There’s been an abundance of resources lately on the best tactics to use to get featured on Product Hunt. One thing that that isn’t covered as much, however, is what to actually do the day you get hunted, besides becoming famous and buying gold chains for your team.
Here’s a recap of some of the things that we’ve learned since getting hunted, as well as tips we’ve received from the startups that we’ve worked with for Startuplister.
2 quick and obvious reminders: Watch your server and hope you don’t get the hug of death. Set up a service like Pingometer to monitor uptime. Also, you have analytics setup, right? RIGHT! If not, get Clicky on your site for instant tracking.
As soon as you are hunted, add a comment on the thread and introduce yourself. Avoid trying to make the big pitch here, just be real, tell your story, and thank the community. For inspiration, look at some of the top hunted products and how the founders introduced themselves.
Update 3/25/2015: Here’s another great example of introducing yourself. Ivan Kirigin of YesGraph took a photo of himself and included it on the introudction message.
Setup Mention.com or Notify.ly
It can be overwhelming to be able to track and measure all conversations that are happening about your hunted product, but it’s important to have a high-level view of the landscape. I’ve enjoyed using Mention, but there are other great tools out there as well. If you’re using Slack, I’d recommend Notify.ly to get slack notifications for each mention.
Also, for good measure I’d set up a notification for Product Hunt Alert in the event that your domain is mentioned elsewhere on Product Hunt.
Add Related Links
If you’re a mobile app, be sure to add the appropriate links under your Product Hunt submission. If you have any relevant press or publications posted recently, you can also add that relevant content to your post.
Add your Teammates
PH has a great feature where you can add the folks that were a part of the team. Do that as soon as you can to wrap in your teammates to the thread.
Thank The Hunter
I would do this almost immediately. Tweet to them, follow them, and thank them. They put their social karma on the line to vouch for your company, show them the love.
Add a Referral Message
It’s a common practice now to add a referral message (or best case scenario, use a custom landing page) on your website with a special greeting for all Product Hunt users. Add in the Glasshole Kitty icon. Algolia did a great job with custom copy for their Product Hunt traffic. If you’re in a hurry and can’t build a custom referral message on your site/app, you can use Hello Bar and use their service which allows for a custom message based on referrer.
Offer an Exclusive
If you’re able to offer a discount to the Product Hunt community, you can either mention that in your introduction message, or send a request to the Product Hunt team using this form to outline your exclusive. Getting an exclusive star on your Product Hunt post can help improve the visibility of your submission.
Follow Everyone who Upvotes
Since Product Hunt utilizes Twitter for login, many of the folks that use Product Hunt inherently are on Twitter. Leverage this fact. Every single upvote that you receive on Product Hunt, you should both follow that user on Product Hunt as well as Twitter. I recommend using a service like Manage Flitter to help follow users in bulk.
Provide Metric Updates
The PH community loves post-mortem reviews of the traffic, signups, and revenue. Start tracking reviewing metrics of sign ups, registrations, traffic, tweets, and mentions on other blogs and revenue. This will be very nice to have in anticipation for follow-up blog posts. I’d even recommend posting some stats and numbers on Twitter as the day unfolds.
Post to your Networks.
As soon as your startup is on Product Hunt, you should broadcast to as many outlets as possible. Don’t ask for upvotes, it’s against the terms of Product Hunt, and it won’t help. Here’s what their terms say:
“People should upvote things they genuinely like or find interesting, not because they were peer pressured to do so. Feel free to spread the word and bring friends into the discussion, but asking or incentivizing people to upvote may trigger the algorithm to drop the product in the ranks or remove it from the front page entirely.”
However, do provide a link to your hunted startup, and let the community decide if your product is worthy. However, the more eyes that see your post, the better the chances you’ll rise to the top. Here are a few ideas of great things to do to announce your hunted startup:
- Send a quick newsletter update.
- Add a blog post with a link to the Product Hunt Post.
- Use Spruce or Pablo to post an tweet with an image announcing that you’ve been hunted.
- Schedule 3-5 additional posts on Buffer mentioning you’ve been featured on Product Hunt.
- Also, post to your networks regularly throughout the day with updates on your stats from your traffic.
- Join or post to your startup Facebook groups. For example 7 Day Startup or How to Start a Startup.
- Make an Instagram post.
- Text and email to friends & family.
Follow the Product Hunt Influencers
Following the major influencers on Product Hunt will increase your chances that they’ll see your startup has been hunted, and potentially retweet to your followers. You can get a list of the Product Hunt leaderboard and sort the hunters by the # of followers. Probably not worth following Snoop Dogg (or isn’t it Lion?)
Create a Twitter Ad
After you’ve tweeted a few times on Twitter, try create a small campaign on Twitter Ads to increase the tweet engagement of your 3-5 Product Hunt tweets. You can create a Twitter ad with a highly targeted audience of Product Hunt followers to make sure that your campaign is getting in front of the right eyes and users on Twitter. I’ve had decent success with a $30-$50 ad campaign to increase twitter engagement on a few tweets.
Go to ads.twitter.com, setup an account and create a campaign for “tweet engagement”. One of the target audience parameters you can specify when creating your ad is similar users to a Twitter follower. Add Product Hunt as the username, and your tweets should be highly targeted to product loving folks.
This was a roundup of some of the things that worked great for us as well as best practices spotted in the community. What worked best for you when your product was featured on Product Hunt. We’d love to hear from you!
Product Hunt also sends a daily email of the previous days Product Hunt submissions. If you’re lucky enough to be in the top tier and included in this list, you can expect to receive another influx of traffic.
Daily Hunt Podcast
Daily Hunt does a great job of interviewing founders of Product Hunt folks. If you’d like to get featured or interviewed, reach @joshmuccio and let him know you were hunted! If you aren’t able to get an interview the day of, he is doing a TBT feature.
Write a Post-Mortem
With all the stats that you’ve collected, write a post-mortem and detail the successes, failures, and feedback you’ve recieved from the holy limelight of Product Hunt. There are hundreds of great examples, but here’s one of my favorite from the #2 most hunted product.
Update your PH Introduction
After all is said and done, go back to your original introduction and give an update, thank everyone, and even link to a post-mortem blog post.