Succeeding Because of Social; Learn from The Must-Try App Waze

At first glance, the app Waze seems like any other GPS map showing traffic. So what has set it apart from the rest and made it the fastest growing traffic and navigation app? Nothing but its captivating use of social media.

Many companies struggle to get people engaging with their brand and have difficulties incorporating social into their business. Waze is now setting the example for businesses everywhere, by turning the mundane everyday task of traffic into a very social affair.

As a snapshot of the app’s success, Waze was awarded the “Best Overall App of the Year” at the Mobile World Congress and was bought by Google in June. We can all learn from Waze’s incredible success story; here are a few key points that help them succeed at keeping their users engaged (and in many cases addicted) to their app.


Traffic is a pain. But it is a pain for everyone. Within the first 5 minutes of using Waze you learn that there is something comforting seeing hundreds or thousands of people (the app informs you exactly how many “wazers” are in your area) stuck in the same frustrating situation as you. The community established makes you feel a part of something bigger on your (sometimes lonely and lengthy) commute. To deepen the sense of community and tie in a social aspect to the app, Waze allows users to connect with their Facebook friends, letting you to see where your friends are on the road. The ability to “Map Chat” and share pictures with other wazers adds to the excitement of the social media connection in this app.

Contribution and Engagement

Unlike most traffic resources, Waze strongly encourages their users to actively report traffic, cops, and accidents. With each user having their own appearance and nickname, Waze does a great job at making every traffic report feel personal. By being the first one to alert others about an accident up ahead, you not only feel the instant gratification of helping others, but also get notified by Waze of how many people have “thanked” you for alerting them. And from the other end, it is a surprisingly refreshing feeling getting a traffic alert knowing that one of your many wazer friends has done a kind deed to help you out. Simply by making the delivery of traffic reports more social, Waze has added an emotional effect to the typically boring news.


Along with the fuzzy feeling you get from helping out others, Waze has also set up an awards system to further motivate you to engage with the app. The system is all based on points; you earn points by reporting events around you or simply driving with the app open. Reaching higher levels grants you access to customization for your wazer and a shield, sword, or crown to show off your points to other users. By introducing this competitive feature, Waze keeps users engaging with the app and sharing their rank via Facebook and twitter (thus exponentially growing their amount of users).

Who knew that traffic could be so social? Businesses in every market can learn from Waze about how to incorporate social and use it to your advantage. Know any other companies that are ahead of the pack because of social? Share below.