to share some things we learned to help other companies prepare for fast growth. Let’s start with a few stats to help frame how big of a surge Nimble took on:

On the day Scoble posted the video, we received a 157% increase in traffic to the Nimble site, 87% of which was made up of first-time visitors, and our number of registrations increased by 155%! Talk about hitting the motherload!

Preparing for Massive Growth

So, let’s talk about the things your company can do now to prepare for fast growth in all aspects of the business – from sales and marketing to customer service and technology in today’s social world.

Marketing & Sales

  • Use a social CRM with closed loop marketing capabilities to get to know the key people expressing an interest in your product. This will allow you to map out their social profile to better understand their needs and put them on an effective email track to share the promise of your product and services. Don’t just send them marketing info, educate, enchant and engage them with valuable content. Nimble provides this capability today through our new integration with HubSpot!
  • It’s up to your team to convert your social community into customers for life. You can do this by: ensuring your website clearly conveys your company vision and product benefits, enabling customers to get up and running quickly, and having mechanisms in place to communicate with users about their experience. This open line of communication will enable you to better learn from them and serve their needs.
  • Whenever you get a mention out on the web, your team should be actively listening and engaging in the conversation so you can educate the market. When Scoble posted the video interview with me, the Nimble team and I began communicating with his followers on Google+, YouTube and Twitter. We brought each of these conversations into Nimble, which automatically ties them to shared contact records, so our whole company can learn about them.

Customer Experience

  • Scoble’s audience is made up of a social crowd of curious technologists. Once they sign up to use your product, they’ll be tweeting about it and sharing valuable information. Be sure to monitor and respond to their messages quickly, especially any questions.
  • Don’t just listen to what new users are saying on their own, use this opportunity to ask questions too. Find our what features they particularly like and what features they feel are missing. If you don’t ask now, you may need to pay hundreds of dollars later to gather a focus group.
  • Your site should clearly show users how to get started with your product. From a noticeable call to action, through to an on-boarding campaign, and a full support section, users should intuitively know how to use your product or find they help they need.

Technology

  • Do load testing and balancing well before you go to market with demand creation campaigns. Our servers automatically spawned new servers to balance itself out, but there was an adjustment period where some users experienced sluggishness. This showed us areas we needed to refine architecturally – which we did right away.
  • If the community loves your product, they’ll share it through word of mouth, and you’ll benefit from it, so be sure to take feature requests from this vocal crowd.
  • Welcome feedback on your product, good or bad, because it’s the most valuable content you’ll ever receive. Use feedback to spark action and make your product better.

It’s always exciting have people talk about your product, especially someone as influential as Robert Scoble. When it happens, be sure to keep your head so you can maximize the opportunity through social engagement.

Robert – it was great seeing you and thanks for the breakfast in Culver City. I look forward to seeing you again soon!

If you have any questions about Nimble’s experience with rapid growth as a result of the Scoble Effect, leave a comment or tweet to me @jon_ferrara!

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