The term ‘Growth Hacking’ is often misunderstood to be a part of marketing. It is actually different from marketing and has a separate role and function. I always believe in understanding concepts by looking at context and history. So here is a little backstory about how this concept was conceived. The term ‘Growth Hacking’ was coined by Sean Ellis in 2010, which makes it a fairly new concept. Sean came up with this concept out of a place of frustration. He helped a number of companies achieve incredible growth, and he would then hand over his system of growth for the company to handle. Sean was desperately looking for a replacement for himself, and he came across brilliant resumes, but every resume lacked something or didn’t completely match up to his criteria. In response, he wrote a blog called “Find a growth hacker for your startup”. This was how the concept was born.
A growth hacker is a person whose true north is growth. Growth hacking focuses on driving growth rather than just relying on conventional marketing strategies to promote a business. Growth hackers take traditional marketing techniques and blend them with innovative ideas to ensure optimal growth.
Now that you have some context to growth hacking, I want to give you five tips on how you can use growth hacking with respect to social media.
- Make it Personal
When you are building your brand on social media, it is imperative that you reach out to people in a way that makes them want to gain familiarity with your page. A few ways to do this is to take the time out and reply to comments in a personalized way. This shows that you have taken the effort to appreciate their support. “Thank your followers for following, but don’t automate it. Find something in their profile or feed that is relatable and start a conversation. Most people will retweet what you tweet back at them, and you’ll gain a loyal follower rather than a passive one.” – Carolyn Shaffer, Social Media Coordinator at C. T. Bauer College of Business, University of Houston
- Make it Viral
Sharing posts make them viral. So brainstorm to come up with creative ways to get your audience to share your posts. Either the post is so relevant to the audience that it engages them and makes them want to share it, or you incentivise the sharing of posts by giving your audience the chance to win something free using promo codes or to get discounts. Do whatever works best for you. Also remember that the content has to be something that grabs the attention of people. If you want to make an impression, you cannot get on the bandwagon and do the same old thing over and over again. Spend time coming up with new ideas that will help your brand be recognised for what it does in the market.
- The Power of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has a lot of potential. It basically focuses on influential people rather than the market as a whole. It identifies individuals that have influence over potential clients, and orients marketing activities around these influencers. Take some time out, maybe about half an hour to an hour, every day to identify people who have the potential to make an impact on your target audience and start reaching out to them. LinkedIn Premium or Twitter are both great places to start. You can message them or tweet to them. Start a dialogue and engage with them and see how you can find ways to collaborate in a way that both parties are benefited.
- The Process of Growth involves Give and Take
When it comes to social media, you can’t expect your brand to grow by simply depending on your followers to create the magic and make your brand go viral. If you are looking for your brand to organically take off on social media, you have to be willing to engage with other social media accounts. This could mean engaging with other customers, partner companies, or even competitors. Yes, I said it, ‘competitors’! It’s time to work smart and realise that we need each other to grow and that this is not an isolated process. Let me give you a very simple example: you make a deal to subtly promote another company to your x number of followers, and in return, that company promotes your work to their x number of followers. Such cross promotion can be very effective if done well and can help you gain more valuable visibility.
- Share Great Content
Sharing great and insightful content never grows old. To leverage content marketing, you need to put out valuable information that will be absorbed quickly by your audience. One useful tip to do this is learn about the interests of your target audience. There are several tools you can use to find the latest trends, and then have a plan in place to dole out powerful content.
That’s all from me. I hope these tips help you in some way. Growth hacking is a concept that is helping several organizations gain an edge over their competition.
– Alisha Fernandes