I’m not a huge fan of advertising to begin with, but I think histolines.com is a great tool that people will embrace and I should let them know about it. But at the moment it’s just a personal project and it has no money to help advertise so how do I let people know about it. There are about a million sources that tell you how to do various parts of it and I’ve been reading up on them and here is what I have found useful to me.
First tell all your friends about it, which is not as easy as it sounds one just a quick post on facebook usually only reaches 10 % of your friends. Post when you have momentum aka when you have posted a few other things that have gotten a lot of likes.
Then I made a Page and invited all my friends again only about 10 percent of my facebook friends liked it. Makes me feel shitty about the quality of my friendships but again not that many people I know have a passion for history.
If not that many people I know like what I want to say lets go to the people who like my topic and ask them to be my friends. But I like my facebook and I didn’t want to add few thousand strangers to my friends list. I made myself an alter ego. Adding the first 100 random friends on facebook is not hard but then facebook figures out you are up to no good, they send you a few warnings and then they block you from adding friends for a few days. But the mean thing they do is classify your account as spam and it assigns this status to every page you are associated with. So now every time I share a link I have to type in a picture code and every time someone clicks on my link it asks them if its spam. Knowing this I would have not created my Alter ego or would have been a lot more careful with him. Now I have based him in London, do an occasional fake check in at a bar over there with a picture post. Added a fake university and only add people who live in London. Perhaps one day that will help. And why London, I needed a place with a lot of English speaking historians that is outside of US. It was not that hard of a choice. If I was in fashion I would probably anchor myself in Paris or Milan.
If you start making a facebook add and stop facebook will send you a 50 dollar certificate. The certificate only applies to the user it was sent to and you have to provide a credit card to use it. But if you get two certificates for two users and use one credit card facebook will yell at you and will not let you run your adds. The reason why facebook is so cautious with all this spam protection is obvious, and as a general user I understand it and respect it. So I looked at other sources to get the message out.
One my friends pointed out that histolines at least while its not fully populated will appeal more to professional researchers. With in a few clicks seemingly everyone I added to my linked in network would accept me back and these were professors, museum curators, PHD candidates etc. My favorite part was I was recommended for my skills in history by 3 people that have never met me. But now every time I post an update or a picture about histolines I will have professional historians looking at it. And its not that hard to make the connection that you care about the industry that you work in, so finding target demographics is not hard at all. I started by connecting with a few curators of history groups. Rather surprisingly the quickly accepted my request and then since I have this fairly powerful connection my request carried great momentum into making me several hundred linked in connections in my target demographics in a matter of 24 hours that will repeatedly see my content as I post it.
There are various other ways to get the word out and there is no simple way to do it just keep getting the information out there and hopefully someone will hear you. Just leverage your modern platforms to talk to people that are most likely to listen