I have a site that I am getting ready to launch out of Beta very soon. I would like to take advantage of promoting the site through FaceBook and Twitter. I have recently created accounts on there and plan to add more updates as the days go by. I was wondering what kind of results have people gotten when they put their sites on other social networks like the ones I mentioned. Did it help with retention and bring more users? Did you not see any perceived benefits? How much of your time was spent updating these sites?
Any feedback is much appreciated.
I agree with the comments given that relying on Twitter and Facebook alone will not make your site popular and that other forms of marketing will need to be involved.
Case in point, a couple days ago I was at an Entrepreneur Expo (along with about 40 other start-ups) to promote and showcase my site to people attending the event. The site got great feedback and people wanted to sign-up and use the product that day for their businesses. Based on what my site does offer, not many people have seen a product like this available for small businesses. So what my site does bring to the table is a lot when compared to other products like it and people really got into it once they understood how they could utilize it (doing the live demos reinforced this). From a marketing standpoint, the site design needs to better show case what it offers. We recently updated the Features page to better explain the offerings as a result of the Expo, but we have more to do. One of the good things that came out of physically talking to people about my site was that there was another start-up that is currently getting thousands of hits a month, which complemented my site. They wanted to do cross advertising with us, which would increase traffic and conversion rates. If the Expo was any indicator, we were one of the crowd favorites from the hundreds that attended, which I think is a good sign.
Well, my startup did just start ;) but I was totally surprised that it only took some days and my Facebook page outranked my real website on Google. And this without any noticeable visitor increase. To be honest I didn't really use Facebook as I could but just wanted to "have a presence" there for now.
Unfortunately the benefits and ROI of using social media are much more measurable for large companies than they are for small ones. Which may make it seem risky (because you could be spending your time doing something more measurable).
Large companies can dedicate resources, hire someone specifically for their SM and they have a strong brand. However, I have only had great results when using social media to promote my small businesses, so perhaps some of my insights will be useful:
I've missed out the standard stuff people will tell you... I've missed out the most-over used word in social media: "ENGAGE". I am sure you can find a lot more about these from reading the blogs and books of the experts.
I think you have an exceptionally tough road ahead of you. Here is why:
What you have to do is extend your time horizon, and figure out how to make your product so extraordinary and better than existing solutions that people and publications will want to write about you, and users will want to use your site. If they have an exceptional experience on your site, that is when they will recommend it to friends and you can leverage social media.
1) You are in a highly competitive space.
2) You will have very little success with SEO because you just won't be able to outrank the top-10 sites.
3) For your niche, social media is tough because finding jobs is not social, and it isn't fun. Those are two factors that contribute to others sharing content using FB, Twitter, StumbleUpon, etc.
4) Because you are in such a competitive space, buying traffic will be very expensive
Best of luck!