Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Observation: Signing Up is a Thing of the Past

This is a quick overview of how people behaved when presented with a beta list signup versus social media buttons.

Intention: Measuring Interest

Don't laugh, but I've been having fun trying to predict the actions of the investors on Shark Tank, a show where people pitch their business ideas.  Despite its seemingly mass-media appeal, I think I've gleaned something useful

Below are the things that seem to matter most for negotiating a deal with or impacting the behavior of an investor.
  • Sales
  • Sales
  • Sales
If your idea or product is not at the point of sales yet, you need some hard numbers that could easily turn into sales.  Without that, your ideas are as worthless as any other unvalidated opinion.

When I turned on the tracking for http://liederboard.com, I was surprised at the high amount of traffic.  At the time of this writing, we're nearing 10k hits in a little over a month's time.  Taking a tip from Dropbox's story in Eric Ries's "The Lean Startup", I decided that a more substantial metric could be obtained through beta signups.

Beta Signups

Around July 11th, a beta signup page was implemented in my project.  Here are the figures around the beta signups today.
  • 6 signups total
  • 1 was a test entry from me
  • 5 were from individuals that I directly asked to sign up if they wanted to show their interest
That means that 0 out of at least 3,000+ hits over July 11th - July 22nd signed up purely due to the feature's existence.  Some people would sign up if I asked them to.

Conclusion: there is a strong indication that users are not willing to use forms to sign up for something of interest, regardless of whether interest exists.  A conclusion cannot be made about actual interest.

Social Media Buttons

Observing the failure in the strategy, I implemented social media buttons on the website.  On its first day, the measurable "interest" matched and exceeded the figures portrayed through the beta signup -- don't get too excited as not even double digits were required to accomplish that.

With no announcement, post, or any real attempts to propagate the feature beyond natural interaction and testing, the social media buttons stand with these figures.

There were over 1,000 hits on that first day, but that may have been due to repetitive testing and iteration.

Okay, So How Do I Do It?

My most effective method for the How To of social media buttons was to search on Google.  Seriously, if you enter "Google+ button" or "Twitter button", you will usually see an official page that will give you the code to paste into your HTML.  The buttons themselves work in javascript.

Here are the pages I used.

Google+ Button


Twitter Button


Facebook Button


LinkedIn Button

Note that if you want to point to a company page, you have to have a company page on LinkedIn.  That deterred me from implementing the LinkedIn button, but the page below has a "share" button that I might also incorporate later.


Pinterest Button

Scroll past the useless information at the top which will otherwise make you mistake it for an FAQ.


Reddit Button


Share the Wealth!

Hope that helps you gauge effectively.  Don't forget to +1/Like/Tweet/etc. my project!  If you're a redditor (boo to 9gag), imagine all the karma you'll get by submitting my project to a subreddit like music, musicians, or sheetmusicexchange!

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