Few tools, platforms or communities have gotten as much coverage (and sometimes criticism) in the blogosphere of late as Triberr has. The platform/community has grown rapidly. And when you get so many people on each side of the fence, you know you’re doing something right.
So what did Dino Dogan, the marketing brains behind Triberr, do to assure its success? Here are nine marketing lessons I pulled out of Triberr’s rise:
1. Be Useful
First and foremost, you have to be useful. No matter how good your marketing is, no matter how many people you know, if you’re putting out a crappy product that is of no use, you won’t grow.
Triberr is “the reach multiplier.” It’s original purpose was to help people gain exposure. There are internet personalities that sneeze and get a million page views. Triberr was created to help everyone else.
But Triberr has grown into more than just miracle grow for Twitter reach. Dino and Dan unravel new features all the time. Such as the new homepage which actually curates content.
Being insanely useful builds a community of evangelists for your product. Speaking of community…
2. Build Community
In order to get the most out of Triberr, you need to have a trust-worthy community of bloggers to share each other’s posts.
I was first invited in the early days of Triberr (I guess it’s still pretty early, isn’t it?) by Dino into the “Anubis Tribe.” This happens to be one of the biggest tribes on Triberr. And while the amount of information that flows through this tribe can be overwhelming, it has given me the incredible opportunity to meet new bloggers I may have otherwise not known.
From the onset, Dino and Dan were very active in the community. They answered questions, shared best practices and just generally had no problem speaking to users. This created another level of community between users and founders.
Now, with the addition of “bonfires”, users from different tribes can communicate with each other. This turns the entire Triberr population into one large community.
Communities within communities within communities is what drives the success of the platform.
3. Display Scarcity
If you think you’re just going to come up to the front doors of Triberr and walk right in, you’re going to get the “hot new nightclub in town on a Saturday night” treatment…”Are you on the list?” †Triberr is invite-only.
From a marketing stand-point this created several benefits for both Dino and Dan and the users.
Scarcity makes people want whatever it is that is scarce – in this case, Triberr invites. At the onset there were limited spaces in users’ tribes. This created a mini-frenzy around the blogosphere of people looking for invites.
Note: Again, Triberr proved to existing users how useful it is which created the mini-frenzy. Not all things scarce are necessarily in demand. Some things are scarce because nobody wants them.
4. Defer Control
By putting users in control of their own tribes, some of the marketing efforts were unloaded onto the users. It put them in charge of filling out the user-base of the platform in small sections.†The invite-only format ensured that only trustworthy bloggers (hopefully) would be getting into tribes.
5. Leverage Networks
When Triberr launched, Dino already had a pretty extensive network. Through his own great blog content, videos, guest posting and commenting Dino’s DIYBlogger.net had become a household name for many in the blogosphere.
Of course this made thing easy at the beginning. But by Deferring control to users (see #4) also leveraged their networks to expedite growth. Having each user attempting to grown their own tribe results in an exponentially growing user base.
6. Embrace Customer Service
From the very beginning Dino and Dan asked for feedback from users. They wanted to know what worked, what didn’t and what needed any improvement. They also asked the users if they had any ideas for additions that could make the experience more pleasant and useful.
This type of approach provides them with plenty of information to continuously improve (see #9) and innovate.
7. Don’t Ignore PR
Paul Wolfe had a great post about this so I don’t think I need to elaborate too much. But Dino takes criticism head-on. He doesn’t shy away from it. He doesn’t argue or play dirty. He answers critics with legitimate counterpoints and thanks them for the feedback.
He’s even converted some Triberr critics into Triberr uses. Go figure…
8. Monetize Later
There are currently options to pay for extended features on Triberr. You can buy and spend “bones” to add new tribes, expand the member limits for your tribes and even do some “inbreeding“.
But when I first joined Triberr there was no monetization. I recall Dino telling me that they were kicking a few ideas around, but nothing was implemented.
The focus was on providing a great, useful product first and worry about monetization second. This approach seems to have worked since Dino recently joked that Triberr has become a full time job.
9. Continuously Improve
Dino and Dan could probably get away with just sticking to what they have and not improving on it. But they don’t. They keep adding new features and trying to make the product even better. From their “naked stats” to the curated content on the first page, Triberr keeps rolling out new features that are quickly making Triberr one of the most useful communities on the internet.
Dino has spent a lot of time observing behavior and marketing and formulated a great marketing plan for Triberr. Luckily for us, we can piggy back off of his success and some of the same tactics that worked so well for him and Triberr.