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  1. #1
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    Genius ways to promote social network

    My team and I have (mostly) completed a site a couple of days ago and placed it live (it's in my sig if interested.) We want to really begin pushing promotion in early January and we've been brainstorming on what the best way to get people to check out the site and above all register would be. We do have some capital to invest, but ideally we'd like to stick within the parameters of a bootstrapped startup and pull off as much for free as we can.

    I've submitted the site today to various CSS design galleries (cssremix.com, cssbeauty.com, cssmania.com etc.) and we've gotten fairly decent exposure from cssmania since they're the first to accept us. We're also thinking of contacting fashion and eco-friendly blogs to see if they like our app and would write about it, although for most of the popular ones we would expect to pay. Also, we started using Squidoo and StumbleUpon to see if we can target some randoms.

    Does anyone have any strategies they use to market social networking sites?
    http://shownd.com - Your free online design portfolio.
    http://rehashclothes.com - Swap your clothes.
    http://orpheuxdesign.com - My design studio.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Enthusiast Eric Engel's Avatar
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    I would start by going to the places frequented by bargain hunters (second hand clothes buyers). Go to ebay, craigslist, and such. Post a few auctions or sales with links to your site.

  3. #3
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    Hmm, good suggestions, however most of those sites wouldn't be ideal to post auctions in since nothing is for sale, and rather for trade.
    http://shownd.com - Your free online design portfolio.
    http://rehashclothes.com - Swap your clothes.
    http://orpheuxdesign.com - My design studio.

  4. #4
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    Try to run some contests of who will get the most number sign-ups. But this should be done within a month time and the sign-ups should be active, meaning the account is log on once in 2 or 3 days to prevent users from creating multiple accounts. Try to make the rules strict but easy to follow.

  5. #5
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    OK, in the last 11 days since launching we've gotten:

    5,024 visits and 16,714 page views.

    Not much heavy promotion has been done since we're working on completing a couple of other things first, but still that's a pretty decent rate for the first 11 days. We've only gotten 50 registrations. Is it pretty normal in the beginning to get a (staggering) like 10,000% more views than (free, of course) registrations? I know more visits than registrations is a definite thing, but I was wondering what the "normal rate" is.
    http://shownd.com - Your free online design portfolio.
    http://rehashclothes.com - Swap your clothes.
    http://orpheuxdesign.com - My design studio.

  6. #6
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    I have no idea what sort of rate you would be expecting for a site like yours. The normal recommended methods of increasing sign ups, such as putting content in members only areas just wouldn't work for a site like yours.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast Eric Engel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by realmadrid2727 View Post
    Hmm, good suggestions, however most of those sites wouldn't be ideal to post auctions in since nothing is for sale, and rather for trade.


    Yes, but this is where a lot of those people are. In order to get their attention, find something to sell, and use the opportunity to advertise.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I think thier is a site that lets people take things other people want to get rid of. try buying add on that site i am sure some will use your site.

  9. #9
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    The thing is I'm not sure using pay-ads for this type of site is the best idea, since we're not selling a product. Our revenue is generated by ads, and if we spend money to get people to come over to our site so we can generate income, it seems like an illogical cycle. If, for instance, the site sold something I can understand. You pay (just putting a nice round number out there) $2.00 per click and the visitor comes in and buys a $100 product, then those $2.00 were worth it. However, in an ad-revenue site if you spend $2.00 for a click so that person comes to your site, it seems like money is lot.

    Frankly, I don't know enough about ad marketing to see if there's a flaw in my explanation there. But it just seems like if spending money on ads for people come over to your site and *maybe* spend enough time on it to eventually (at least) cause enough impressions/clicks on your ads to break even on what you spent getting them there in the first place isn't the best way to go about it.

    Wow, that was a long run-on sentence. Obviously, viral marketing would be the way to go in this scenario, the tough part is figuring out where to "release your virus", so to speak. Saying "MySpace and Facebook" is easy enough, but getting a hold of that momentum is important.
    http://shownd.com - Your free online design portfolio.
    http://rehashclothes.com - Swap your clothes.
    http://orpheuxdesign.com - My design studio.

  10. #10
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    I can really see where you problems lie, as this is a fairly unique thing that you are trying to do. There are many websites out there that as a small part of the forum they have a section that deals with clothes selling or swapping. Perhaps it would be of benefit to somehow post there with your link in the sig.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard esds's Avatar
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    It is easier if you have pretty nice group already either in facebook or myspace.

  12. #12
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    I'm not sure a facebook group will be all that good a method since even the group would have to be hit upon or advertised some how.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Member design.doc's Avatar
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    Then how do the "some cool folks" people get their pics up on the myspace homepage? Do they pay for it or is it just random?

  14. #14
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    That's a really good question. I have no idea whether it is just a randomly rotating thing, or if those on the front page are somehow there because they were voted there.

  15. #15
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by realmadrid2727 View Post
    OK, in the last 11 days since launching we've gotten:

    5,024 visits and 16,714 page views.

    Not much heavy promotion has been done since we're working on completing a couple of other things first, but still that's a pretty decent rate for the first 11 days. We've only gotten 50 registrations. Is it pretty normal in the beginning to get a (staggering) like 10,000% more views than (free, of course) registrations? I know more visits than registrations is a definite thing, but I was wondering what the "normal rate" is.
    Something I came across almost two years ago was a chart detailing the number of visitors to registered members to actual users. Generally it works to the 10,000 > 100 > 1 rules, meaning out of 25,000 users, 250 will register for your website, and 2 will actually become regular customers.

    As far as advertising goes, perhaps it would be a good idea to tap certain markets, like students. Go to a campus somewhere, armed with a box of shirts with your website on it, and hand them out for free to people. Perhaps even sponsor a club night and get the DJ to give away posters and shirts with your website on it. I've known bands do it before, so perhaps your business will benefit. Get some shirts with funny slogans, put your address on it and give them out on a students night and you'll be sure to get at least a few visitors.

    Your idea reminds me a lot like Threadless before it became popular, so perhaps tending to the Threadless community would be a good idea? There are loads of people out there who practically collect shirts from there so they'd be a good group to advertise to. Perhaps even sending an email to Threadless might get you some exposure?

    I notice that you have a Blog set up. Perhaps a 'rehash of the week' would be a good idea? It'll make users feel wanted and give them a bit of an ego boost knowing that their taste in clothes is amazing and would probably make them share their amazing clothes again.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the suggestions, Ultimate.

    Offline marketing we've got plans for. We're all in college (grads and undergrads) and there are 3 major universities within a 10 mile radius from us, so that's one way we'll be out there promoting. Online promotion is what's confusing me.

    As for the blog, it's for dev team news and junk. Stuff like "Rehash of the Week" would be in the articles section, or its own subsection within it. We're actually planning something similar to that. Again, thanks for the advice.
    http://shownd.com - Your free online design portfolio.
    http://rehashclothes.com - Swap your clothes.
    http://orpheuxdesign.com - My design studio.

  17. #17
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    Facebook and Myspace definitely help out a lot. I started a group for my social networking website, did searches on both facebook and myspace for my targeted audience, and just started sending out requests. Some people will hate the idea, some will accept it and never look again, but for the few who accept you AND love your idea, those members will be like gold.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Member christieargyle's Avatar
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    From an SEO perspective, using facebook, myspace and the social nets work if you are out there posting links back to those pages, and then having those socnet pages lead back to you. That's one way, and really, it's no different than paid searches or pay-per-click ads, just that you have to hustle your links out there yourself.


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