A different point of view about the WhatsApp’s growth strategy

A different point of view about the WhatsApp's growth strategy

One of the thing I enjoy the most is reading books and article about startups, marketing and entrepreneurship. Every time a founder of a successful company or vc sharing tips and experiences that I can learn from something that I can then use with my startup.
Last week I was reading a post about the growth strategy of WhatsApp when I stumble upon something that didn’t fit my opinion of the app.


What I have found surreal is what the WhatsApp founders think was the reason of their success. They said they’ve become the main messaging app because they have always been focused on user experience.
They even claim that they’ve always refused to do any marketing because it would have taken them away from their main focus: crafting a great user experience…

The article continues with different citations from the founders claiming different reasons to support this thesis.


In my mind I was thinking: Whaaaaaat are you talking about?!


The user experience of WhatsApp has notoriously been one of the worst ever. Until the Facebook acquisition, their iOS app had the worst UX in the top ranking apps for years.

I understand that I am not in the position to criticise the founders of a $19 billion company. But come on, I have never ever heard anyone celebrating the WhatsApp’s UX.

I think their app has become the market leader for another reason. They have been the first to understand that making a dumbphone version of their app would have helped them to spread consistently between groups of friends. If all your friends have WhatsApp, it’s easier that you’ll use it for your conversations.

If only half of your group of friend has WhatsApp, you’ll use the phone’s default one to be safe they receive your messages.
More people use this app in your circles, bigger the word of mouth will be .

I absolutely don’t think that they won the market with user experience, especially because almost all their competitors focused on that.

The Engines of Growth in Pills

The Engines of Growth in Pills

In the last few years I red a lot about growth, marketing and acquisition strategies. It’s getting hard to find something really interesting, so when I find it I reshare it. Or even better, from now on, I will make a summary of it.

This is the original talk by Devin Hunt, Partner at Foundercentric, talking about the Engines of Growth.


Word of mouth and viral videos are not Viral Strategies

They can attract a lot of people but after a while, if you don’t sustain them, their virality fade away. Let’s imagine that you create a succesful video that attracts 1 million viewers. Sure it’s a success, but it will not continue to attract millions of viewers for long. Just in few cases it will happen, but it’s incredibly hard.


Sticky growth is what usually a startup should focus early on

It consist in increasing the retention of your activated users as much as possible. He mentions the Evernote example. When you start to use this kind of products, you have a stronger and stronger reason to keep using them. First it’s because they’re good products. Second it’s because while using them you build a barrier to exit (more notes saved, higher the barrier).

He also suggest that it’s the “simplest” one to achieve. I don’t personally agree that is necessary the simplest, but it’s for sure the most important thing in the early days of your product. Increasing retentions means making a good product.

I would always focus on this kind of growth, no matter what stage you’re into, to make sure that you get the product right. Then you can consider others to grow faster.


Content marketing

A way to attract leads is to blog about interesting things. And we already knew that. But the interesing point is that he defines the “interesting things” pretty well. You should’t necessary talk about the closest part of the market you’re in, but the general market you’re in. If you are an analytics tools (like Kissmetrics), it’s not necessary to talk about analytics techniques and analytics researches.

It is enough to talk about tech trends. Blog about everything that could appeal to a person who is part of that market.


Happy growth.

Social Media Marketing for Hackers SXSW Talk

I want to bring some rationale into the Social Media world and I want to bring a scientific approach to a marketing topic. That’s why I proposed a talk for the next SXSW.

Social Media Marketing for Hackers SXSW Talk

Developers are going to conquer the world

Developers are going to conquer the world. The development tools are becoming easier to use and more and more powerful. This is creating a new generation of entrepreneurs: the hacker-CEOs.

But to allow them to make more than a dent in the universe, we have to provide them powerful tools to bring their products in front of the masses. That’s why I created the talk “Social media marketing for Hackers”.

I will explain what are the most practical strategies to leverage social media to bring your product in front of your target users. There will be no marketer’s buzzwords or bullshits.

This will be a hands-on intensive talk, made by a developer for developers.


What questions I will answer?

What is the potential of a social media marketing?

