This is a guest post from M. Farouk Radwan of optimistnet.com.
In April 2014, I launched my social network www.optimistnet.com, and by the beginning of May we already had 180,000 page views and a few thousands registered users.
Our Alexa Rank jumped from 4 million in the beginning of May to 680K in a very short period of time, and we had more than 5,000 posts made on the network in the first month by our visitors.
It seems like a successful launch right?
Well in this article, I will tell you exactly what we did in order to reach those numbers in that extremely short period of time.
It was the third attempt
People always see successful projects then believe they were an overnight success, but in fact behind each success story are some failures you never knew about.
Even though our launch was successful in the first month, the reason we made it is that we failed twice before with two different social networks.
I launched my first social network in 2012, and only got 60 members in two months. I launched the second in early 2013, only to stop working on it due to serious troubles with the developing company.
So the success that happened with optimistnet.com was due to the incremental learning process that we went through.
People want to feel special
A few days before the launch, I said that a few people would be selected to be among the beta testers of optimistnet, and the response was impressive. 200 volunteers gave me their names and within 24 hours we had 250 registered users.
Remember when Google plus was an invitation-only site? Everyone was dying to join it because people want to feel special.
People are extremely curious
When you don’t make your marketing message clear (during the first few days of course), people become extremely curious to know more about your business. What is that yellow logo with a smiling face? What does your social network do? What can we find inside it?
In the first few days, the marketing team and me changed our profile pictures on Facebook to optimistnet’s logo (a yellow smiling face) and shortly everyone we knew was asking “what is that?”
Target an already existing need
No matter how great your marketing is, you will never get recurring visitors unless people really need your product. The reason we launched optimistnet is that we noticed that Facebook newsfeed had become extremely negative in a way that ruins the mood of so many people.
In other words, we discovered that people need to spend sometime on a positive social network in order to counter the negativity they come across in their lives. As a result we had recurring visitors from day one. Almost 57% of the people who visited the site returned back again.
Always search for unmet needs people have, and you will be able to create amazing products.
Make the process of signing up extremely simple
With each text field you add to the registration process, you lose more potential visitors. Make the signup process as simple as possible so that you convert the largest number of users. What’s even better is to add the option to sign up through Facebook.
Earlier, people used to be scared to use that option, but these days more and more people are getting comfortable with it. More than half of those who registered at my network did it using Facebook sign up.
Design the site for the impatient person
There are some patient people out there but most internet users are not patient and are not as computer savvy as you are. The extreme simplicity of the design we used made it so easy for people to write posts.
Most of the people who signed up at optimistnet found it very easy to understand what the site does and to make their first post. In one of my previous social networks that didn’t make it, and assuming that users were extremely computer-literate was the main reason we failed.
Don’t expect quick success
While we had a great launch, you should understand that each case might be different. Some sites start slow then take off fast, others take years before they become popular. So becoming popular fast is not the rule, but it’s the exception.
In short know that its possible to rise fast but don’t get disappointed if it doensn’t happen to you.
M.Farouk Radwan Is the founder of www.optimistnet.com, The Social Network For Positivity and Motivation.