Skip to:

Promoting a Social Network. Discuss.

  • flynn


    Hey all,

    I have a non-technical question to pose:

    What have you found to be useful, and/or useless, where promoting your network is concerned?

    Having put in the time in on the technical details, the Game Studies Network ( is finally ready to go. I’ve been planning on making some “how to use our site” videos to help new users with basic network/WP functions. But the focus first is getting new users.

    So, if you don’t mind sharing, what helped you increase traffic and build your network?

    ~ Aaron – A community of academics and persons interested in game, and new media studies.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • I search twitter for people using various key words, then I send them messages :)



    SEO… submit your site to Google, Yahoo and various web directories, write good blog articles relevant to your niche and link to your interior pages. Submit your articles to social sites like Digg and Mixx… pray that it becomes popular ;)

    SEO isn’t an exact science… but it helps.

    Like DJPaul said, also network with others with similar interests (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Write guest posts on their site (if they have one), etc.



    My social network is based around a city, so I ran a contest on the homepage that asked people to identify a landmark in a picture i posted. To enter they had to send their answer to me on the website. It worked pretty well.

    Twitter is amazing. Become an authority on Twitter for whatever your network is about.



    Also if we had a reliable Invite friends plugin using something like Open Inviter with tons of networks to import contacts from that would really help because I have like 700 friends on Facebook, MySpace and Friendster. and about 250 followers on Twitter. I agree with everyone else who has posted as well.


    Perhaps, but personally I dislike spam inviter tools (see what I did there?).



    I’ve begun tweeting things from the GSN, it seems to be working a bit. And I’ve had a few sign ups from talks that I’ve done, but now I’ve found a problem…

    Seems that a year or so ago someone already started a Ning account targeted to more or less my target market. While I feel that BP’s offerings are better (and the GSN damn sure looks better), how does one compete with Ning?



    The way you compete with an established player is to offer content (and not just functionality) that they don’t have. You and I might agree that Ning is lacking, but it’s good enough for a lot of people to stick around, so it might be worth pitching the site in a different way other than focusing on the “whiz-bang.”

    With a narrowly-focused subject like yours, it might be better to directly engage with groups active in that topic/space. Since your site has an academic bent, it would be good to talk with programs and/or publications that serve that audience, including subject-specific blogs that you can potentially cross-promote with (have you tried pitching to the editors of gaming sites?). Don’t be afraid to “cold call.” :)

    My current side project ( has an academic component too and so far we’ve only communicated that we relaunched the site as an “online magazine / social network” (sometimes specificity is lost on people, so don’t bother mention BP immediately) to a few key folks and we now have a number of interviews lined up with journals and an academic publication (we got that one through a generous Twitter contact). We’re hoping that’ll steamroll into more publicity which should help fuel the viral buzz.



    I worked with building a website for academics in psychology in my country. After two years of hard work the website lives on its own pretty much. I’ve found that in my population of interest there’s 1 out of 10 who will actively participate; write something. The rest will just read and lurk. That means that you should calculate with this in mind.

    You could always try to partner with that Ning-network and build something with them. If you’ve got an interesting system they might be interested.

    I’m about to build my second community and have lots of contacts to get help from now. I’ve got them from the first project so all the hard work has paid off. I’m going to ask them to help me. They will be able to invite people to the network (WPMU plugin). It won’t be spam like (as per DJ Pauls comment).



    I’ve had some immediate success with Twitter, which I have to say, I’ve found to be surprising. I’ve been playing with Twitter for years and never had this kind of response, I suppose the explosion of Twitter’s popularity is to thank for that.

    I think you’re likely right Tore, budding up with currently established Ning communities might be the ticket. Advertising as a one-click site creation tool for academics seems to get peoples attention as most people in academics aren’t capable, or don’t care to build a site for themselves.

    Andre, you have an interesting idea, using journals and academic publications as an advertising medium. There are a few fledgling gaming journals, getting published would likely not be difficult. Any tips in that area?

    Also, for those using Twitter, after some looking I found TweetDeck ( which is like the Twitter command program! It makes managing multiple accounts, topic and user searches, and watching for mentions / messages super easy. It makes running a Twitter campaign almost too easy.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • The topic ‘Promoting a Social Network. Discuss.’ is closed to new replies.
Skip to toolbar