There are some products where social media can be the only growth strategy. Instead, for others it can be a way to kickstart the growth. Usually it is a great way to create returning customers. Let’s see what potential your product has.

What should I share to get a lot of fans and customers?

I’ll make you understand what kind of content you have to share to get always more fans and followers. Then, I’ll show you how and how often you have to talk about your product to get new customers, without spamming them.

How should I share these messages?

I will explain you what are the best practices to share the content in the best moment, in the right format and with the right consistency. No high level concepts here: just what works in the real world.

How could I find great content quickly?

We’ll see how to define keywords to find directories of high quality content made for your audience. Then, I’ll show how make this discovery job faster, with the use of different tools.

What are the right tools to use?

Luckily, there’s no right tool. There are different tools solving different problems. I’ll show you which are the best ones and how to leverage them to save precious hours of work (and get back to coding).


Vote and share

If you like what I have presented you, please go to this page and vote for the talk. If you loved it please share into your circles and make the love spread.

If you’re not convinced yet, check out my Social media marketing for Startup talk at the London’s Google Campus.

Thanks for the help as always.

Why Fanchimp is Not just another Social Media Tool. Our Vision

I am an internet citizen and I am making internet my job. While doing so I cannot stop thinking about the things that I use and that don’t work.
Like all the times I tried to promote something online. I think that promoting something online today is a really unpleasant experience. That’s why I have created Fanchimp.

But let’s roll back. Let’s start from what is the problem.


Why Fanchimp is Not just another Social Media Tool? Our Vision


Doing social media marketing today means knowing marketing and knowing how to use complex tools. You have to carry out your own process and pick the right tools for the job.

Instead, Fanchimp controls the entire process of doing social media marketing. Doing so it can guide the user by the hand, automate different steps and get rid of some others.

Controlling the entire process allow us to make it simpler and quicker. This means we can design a product for people, not for marketers only.



What make us different from our competitors?

Our competitors products have all a problem. Their users need to use different tools to be able to handle the entire social media marketing campaign. Their users also need to have marketing experience to be able to use these tools and to generate any returns.

Instead, we’ve opted to do what was hard to do: we decided to make social media marketing simple. We’ve designed Fanchimp for people, not for marketers only. Our users don’t need to use any other tool: Fanchimp is the only tool they need.

By analogy, our competitors are producing high performance computers components. They leave the consumer with the responsibility of assembling their own computer. Instead we provide them a computer already assembled and configured.


What keep us up at night?

In the history, there have been different moments when a technology had been widely adopted by the experts in a certain field. Only it was not able to spread to the masses.
Usually because that execution was too complex. Or because it was not tuned for the demands of the masses.
It happened with computers, smartphones, internet, and so on.

Then someone recognised that there was an opportunity in simplifying that technology. He had the technical ability of doing it, and then he did. That version of that technology now spread to the masses and it changed the world.
It happened with Microsoft for computers, Apple for smartphones and Google for internet.


I believe we are in a similar moment with marketing and we want to be the one simplifying it. We want to bring an easy and affordable way of doing marketing to the world.

This is the vision behind Fanchimp. This is why we invest all ourselves into it.

Fanchimp adds your face to your social media marketing

Today it’s a very exciting day here at Fanchimp because we’re proud to announce a new feature that we hope you’ll appreciate, it’s called the Author Box.

Up to now, doing social media marketing meant talking about your products and sharing interesting articles, to make your brand interesting and attractive. The problem has always been that those interesting articles have never had a connection to your business. Today with the new Fanchimp’s Author Widget we change that.




Every article shared through Fanchimp, has a bubble head-styled box talking about you. This means that people who stumble upon a content that you have curated, will have a handy shortcut to understand who you are and what you do. Take a look to a live version here.

My co-founder is my boyfriend: How we made it work

My co-founder is my boyfriend

Falling in love is one of the best thing that happens in life. That magical period where everything around you is brighter, in full color. I remember the first time I fell in love with someone, I was 13 and he was my classmate. We started dating and I remember that the soup my mother would prepare me every evening, suddenly started tasting so good in those days.


I can’t say what pushed me to start it, but most of the people thought I was following my boyfriend. …

Read the entire post on my Medium account

Create a brand and transform your dream into reality. An interview with One O.

