One of the best ways to promote your app (other than it being extremely awesome on its own, worthy of immediate praise and 5-star ratings) is to incentivize your users to proliferate the Internet and their own friend lists to extol its virtues, or ask for free virtual swag. How exactly is this accomplished? Offering tangible rewards is one good strategy with varied methods of accomplishing it. Another is offering a sense of community that can build organically around your app.

Gifting with Virtual Objects, Free Stuff

In psychology, there is what's known as the rule of reciprocation. Give someone something for free, and most people will feel strongly obligated to not only accept the gift, and when doing so, feel obligated to return the favor. It's one of the core persuasion techniques used by sales people in all walks. How many times have you walked past a person or kiosk giving away free stuff (pamphlet, trinket) only to try your best to ignore them because you know all too well that if you accept it, you're inviting them into a conversation about something you're probably not interested in?

The rule of reciprocation is also true for apps, especially as proven so successfully in Facebook, albeit with some amount of conversion loss. For example, not being face to face with a sales person provides some anonymity, and not being there to accept in real time means there will definitely be conversion rate problems. Still, the rule retains some of ...

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