Having a catchy service, design, or other buzz-worthy feature is really important to reach the "critical mass" you speak of. Often you just need to dedicate yourself to building the best (and often most unique) product you can, and someone with an authoritative following and an eye for great products will discover what you've made and share it with their colleagues. Most companies in this day and age seem to build mediocre products, and then spend a fortune blasting news of it on every banner ad, email campaign, and radio/television spot. And in the end, people get suckered, buy crappy services, and the company has lost a future customer (and potentially thousands of others once a review is created).
In my opinion, the companies that are really successful spend more time building GREAT THINGS, and letting others spend the energy talking about it.
-Kevin Elliott "WeLikeFood Beta":http://www.welikefood.com Discover great restaurants. Discover great food enthusiasts with your tastes.
Thank you for your response, jake! Do you have experience with social network marketing? I'm curious about how to reach a "critical mass" which makes a social application appealing to new users. I'm a pupil and I'm working on a dating site as a hobby.
blogging and getting backlinks from highly rated sites, for the first.. adding the site into multiple search engines advertising on gumtree