Social networking

How to find early adapters when you finished building your 1st version of product

Mehmet Sen

April 9th, 2017

I built and launched recently a location based chat iOS app called Peerit which you can find people and places around you to chat locally. The users can choose to chat on the app or meet in person to share coffee and conversation etc... I have 20 test users which I think was enough the build the 1st version of the product.

However, I am struggling now to find the real early adapters. What channels would you suggest to go with? I don't have a co-founder yet but I have some friends who help me in their free times but it's not enough. In fact, I am mostly technical focused on the product and don't have much time for it.

What ways are out there to find some early adapters?

Rob Hirsch Traveler, nature lover, & entrepreneur

April 11th, 2017

Normally I’d recommend finding your market before building a MVP. You know for a fact people are interested before you spend any time & money building it, you can use their feedback to optimize the product from the beginning, and you can use momentum from the launch to generate buzz.

Since you’re past that point…

  • use targeted Facebook & Twitter ads to find people who’ve liked your competitor
  • sponsor events where people will gather and have questions, like cons, concerts, & other offline events (If your app uses bluetooth to create a mesh network, you can use that to your advantage here)
  • get an apartment complex to use your app so residents can contact them easier
  • partner with a speed-dating company to use your app to meet people instead of meeting in person.
  • start blogging/podcasting/vlogging about something related to your product & something your users care about. Do it every day for 6 months if you can.
  • if you have ANY users, talk to them & find out everything about them. Age, ethnicity, gender, websites they visit, magazines / newspapers they read, social media they use & who they follow, hobbies, education, work, everything. After you have a couple, look for trends.

Finding your market is a rite of passage for founders. Welcome and enjoy.

Dan S. Product Guy (Marketplace MVP launching March 2018)

April 9th, 2017

I downloaded the app - congrats!

I think the thing that would help me as a consumer would be having a clear use case that you really drive home. Maybe as overt as on the splash screen. Second, are you able to target a small specific group to create initial activity?

Zuck used Harvard - it looks like you are at NAU. Can you get an intramural team or frat or study group to use it for a specific purpose? It feels like the early adopters need some specific _reason_ to keep engaging with it.

Can I ask where/who you got the developers to build it? We've got an unrelated service we plan on building very soon and are looking for inexpensive devs.

Carl Hunter Roach @CarlHunterRoach

April 10th, 2017

From an early adopter:

"I downloaded your app but I'm based in the UK - you have no users within 3000 miles of me - so the value of the app to me hit zero.

I could see straight away the 'distance' displayed underneath each profile (although the gray text made it difficult to read) which led me to the conclusion that the App wasn't for me."

A location-based social network is surely a difficultnetwork to get started because early adopters are likely to be isolated from other early adopters. #1 The challenge is to find clusters of early adopters if the sole reason to use the app is to find people in your vicinity. #2 Another other option is to provide a second reason to use the app for early adopters until your usage is high enough that "location" is a valuable quantity within your user base.

Option #1 suggests focusing marketing city by city rather than globally. Option #2 requires further brainstorming.

A social network app needs a viral-marketing element too. e.g., Dropbox gives diskspace to a user for each user they spread Dropbox to encouraging the spread of its product. i.e. you need to use your app's existing user base to find more users rather than relying on $ marketing.

Another angle: deal with a local coffee shop to give discounts to users who meet at the coffee shop, having been introduced by your app. I only suggest this because your App already suggests 'meeting up' as one reason users who use your app.

Chi Chi Founder looking for creative and bright people .

April 9th, 2017

I just send you a message. I'm working on something in similar space and don't mind exchanging ideas. Good luck!

Rey Tamayo Founder and CEO at ReyNovation, Tech Startup Strategy and Product Development Mentor and Coach.. Author. @phatinnovator

April 10th, 2017

Someone Here mentioned social networks and of course you should have a speedy campaign to post to all social channels early and often. You can get artificial traction using serviceservices in and of course among others for very little cost.

Someone Here mentioned targeted small case groups and mentioned good groups to approach i would add bars, parks (post WE codes so people can dowdownload and hold informal soapbox gathering) games of any kind get the audience for each team trash talk on the app with eaceach other and their opponents, post in trains and buses to get people connected in them etc. These are just some simple growth hacking approaches you can do for little or no money. Hope that helps!

Lenna Mau Starting a community website for counselors

April 9th, 2017

Post about it in Facebook groups and ask for beta testers.

Mehmet Sen

April 9th, 2017

@Dan Cee I developoed it myself.. Unfortunately, I am too busy to spend on another app, thanks for the advice

@Chi Chi please reach me at

Nancy Cao Not-a-jerk MBA who truly wants to make the world a better place

April 11th, 2017

Mehmet, sounds like a cool app!

Do you have a strong sense of WHY those users downloaded your app? Who is experiencing the most "pain", or who stands to gain the most? What kinds of people are the early users hoping to meet and why? The questions to these questions should help you to determine who to target.

In addition to the above, I wonder what core feature is most vital to your early adopters. Focus on perfecting that before all else! How can you "delight" your early users and keep them coming back?

Nishith Gupta Founder, - a professional crowdsourcing platform for Product and UX geeks

April 11th, 2017

Hi Mehmet, as I understand from your query and as other answers have mentioned, I don't think building awareness or getting users to your website or the app page is tough.

The tougher part is to -

a. get conversion i.e. app install

b. engagement and retention - the likes of fiverr can help you even getting the part a, the tougher part will be to engage and retain the users.

For organic adoption or awareness, try targeting local FB groups or probably go more niche by targeting a local FB group for a particular interest.

However, post some pondering, my question to you is more around at product strategy level -

What benefit your app provide apart w.r.t location proximity? For e.g Tinder is focused on singles, so that you can get a date for yourself. So, what's pain point you want to solve with your app. Location is a tech feature now and not probably a user pain point.

Send me a message and I can help you refine it further.

Mehmet Sen

April 11th, 2017

@RobHirsch @CarlHunter @Nishith @Nancy Thank you for all your comments...

I decided to share the lean canvas

Peerit solves the problem of ice-breaker to initiate a conversation inside a community either a coffee shop, apartment complex, college etc.. Basically it promotes conversation for locals