TweetMiner is just starting to build some buzz...
Currently there are 1247 free users and 23 paying users
My strategy so far has been to promote TweetMiner via my Twitter stream @justinvincent and and to pay a lot of attention to what users want via the http://getsatisfaction.com/tweetminer page. Essentially the strategy has been very personal and word of mouth.
Full stats can be seen on this page here
To make TweetMiner a sustainable business I would need to build it up to a point where I have 30k-50k registered free users.
My question is, what do you think I should do next to start creating more of an exponential growth curve?
(Or do you think I should just keep focusing on customer support and word of mouth and hope that the exponential growth curve kicks in of it's own accord?)
All thoughts and advice much appreciated!
Firstly, congrats on starting to generate the buzz...
I think your main initial focus should be on customer support and product improvement till you can improve the metrics of the product. What metrics matter? Dave McClure's presentation on Startup Metrics should work well for you: http://500hats.typepad.com/500blogs/2007/09/startup-metrics.html As you make progress with that try focusing on different marketing strategies. You eventually need to have a presence not just on twitter, but also to try to become a destination blog and by guest posting on other blogs. Ideally doing this establish yourself as a thought leader and will not only drive better ideas to you to refine your product but will also get users to hear about your product.
As you get some of the more basic marketing moving, try considering partnering with related companies/products (like twitterhawk).
Best of luck!
Congrats on getting traction!
Dave McClure's Startup Metrics is awesome, though overnight success usually takes many years of hardwork.
The resources I would like to add are the following -
Another thing to note, there is no link to pricing information on your site currently - while I am guessing that you are looking to convert folks to use it after they have signed up - the disadvantage is that companies that would be keen to resell this service, or recommend it to their clients, may have difficulty finding out what the cost is.
Your service seems prime for media agencies and and their clients to use.
In summary, both Crossing the Chasm and Tipping Point talks a lot about community adoption, which in momentum drives up the usage - an interesting observation of this growth is stackoverflow.com - which when they first started out, focused on software developers. Stackoverflow recently moved into high gear with penetration into different segments of their own, such as superuser.com and serverfault.com. In fact, this site is an extension of their model where the software is now used by communities for startups, parents, gamers and a lot more.
The key in the first step is to saturate a niche fully well - and thus in your case is to look at your most active users - and look to identify who and where else can you find more clients like them.
All the best!
Indeed, congratulation you for your success!
I'd personally recommend to improve your homepage, first. After all, your target audience consists of Twitter users and good stuff is viral by nature on Twitter. It should grow fast if everything's right. If it isn't, there are probably problems elsewhere. I suspect the homepage. Some suggestions:
Hope this helps.