Early Stage Company Development · Retention

I am looking suggestions to improve user retention for a new social media portal I am working on

Cumhur Murat Topbas CEO of MyEye (Social Media Portal):+15 years in Finance & BI in 4 countries, MBA

September 1st, 2019

Social media portal/platform is already active with few thousand users and I am able to acquire new users at a relatively affordable rate through key word search marketing. My problem is user retention which is less than 5% on monthly basis. Website has a local community focus in other words membership is based on zip code and new signups can only see and interact with users in same area. Even most popular zip codes have currently only few dozen users and that makes user experience somewhat dull. I expected this problem so users can also see other social media posts in that zip code and schedule posts to other networks, but this feature do not generate level of positive impact I hoped it would. I am planing to conduct user acquisition campaigns focus on specific zip codes

rich in early adopters, but would be happy to hear other suggestions and learn from experience of any other member who had similar challenges

David Insro Founder & CEO, Serial Entrepreneur

September 2nd, 2019

Local community social media took off a couple of years ago but the problem is that they became toxic places. The response was bans which I thought was the incorrect approach. They should have treated complaints as an opportunity rather then something unwanted.


Getting users via online marketing is a really bad idea to get something off the ground. One example is Airbnb. The cofounders spent a few months in NYC going door to door to get people to give feedback and sign up. I think I read that the first 500 hosts all had one of the co-founders sit on their sofa and talk to them about what they were trying to do. Another example is a food delivery startup that I "met". I was having a late lunch in a restaurant and one of the cofounders was on the next table pitching to the owner. I'd heard they individually pitched to 800 restaurants in the area over two months and now they are a unicorn. Your "user acquisition campaign" has to involve you and your cofounders going door to door and talking to your potential users to find out what they want and to get them to sign up.

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

September 1st, 2019

Like any "network" app (like dating, social media, etc.) there is always the chicken and egg problem. Not enough members, people won't stay, need to build usage so there are enough members. I suggest following the marketing models of dating apps/web sites. The issue has been discussed more extensively and better than I could describe it here.


It sounds like you didn't validate your marketing strategy before you launched. Hopefully you won't run out of money trying to recover from this mistake.

Cumhur Murat Topbas CEO of MyEye (Social Media Portal):+15 years in Finance & BI in 4 countries, MBA

September 2nd, 2019

Hi Paul, I guess I should have better expressed my question. Yes I understand that this is a common problem faced by most if not all new apps and social networks

I added social media portal feature; access to posts from other social media and ability to post to other networks in anticipation of this, but not getting the extra benefit I expected in terms of retention, probably I am still too early in the game.


I am doing OK with key work search acquisition, but I fear this will not be enough to build the kind of base I need by itself. Influencer Marketing, Viral videos, PR Memos, SEO. I tried a bit of everything, but I realize I don't have expertise and/or connections to manage everything by myself.


I would like to hear if any of you faced similar challenges and how you managed to overcome them, even if it's an unrelated business, it might still inspire me and I am not expecting a silver bullet to solve all my problems, just your personal expertise and stories with regard to early stage business growth


I also would like to build a team to take the business to next level if any of you

interested


Cumhur Murat Topbas CEO of MyEye (Social Media Portal):+15 years in Finance & BI in 4 countries, MBA

September 2nd, 2019

Hi David, I agree with what you are saying, at least in part, but both of the examples you picked are more in line with business to business model.

In my case it's business to customer so it's somewhat different. That said I believe Facebook founders also visited university dorms and tried to recruit friends and students for their social media platform so it's a valid suggestion just not sure if I can do same at age 42, regardless I will try to find a way to do something similar

Ryan Farber I'm an individual looking to build some cool stuff

September 4th, 2019

It's hard to fully answer your question when the facts revealed are minimal. We all can better assists with a possible strategy approach if you can provide a little more info, otherwise we are shouting opinions into the dark.


1. Could you let us know the time frame when you acquired your first customer until today?

2. What is your current user acquisition cost?

3. What are a couple reasons you are going so hyper focused with the zip code approach?


This is a great topic by the way, thanks for sharing!

Ryan Kennedy

September 4th, 2019

Hi Cumhur, I am in a similar position and have refined a "local-first" strategy. The reply by David Insro was exciting to read for me as it reflects my thought process and strategy exactly.


Would you be up for a dialog? Maybe we can discuss ideas...

Cumhur Murat Topbas CEO of MyEye (Social Media Portal):+15 years in Finance & BI in 4 countries, MBA

September 5th, 2019

Hi Ryan Farber, my new user acquisition cost is less than $1 through google ads,

it was around $15 when I first started on Mar 2019. Site is being marketed on and off for last 6 months now. I am currently only getting 15 to 30 new users per day through google ads. No major marketing campaign yet. I was able to minimize my start up costs by mostly using contractors, but as a result I had to spend much more time on quality and user experience testing.

I am considering zip code focus marketing because my social media portal/platform is based on user home and/or travel zip code. Users are only able to see posts and exchange messages with other users in same zip code/country and they don't have to be friends to do so


Cumhur Murat Topbas CEO of MyEye (Social Media Portal):+15 years in Finance & BI in 4 countries, MBA

September 5th, 2019

Hi Ryan Kennedy, I am happy to share experiences and exchange ideas

Cumhur Murat Topbas CEO of MyEye (Social Media Portal):+15 years in Finance & BI in 4 countries, MBA

September 6th, 2019

I am yet to find a way directly reply to a specific comment:(


Hi Ryan Farber,


My acquisition cost went down drastically, because I switched my focus from video and display ads to key word search plus I had a learning curve in terms of how to use google ads as it was my first time to do so.


In terms of user profile you have a point. Only 3 out 10 users I have are from US or EU rest is from Asia or middle east. I suspect my cost to be around $3 per new user if I switch completely to Western User profile and yet might end up with better retention


Most of the work on the website is done by freelancers, this way I was able to save quite bit of money, but for same reason my schedule is delayed by more than a year and I had to spend hours on user experience testing myself. Lucky me I stayed with my day time job


To be clear I did not even properly launch my website yet I hope to do so before end of the year, but so far few thousand users I had served more or less as beta testers



Cumhur Murat Topbas CEO of MyEye (Social Media Portal):+15 years in Finance & BI in 4 countries, MBA

September 6th, 2019

I almost forgot to mention I also simplified my signup process with a secondary landing page that requires less effort to register. I think that also helped to decrease my acquisition costs