Dear Fanchimp readers, just wanted to start off by saying how honored we are to be here sharing with you our adventures from the blog. We’ll get a bit chatty, trying to explain were we started from, where we’re now and how highs and lows affected our way of blogging.


Create a brand and transform your dream into reality. An interview with One O.




We’re going to make a sort of self analysis and you’re gonna be the psychologist judging and doing questions. Sounds weird, let’s try! ^_^


Who we are



Our names are Chiara (the banana head) and Irene (the carrot head), we’re just graduated graphic designers from Polytechnic University of Turin (north west Italy).


We knew each other at university and a friendship was born straight away. Things we have in common is messiness (is that even a word?), exaggerated creativity, love for everything visual and colorful, sustainers of the white-is-always-best movement and crazy dancers (one tribal fusion, the other caribbean dances).Things that surely makes us opposite is the singing-under-the-shower feature, the ability to make disasters at every movement of her body (that’s Irene btw!). Also Chiara’s bitterness and her necessary long time to eat, so slow! But let’s get serious now, digging into One O.


How One O was born

One O stated off as our thesis project, we sat together in front of a cappuccino and decided every step we had to take from then on. Everything was designed to be how it is and (nearly!) nothing is left to case. This is a great advice for those of you who think to start blogging.

We decided to start by creating our line of products, we did all the necessary research and developed the concept.


The concept

Our patterns draw inspiration from architectures and installations around the city we live in,  Turin. We stopped walking like crazy people, slew down and popped our noses upwards: inspiration was just there for us!

Once we decided the most inspiring elements, we synthesized them through elementary shapes and made them patterns that we silkscreen with lots of love on organic cotton. Then all the elements are sewed up to and numbered to become unique parts of people lives, such as cushions, pouches, placemats and so on.


One O Team



The brand and its image

Once we had the patterns and the products made, lots of decisions were to be taken about the image we would want people to perceive. This means not only decide a name and it’s visual form (the logo) but decide the look and feel of almost everything done by us. Ask yourself, what is the mood/style you want your readers to be in when having to do with you?

We decided we would make use of color but not exaggerate with it, we love white space and light and this had to come through; also, we wanted to make people feel a retro boho style mixed with Nordic formality. These aren’t just styles, it’s our identity and you can feel it through everything: from our shop, through the look of the website, in our way of writing, from the photos we take to the DIYs we choose to make (I also made a rime hehe :-P).


The blogging adventure

Just after you’ve decided clearly all of these things you can think about the blog and the contents. First of all, content is key. You might have read this everywhere but it’s damn true! What you’re writing about must be appealing to your target market, your audience have to feel engaged with what you’re doing and saying.


So trying to sum up a few key elements that you must deeply understand and accomplish to make your blog boom are:

  • content first, make engaged and active followers not just numbers.
  • excellently charming photos! This is fundamental (and is such a big issue it would need a whole post itself!)!
  • extensively use social media, this can be a bit time consuming but it will guarantee an excellent return (i. E. Could you imagine 10% of our readers come through social media? It’s quite a lot of people in fact!).
  • read and understand analytics: this is a more techie part but it will always help you to improve. If you’re dummy like us, use tutorials like this one to extend your knowledge. Ask yourself, what is the goal of your website? Where should the traffic be driven mostly? What kind of traffic are you searching for (lots of new visitors, affiliate audience, long texts reading people, or maybe fast reading but viewing lots of pages)? Every illness and strength is stated in analytics, you just have to manage to read them :-P
  • linky link to everything: inside every post there should be always at least one link to another page of your site. Get a bit chatty, leave yourself to girls confessions. If you have a shop, talk about it sometimes but don’t exaggerate, not everybody is there for shopping!


Summing the bits

So lot’s of advices and suggestions so far, making an evaluation of our adventure so far we could say we’re very happy about the road we chose, we surely made a lot of mistakes (and still are making!), but one thing we learned while blogging is never doubt about yourself, give yourself a try and you’ll be astonished about what you can achieve! The hardest part is convincing yourself to start. The second hardest thing is keeping it up even you just want to abandon everything; in this case being in 2 has helped so much.  When one is down and chaotically occupied the other one will surely help keep things going and vice versa.



