Since writing this post we’ve released a few more recruiting resources you might find helpful. We launched Betabound, where you can announce your beta test for free to our community of avid beta testers. We also released a Beta Tester Recruitment Kit, which walks you through building your strategy for finding and selecting amazing beta testers.
Recruiting beta testers can be a challenging process if you don’t know where to look. The following are 5 sources that you can use to build a great collection of qualified beta candidates.
- Twitter is comprised of millions of users communicating feverishly about whatever they care about at that minute, more often than not including companies, products, and technologies.
- If your company has an active Twitter feed (and it probably does), it’s likely already followed by your target audience. Get in touch with whoever is responsible for your feed and ask them to promote your beta opportunity.
- Use search.twitter.com to look for people talking about your product or industry, and reach out with your own account to invite them to your beta. Twitter users generally love this type of direct contact.
- Use Tweet-Deck (free, shown above) to get real-time updates on people tweeting about your products, company, or industry. Respond to them with personal invitations to your beta.
2. User Forums
- Internet forums are hubs for enthusiastic people to discuss a specific topic of interest, including both consumer and B2B.
- Seek approval of forum moderators prior to posting any beta recruitment. Many forums have specific rules about commercial postings that will quickly get you banned.
- Forum traffic flows continuously. Recruiting over a period of weeks can lead to better results.
- Foster discussion about your opportunity, answering whatever questions you can. Beyond attracting engaged users, this repeatedly pushes your topic the top of the list, gaining more eyes.
- Similar to forums, blogs exist to cover just about every industry alive today.
- Bloggers are always seeking new and interesting topics to share and discuss with their readers. They love to be the source of interesting and exclusive opportunities.
- For beta recruiting, it generally makes more sense to focus on smaller blogs (as opposed to TechCrunch, Engadget, Gizmodo, etc.) Unless the beta is part of your marketing plan, the type of promotion these groups can give you is generally TOO big.
4. Existing or Previous Testers
- Often, people will eagerly share announcements with their friends and family. The thrill of getting selected for a beta test is an opportunity that people love to share.
- Be careful not to push too hard or set expectations about selection. Remember that your goal is to find people who match the demographic of the test.
5. Online Classified Ads
- While you can’t post beta recruitments in Craigslist (it’s against the rules), there are a host of other online classified ads that do allow posting. Some require a small nominal charge but do have a target audience and often offer print editions.
- Classifieds are best used when you need to target a geographic region or specific platform. For example, if you need new people in Los Angeles to test or if you have a product designed for people into scrapbooking, it may make sense to target periodicals that have an online presence.
- Invest time creating great ad-copy to avoid your posting flagged and deleted. With the saturation of illegitimate beta testing opportunities on the net today, it’s important to illustrate your legitimacy.