Before proceeding, you'll want to make sure to read post 1 in this series.
Here’s what we’ve learned so far:
1) Facebook is the hardest platform on which to build a following virtually (not at festivals/meet-ups). There’s not as simple a mechanism in place to connect up with people who may be fans beyond your already existing social circles, aside from paid advertising.
2) Twitter is spammier than Facebook, but also grows organically. While we’ve just cracked 6k followers (following 2.7k people as of this posting), and met some stellar fellow Devs, there are bots, a few spammers, and then people who have only marginal engagement in what we’re doing. I look at e-mail newsletter sign-ups on our website as a good indicator of how much true interest we’re getting from real fans of our work. Right now only 3% of the twitter followers have signed up for the newsletter.
3) Instagram is NOT used by Indie Devs. Period. This shocked me… I’d thought of Instagram as the perfect place to showcase work and drum up excitement. But no other indie devs think so. We discovered this because of a spreadsheet. Let me explain:
I am obsessive when answering questions. If I don’t grock something, I start from zero, and work my way through as much of the landscape of the problem as possible, before drawing conclusions or forming strong opinions. Slow, but thankfully we have that luxury while still early in the development cycle. And for our PR campaign, I decided to make one big ol’ spreadsheet.
3 months ago, I begun compiling a list of games in our space in the market (puzzle platformer titles). What were they doing which we weren’t? What had they done, which we’d want to avoid? I was tracking everything from social media follower counts, to Kickstarter campaign stats, Steam release ratings, all the data I could find. And while everyone had Twitter, and almost everybody had Facebook, NO ONE used Instagram.
As newbies to the community, maybe someone could have just told me this - but I’m happy we learned it on our own eventually; we still have the Instagram account, still prioritize posting content to it, but one action that’s a direct result of this finding is that we’ve removed the Insta Social logo from our website - when someone is on our homepage and we can give them the choice of social platform to link to… it makes NO sense to allow Instagram to be an option over Twitter or Facebook. Lesson learned. And it only took 3 months :)
Speaking of lessons learned, we’re THRILLED with where all this work has gotten us so far!