One O product




With a blog you get to meet lots of new likeminded friends like Nicoletta here at Fanchimp and share with others your little world, and this is damn thrilling!
In our humble opinion, a blog is a great experience that broadens your knowledge but is also a very time consuming activity. Sum all the parts and think carefully, is this what you absolutely want? Are you ready to sacrifice (some) evenings and weekends with friends?

If both answers are yes, go for it!


Now tell us here in the comments your idea of blog, the things you would love to have, the image you would like to transmit but most of all.. What stops you from starting! Why haven’t you just made that big little step yet?

Hoping to have introduced and helped you throughout a fantastic world.
Lots of love, Chiara and Irene, One O

5 Ways To Wow Your Etsy Customers With Exceptional Customer Service

There are so many rules and guidelines to follow as an Etsy seller, particularly in those early stages when you are still trying to build up your business and establish your unique brand.
Most of the regular Etsy guidelines that contribute towards becoming a great seller are common sense and simple enough to follow. However, those first few sales you make are incredibly important, as they can help to determine whether your business will blossom or wither. Getting customers to share their shopping experience with others can bring excellent returns for your store, but how do we go about doing this?



5 Ways To Wow Your Etsy Customers With Exceptional Customer Service

Image source


The answer is simple: by delivering exceptional customer service, of course. Big Brands often fail to deliver a great customer service experience so capitalise on this. Etsy already outlines its clear expectations of every seller’s customer service, but by creating a customer experience that truly wows your customers, you can be sure it won’t be long before they return…perhaps bringing along some friends.



1.    Make Flexibility Your ‘Hidden’ Product

Having a choice of products is always great as it will entice customers in, showing your flexibility and creativity. However, even if you don’t have a wide variety of products to sell, you can still show flexibility by making it a part of the service you provide.

Be open to creating custom-made variations of your products for customers, or at least making slight adjustments that could help serve the customer better. (You may even choose to make this known in your store policy.) Although this will incur more cost, studies have shown that people are usually happy to pay extra for customisation and a tailored shopping experience.

Remember that price means little, as shopping is as much about the customer experience as it is about the product. A willingness to accommodate will impress customers and make the search for a particular product that bit more enjoyable.


2.    Always Give Thanks

A hand-written thank you note is a small gesture that has a big impact when delivered to customers along with their chosen product. Not only are you taking the time to say thanks to the customer; the fact that you took the time to put pen to paper shows real dedication and care, both to your business and your customers.

You may even want to think about including a signature design on each note to really make an impression and ensure your customers don’t forget you as you strive to build up your brand.

When your store gets busier, there may not always be time for hand-written letters, in which case doing your customer service through facebook, twitter or emails can be great time-efficient tools. Retaining genuineness and individuality for each customer however is key – always opt for personalisation over mass-produced messages. It is also useful and professional to include a signature header or footer in your emails.



3.    Give Unlimited Help & Assistance

Your guidance and advice should not have a time stamp – always support those who have purchased from you, no matter how much time has passed. Make your contact channels readily available so potential buys can learn more about your products before they buy, and continue to offer help and assistance even after the purchase has been made.

This means always being on hand to answer customers’ questions via email or social media, and having a lenient returns policy in place for when products don’t fulfil expectations.


4.    Be Honest When Things Don’t Go To Plan

Whilst Etsy strongly recommends that sellers honour their shipping and processing times, things don’t always go to plan, and everyone makes mistakes. You may have accidentally missed a despatch date, or there may have been a holdup in your production line or problems with the postal service.

Either way , your customer is likely to be much more understanding if you exercise honesty and notify them of any problems as soon as possible, along with a full explanation and heartfelt apology. People buy from Etsy not just to experience owning a handmade original, but also to enjoy the human interaction and connection that comes with it. Honesty and openness will only add to this human touch that is highly valued by most Etsy buyers.

