Several of Social Wave's online groups have used other social and community networking type of sites to spread the word about their existence by cross posting events to those networks with a link back to their Social Wave content. We've had mixed results. On two sites (which will be unnamed), the result was somewhat hostile. The posts were deleted. Understandably, on these sites, the users may have perceived these posts by Social Wave group owners as spam and potential leaks to their network.
We also tried out Evite's public announcements feature and Craigslist's Activity Partners postings and their Events Calendar postings as a way of extending our membership and the reach of our network. Users were encouraged to cross-post to these two websites and provided with tools to make it easy to generate good looking content that they could just paste right into another site's online forms.
Evite was a complete non-factor every time we tried it. In one particularly interesting case, we advertised Social Wave's anniversary party on Evite's public events and got fewer than five page views in over three weeks. Meantime, we racked up over 50 RSVPs on our own site and wound up with 100+ people in attendance.
The most common postings to Craigslist were for a movie outings group and a volleyball group. Both experienced similar response patterns. When events were first cross-posted to Craigslist, we saw a spike in guest users and new member sign-ups. At the very beginning, we'd get between three and six new registered users a day from these cross-posts. After two weeks, the numbers would plummet down to 2 to 4 new users a week. After about a month, we might get one new member a week for a cross post.
We were very surprised at how quickly the Craigslist visitors tapered off in providing us with new members. The cross posts were still generating a lot of views, but no new members which suggests that either the visitors were already Social Wave registered users or that Craigslist users actually continued to be interested in the cross-posted events, but just didn't want to register. There has been some evidence that the latter is at least partially true. We've had people who signed up for new member accounts and listed Craigslist as the referring source months after we stopped cross-posting events to Craigslist.
I really did not expect to hit such a hard ceiling with Craigslist. There are so many people using that website and it seems to be the first and last word in community networking that I wasn't expecting to see the results of leveraging it plateau so quickly and dramatically.