Hacker News Social Listening

Get notified when keywords you care about are mentioned on Hacker News

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Notifier is a fantastic way to get notified when your product, competitors, or potential keywords customers might mention occur on Hacker News.

How to get started

After creating an account for Notifier Simply go to our Add Searcher Page:

Then select Hacker News as one of the platforms. Keep in mind that you can select multiple platforms but for this example we will only be doing Hacker News.

Next choose how you want us to alert you about new Hacker News keyword matches. We suggest email if you're just starting out.

Note though that we also support plaintext emails, web hooks, slack and we are adding support for a lot more notification platforms. If you have one you want please simply suggest it to us

Now you need to choose when you want us to alert you for new Hacker News matches.

Finally enter in the string that you would want to search for on Hacker News.

We suggest everyone search for the following:

  1. Mentions of your own product/brand/startup
  2. Mentions of your competitors product/brand/startup
  3. Keywords that your potential customers might mention

Want more information on this including examples? See our article on What we Recommend Every Company Search for using Notifier

Select which type of Hacker News objects you would like to search for. We recommend most people start with all.

What is Hacker News?

If you're not familiar with Hacker News, it is a fantastic and very influential news website that deals with start-up and developer-focused content for the most part. It was started by Paul Graham of the Y Combinator in 2007. The reason it's called Hacker News is referring to the original meaning of the word Hacker which was someone who was interested in and enjoyed dealing with various types of technology, not necessarily the type of hackers you may hear on the news these days that are mostly focused on finding and exploiting mobilities in software, especially online software. This site is actually referring to the original meaning of the word.

The original vision of the site was that it would be a community that was very similar in a lot of ways to how Reddit was in its early days. But unlike Reddit, Hacker News does not allow you to download content until you reach a certain amount of what they also called Karma. By doing this, they kind of hoped essentially to make the content better. On Reddit, any user can immediately sign up and start upvoting and downloading things where as on Hacker News, it's more exclusive.

Why is Hacker News important for you to listen to?

Hacker News is very important for start-ups and all companies to listen for their own mentions, as well as their competitor mentions and possibly even keywords that your potential customer might mention. This is even more true if you are a start-up or a product that is focused on the developers' phase. And the reason this so important to listen to Hacker News is because of how influential the community is and because of that influence, if you are able to win customers and manage your brand's presence on Hacker News, it can lead over to types of customer that can become evangelists for your products as well as just because of its massive influence, those articles get shared in all different places and a lot of other people can see your brands.

How to get started on Hacker News

So the best way to get started on Hacker News is simply to visit their website and create an account. From there, you can start browsing over the top articles that you'll see on the front page. When you click on an article, if it's a link, it'll take you straight to that page and you can view the article. You can also click under the article, under the comments in order to view what the people are saying about the article. And this is one of the real gems of Hacker News. Just like Reddit, a lot of times the most important content is sometimes in the comments and this is where you can respond to comments after you create an account to kind of evangelize your own products.

Approaches and strategies we suggest for Hacker News

So, much like Reddit, Hacker News is a community that is very discerning and not usually supportive of content they feel is spammy or self-promotional. Although, they are perhaps not as bad as many communities on Reddit because it is more of a start-up atmosphere and they understand that sometimes self-promotional posts can indeed be valuable, or at least that is our impression of the community.

Be sincere and light-handed in your marketing - not spammy

Regardless, the approach that we suggest, as far as marketing yourself using social listening on Hacker News is to take a very honest but light-handed approach in your marketing.

What we mean by that is we don't suggest simply spamming every comment as much as possible as you can that's even relevant to your product.

Listen for mentions of your product name

We suggest listening for mentions of your product name and then you can simply make a decision as to whether or not you want to chime in and add a comment.

Perhaps saying something like:

"Hi, I'm a founder of {Amazing_Tool_Here}. We love that you like our product. Please reach out to me if you have any questions".

Or perhaps if it's a comment that leans negatively to your product, you can chime in and say:

"Thank you! I'm the founder of an {Amazing_Tool_Here}. Sorry to hear that you had a bad experience using our product. We will definitely consider implementing your suggestions and making the overall experience better in the future".

Listen for your competitors

So that's how you listen for mentions of your product. We also suggest that you listen for mentions of your competitors' product and with this, you have to be a bit more delicate.

Let's say for instance you have a competitor's product that you notice someone mentioned on Hacker News, you can quickly chime in and say something like:

"We would also love for you to check out our amazing product. Please let us know your thoughts and if you have any feedback on how to improve it".

That's a decent way to jump in and do social listening marketing with Hacker News.

Listen for keywords potential customers might mention

Finally, and this is more difficult but much more valuable, we advise you to identify certain keywords that your potential customers may mention on Hacker News.

As an example, say you have a VPN product that you're working on, you could add a Searcher in the Notifier dashboard that searches on Hacker News for mentions of 'Looking for a good VPN' or perhaps 'Looking' and using the Boolean and Notation and then VPN. Then you would get a notification whenever that text occurs on Hacker News and that's a great time for you to jump in and gently recommend your product.

Looking for more information on Social Listening Strategies? What we Recommend Every Company Search for using Notifier

As always, if you have any questions about how to use Notifier and to do social listening marketing with Notifier on Hacker News, feel free to reach out to us at the email below or use the chat box below to chat with us instantly.

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