Sometimes marketing your app brings results worse than expected. And sometimes you do things not worth doing.
The simplest way to increase traffic to your product seems to be by posting links on social media. So, as a young startup, we have decided to make a little experiment.
There are threads for naming your favorite apps and there are threads for posting your own apps. The difference is significant but it is too tempting not to bend the rules. Especially that others do the same. According to our estimates, up to 10% of comments in name-your-fave-app threads are nothing but shameless self-promotion.
We find 4 threads on 4 popular sites and post our project. It takes some 20 minutes altogether.
The question is: would it increase our traffic at all? Or is it just a complete waste of time?
Posting on Quora
Which browser extension do you find most useful and why your own?
There are thousands of questions related to naming apps on Quora. The one we choose was asked over 7 years ago and has now, at the moment of writing, 22,957 views, 133 public followers, and 40 answers, including ours.
Our submission gets 108 views and generates 2 landing page entries. Less than 0,5% conversion rate. Other entrepreneurs clearly struggled with the same issue. Most of their startups are already dead.
Outcome = 2 entries.
Posting on Reddit
Friendly feedback exchange with yourself
This lovely subreddit https://www.reddit.com/r/startups/ has started a tradition of weekly threads. One of them is Feedback Friday.
There are 27 comments this week, about a dozen submissions, some with details. Most of them don’t even have an upvote. Or a comment. Nothing. And 8 out of 8 people we have interviewed tell us they have not noticed any traffic generated by the thread. Neither have we.
Outcome = 0 traffic.
Posting on Twitter
What’s the best Chrome extension you’ve created in a while?
Product Hunt is big on Twitter with 394k followers. Yet it takes 8 days for their tweet to get… 18 retweets, 96 likes and 109 answers. Some replies get popular with 20+ likes, but they contain stuff like ”firefox”. Mentioning your own project never gets you beyond 9 likes. And traffic? Not really. In our case 48 tweet views, 0 likes, 0 traffic. The top score of a twitterer we talk with is 7 entries.
Outcome = 0 traffic.
Posting on Indie Hackers
Let yourself describe what your company does
Now that was slightly better. But please note we deal with a different concept here: “Visit someone else's landing page for 10 seconds, then come back and tell them what you think their product does. Link to your own landing page, but don't say anything about it.” The moment we last checked the thread had 60 upvotes and 375 answers. Most of them were just comments on previous comments. We manage to get 1 comment and 14 entries in 30 days.
Outcome = 14 entries
Let us sum it up: 20 minutes = 4 submissions = no traffic to very little traffic.
Verdict: Waste of time.
If you happen to find a name-your-startup thread, sure, why not, spend a moment and post your work. But treating it as anything more than a coffee break activity will be totally ineffective.
Is it the same with submitting startups to directories? We are going to tell you soon. Stay tuned.
Your experience was different? Leave a comment!