Journey from hobby website to microbusiness

Experience with social media

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Social media grew a lot over the time I worked on the site. Every now and then, I would read a lot about how it could do wonders for web traffic. I tried different social media strategies and here I would like to share my experience with those. Note that this experience may not apply to other sites, I think it depends on the genre of the site.

My initial attempts was to try social bookmarking sites such as Digg, Del.ico.ous and StumbleUpon. My experience with these was mixed - the first 2 hardly worked. Stumble Upon provided the best results, with sustained increase in traffic for a while. Unfortunately, the traffic from these bookmarking sites tends to drop off over time.

I also tried Facebook and Twitter. I never really understood Twitter very well - it seems to work only for those with a large following. I got almost no traffic from Twitter and I hardly got any followers. I left my account untouched for months and apparently this is the case for lots of other people as well. Facebook was a bit better and while it does not bring sustained traffic, it does drive occassional spurts.

The best social media site that worked for my site was Linkedin. I think that is because caters to technical professionals. Linkedin discussions in various groups are also a great way to get feedback from a very specific target audience. Linkedin is a great way to reach out to a target audience.

The most dramatic effect on traffic came from Reddit. It resulted in 10,000 page views over less than a day. Unfortunately, most visits from it lasted only a few seconds and the traffic dried up in a couple of days. While Reddit can bring lot of traffic, it does not necessarily bring the kind of traffic the web site really needs.

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