Offer the customer compensation for the inconvenience caused, such as a discount for your store or a free gift. They may still decide to cancel their order (don’t forget to remind them that this is an option), but at least you’ll know that the issue was dealt with honestly. Try to simply write off the occurrence as a lesson to be learnt, and move on. Check out this article by Nicoletta for more information on how to turn negative customer experiences into positive ones.


5.    Use Social Media To Inspire Your Customers

If you encourage your customers to follow your brand’s Twitter account then you will no doubt begin to build up a bit of a following as time goes by.

Your Twitter and Facebook feeds are the perfect platforms by which to share useful resources with your customers related to the products you sell. This might include examples of best uses, display suggestions, ideas for inventive combinations and any other exciting news or updates regarding similar products.  Fill your feed with tips, advice and anything else that will help them get the best out of their purchases.

Encourage your customers to tweet their own photos of the purchases they’ve made from your store and describe their own experiences with your products. This will help to create a strong, united community surrounding your brand and demonstrate transparency in the eyes of new potential customers.


About the writer:

Adele Halsall is a writer and researcher for Customer Service Guru. She is passionate about retail and consumer trends, and how this is shaped and governed by advertising and social marketing.

She is particularly experienced in marketing and customer engagement, and enjoys contributing to ongoing debates related to best business practices, start-up culture, and the culture of customer relations. Email her at adele@customerserviceguru.co.uk or @gurucustomers



Memorable insights from Jab Jab Jab Right Hook of Gary Vaynerchuk

Last month I wrote a post about Marie Forleo’s interview of a famous social media strategist, Gary Vaynerchuk. Read about it here. The interview took place the same week Gary’s new book was launched “Jab, jab, jab, right hook”.

That same day I bought the book because I was really drawn to it and today I’ve decided to write an article dedicated to it.






The title

The first thing I really loved about this book was the title, “Jab Jab Jab Right hook”. I didn’t understand the meaning at first because I’m Italian and had never heard those words before. Once I understood it, I thought: Genius! He uses boxing as a metaphor to talk about social media marketing.  In boxing you need to deliver lots of ‘jabs’ before you can eventually give a ‘right hook’ that knocks your enemy out.  It’s the same thing in social media marketing, you need to publish lots of posts that will most likely not hit the target before you’re able to knock’em out.



What makes a great story?

Doing social media marketing correctly is difficult and requires more time and effort than most people realize. It’s not just about your brand and you, it’s especially about your followers.

The better you learn their psychology and habits, the better you can engage them through the right content and story. What makes a great story? Gary explains it very well in his book but generally, these are the key points:

  • A good story is not intrusive

  • It brings value to whom is reading it

  • It fits your brand and the platforms where you’re sharing

  • It has a simple call to action (it’s the action you’re suggesting your followers to do, it can be buy this, share it, leave a comment, a question, etc… )



The Six Rules of Outstanding Content

This was my favorite part of the book because it includes a very clear list of things to keep in mind every time we create and share a post. An Outstanding Content is:


1. Native

Native content looks like any other content that appears on the platform for which it was created. A non-native one appears strange or even disturbing.

So every time you share content on more than one platform, keep in mind than every platform requires a different format.

2. Doesn’t interrupt the viewer’s experience

People don’t like ads that interrupt their experience on social networks, this is why we have to advertise our product in a non intrusive way. Always remember that social networks weren’t created for advertising purposes but for socializing.

3. Doesn’t make requests (too often)

If every time you post a message, you ask your followers to buy something from you, your strategy won’t work. That’s because in social media marketing, like in life, things work in a different way.  You have to give, give, give content and then you may ask for something in return.

4. Leverages pop culture

Pop culture means popular culture, so that is everything that’s popular and used by people on social networks right now. If you look at what people are sharing and doing on social networks you can adapt your content to be popular too. Create content that reveals your understanding of the issues and news that matter to your public.

5. Is micro

Good content is fast to understand and read.

6. Is consistent and aware

Your content must match your brand and personality therefore creating a picture of what you and your business are all about. It’s also important to never talk about topics like politics, religion, etc…

Final thoughts

I recommend this book not just to newbies in the social media marketing world but those who have some experience as well. The first part helps to understand the real meaning of what social media marketing is. There’s plenty of people doing it but not necessarily in the right way.

