K-factor And Social K-factor – Viral Coefficients Explained

K-Factor And Social K-Factor - Viral Coefficients Explained

Concentrating on your customer base is one of the most important tasks you need to do for your business as it translates into more profits. Your customer base can actually help you to get more customers.

To help you find out if you’re gaining more customers with the potential for your company to go viral, you need to know your business’s viral coefficient number.

What, exactly, does viral coefficient mean?

Viral coefficient is basically a number that informs you how many customers all your current customers are bringing to your company, on average. It’s also known as K-Factor.

With that in mind, we need to look at how you can calculate your company’s viral coefficient. We’ll also look at Social K-factor and why it’s important.

How To Calculate Your Viral Coefficient Or K-Factor

The K-Factor basically determines two important things that you need to know about your business:

  • How many people are being invited to use your product/service.
  • Of the people that are invited, how many sign up for the product or service

K-Factor has its own formula: k = i * c.

  • “i” refers to the number of invites each customer has directed to your company.
  • “c” refers to the number of conversions, or people that have actually responded, such as by signing up to the product or service.

It’s really easy to find the number of how many people your current customers are directing to your company. Here’s how.

  • Take the number of your current customer base, then multiply this by the number of invites your customers are sending to their friends.
  • If they’re inviting them to your business online, this would make it easier for you to track. If your business is offline, then you’ll need to do some in-depth research to find out how many people each customer is inviting to your company and to find the percentage of those people who become your customers.
  • So, if 90 customers send out 10 invites each, that would translate into 900 invites. If just 5 percent of these people choose to become customers, you’d have 45 new customers.
  • To get your viral coefficient number, you’ll have to divide how many customers you have gained (45) by your number of initial customers (90). As per our example, this will give you a viral coefficient rate of 0.5.

What’s Considered A Good Viral Coefficient? 

Anything less than 1 is considered to be less than satisfactory.

When you have a positive viral coefficient, it means the following:

  • Your customers are receiving a positive experience by doing business with you.
  • You have the right product for the right market – in other words, your product is meeting a need.
  • You have low costs when it comes to customer acquisition.
  • You are setting yourself up to make a profit.

How Can You Improve Your Viral Coefficient Or K-Factor?

Illustration Of Improving Viral Coefficient

You should try to reach a viral coefficient of up to 2 or even higher as this will show greater growth in your company.

You can improve your viral coefficient by looking at how you’re selling your product or service, and the product or service itself.

Is it working? Is it appealing to people? Is it meeting a need in the market?

The bonus of using your current customer base to attract more customers is great because it means you don’t have to worry about costs related to customer acquisition, but you’ll have to ensure you find ways to improve your product or service in order to achieve greater numbers, so your funding should go there.

What About Viral Marketing?

You know how amazing it is to go viral, so imagine if your business could go viral, with more people talking about it and more people being directed to your products or services.

The interesting thing is that a K-factor greater than 1 is considered to be viral. That said, the higher your K-factor the better, as we’ve mentioned earlier.

When we talk about going viral, we need to look at the Social K-Factor. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

What Is The Social K-Factor?

Illustration Of Social Media Activity

The Social K-Factor helps to determine how viral your business is online.

This is important because, as you already know, social media has become a huge part of business marketing.

It’s made it easier to feel connected to customers and reach out to them, as well as to get the attention of more people than what you would do if you followed traditional marketing strategies.

The more “likes” or “shares” your product or service receives on social media, the more you’ll be inching your way towards viral status.

Because social media plays such an important role in marketing, it’s been said that the Social K-Factor could be replacing the K-Factor altogether.

As Engage Social aptly explains, it’s not just about invitees anymore – people who are invited to engage with your product or service have many new ways in which they can interact with your company’s messages, such as by using “likes” and “shares.”

While these aren’t seen as conversion in a traditional sense, they can be impactful.

What makes the Social K-Factor so great is that it has valuable data that you can use to improve your business, unlike vanity metrics that establish your “likes” and followers on social media but don’t give you actionable information you can take to improve your company’s message.

How Is Social K-Factor Calculated?

Math Equation

The Social K-Factor depends on two variables in order to measure how well your company’s content is doing on social media. These are:

  • The Social Coefficient. This measures data such as your content quality on social media and your social networks where your content is being shared.
  • The Sharing Ratio. This measures how popular your content is and how likely it is that it will be shared.

To calculate your Social K-Factor, you’ll use this formula: ks = s * c.

  • “s” is your Social Coefficient
  • “c” is your Sharing Ratio

To establish your Social Coefficient, you’ll need to follow this formula: S = fn (P, Cl, In).

  • “P” is the number of posts
  • “Cl” is the number of clicks
  • “In” is the number of interactions

You want to get as high a number as possible when calculating your Social Coefficient because it means that your content is moving around further and faster on social media.

Smart Ways To Increase Your Company’s Viral Coefficient

Influencer Marketing

To make more of an impact and increase your customer base, you need to ensure you do the following:

  • Make use of trends. Be informed about current trends and don’t be afraid to use them in your marketing efforts. A prime example of how this worked fantastically is the Oreo SuperBowl 2013 campaign. Since there was a power outage in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the game had to be delayed for 32 minutes. Oreo used this as an opportunity for their “Dunk in the Dark” tweet which received 14,000 retweets, as Martech Advisor reports.
  • Collaborate with social media influencers. As long as they’re linked to your industry and message, collaborating with social media influencers can help to get you much more attention on your products and services.
  • Make your content meaningful. You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: if your content doesn’t resonate with your audience, it’s not going to make an impact. Focus on providing quality content that your audience will feel adds value to their lives, as this will be more likely to get shared on social media.
  • Use referrals. While you should always focus on quality when motivating your audience to refer others to your product or service, it’s also a good idea to offer them benefits. For example, Uber gives its customers a free ride credit that’s worth up to $10 for every friend they refer to the company who uses the provided referral code and books a ride.

Related Questions

What is the viral cycle time?

This refers to the time it takes for your first set of customers to look at your message and share it online, which then results in more people looking at it.

The viral cycle time needs to be as low as possible for your company to achieve growth.

What’s the downside of experiencing massive growth when going viral?

You could end up with a decrease of your company’s and product’s overall quality.

This is because you will have to increase manufacturing to meet the intense need, which could cause you to focus on fast service and less on quality.


You probably want your startup to go viral, which is why you need to know how many new customers your current ones are sending your way.

The more people that are being directed to your company and website, and signing up for your products and services, the more attention you’ll get, which will undoubtedly increase your profits and it might even make you trend on Twitter.

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