The second part is a series of examples of good and bad ‘jabs’ shared by brands on social networks. It starts with Facebook and Twitter but there are also examples from Pinterest and Instagram.

It’s similar to what Gary does on his blog, here an example of what I’m talking about and I completely love it! However my attention wavered after the Twitter section in the book, there was simply too much information one after the other.

I would have personally preferred to have those pills included along the book and not bunched together in the end. Some of them were also a bit repetitive.

The 6 Secrets of Social Media Marketing

One of the questions the majority of people ask me is: “What are the secrets of Social Media Marketing? How can my small business become successful?”. I always reply that there are lots of best practices and that the results arrive gradually.

But let’s see what those secrets are.


The Six Secrets of Social Media Marketing




Truly understand what social media marketing means

I continue to highlight this point because I think it’s basic for anyone who wants to do social media marketing. So what is it? It’s any type of marketing done by using social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter.


The goal of Social Media Marketing is to create a community of people, called fans or followers, that follow your brand. Those people share a common interest, the fact that they liked your brand. It can be an Etsy shop, a local shop, a service.


But after this definition you truly need to understand that those platforms have been created to socialize. Therefore you need to fit into that atmosphere and try not to use these platforms as a traditional marketing channel.




  • Post promotional posts all day long. They won’t receive interaction and you won’t gain any traffic.

  • Create conversations by asking questions and then leave your fans without a reply.


  • Post what you like, and what you find around the web that might interest your followers.

  • Post your thoughts and make friendship with your fans.



Think about what to post

When you post something on Facebook, is there a strategy behind it? Don’t get scared by the word strategy, I’m not saying you have to open Power Point and delve into yourself, your brand, your target customers etc… A social media strategy for a small business just requires a couple of hours.


Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I enjoy doing? Crocheting, reading, cooking, gardening, tv, etc…

  • What do my target customers enjoy? Fashion advice, funny photos, flowers, poems, etc…

  • What do my fans/followers enjoyed? You can find this out by seeing which posts that had high interaction (comments, likes, shares)


After answering these questions you’ll have a list of things to talk about on your social networks. Thanks to the last questions you will know how to change your strategy depending on what your actual followers like.



Keep an eye on your competitor

The competition is the best and first inspiration for improving your social media marketing. This is because they have the same target customers and they’re trying to attract more of them just like you. What to look for on their pages:


  • What posts gets more interaction, what are the topics about? With this information in mind you can edit your own strategy.

  • How are they interacting with their followers? Are they asking questions, replying in time, etc..?

  • What images are they using? Are they engaging images?

Let’s go take a look at their pages.



Post regularly

This is very important because it’s the key point that will give you visibility. How can people see your posts if you don’t even publish anything?

If you say you don’t have time, you should consider paying for some tools to help you schedule your messages or to change marketing tool. But let me explain what you need to do better.


Regularly’ means to post everyday or almost every day. If you post every day for one month and then you stop for 2 weeks that’s not regularly.  However, if you skip one or two days that’s completely understandable.

The number of posts you have to share every day is not the most important thing to care about. It depends on the platform your using, for example on Twitter and Pinterest you can post more times daily than Facebook.




Use the exact format for your messages

A text message has a completely different format than a letter. The same things happen between a Facebook post and a Pinterest one for example. Understand what works on the different social networks can make a difference in reaching more people.


Some examples:

  • When you’re sharing on Pinterest the description isn’t important but the photo has to be the best possible.

  • On twitter the url has to be very short, otherwise it will transform your tweet into a mess.

  • On Facebook images are important but the description has to be short.

  • When you use Twitter hashtag try to be creative and not use too many

Track your failures and success

You will also have failure and success on Social Media Marketing and most of the time it will be totally unexpected. It’s possible that you’ll share a series of beautiful photos that you had created specifically for publishing on facebook, and they won’t receive much interaction. Then another day you’ll just share a photo you took with your iPhone and that will have great interaction. Why is that? Nobody knows.

The only thing you can do is to try to learn from failure and success by tracking them out. All you need to do is just create a text document or use a notebook then start writing what happens on your social pages.


Have you got any social media marketing secrets up your sleeve? Please let us know.