Pioneer Community Discussion - what growth hacks have you used?
Shared by pioneer · 39d ago · 17 comments

The difficult task of creating a company from nothing requires you to do a lot with a little. Growth hacks are, essentially, efficient marketing. Making a big impression with a relatively small amount of effort. They are creative solutions to the problem of, "I don't have a sales and marketing team; how can I, one or two people, get the word out about our product at scale?"

What growth hacks have you successfully employed? And which have you tried that failed?

braddwyer · 37d ago

At my last company (social and mobile games) we innovated on 4 distinct viral loops that each led to over 1 million new users:

1) We were on of the first to use Facebook "profile boxes" (essentially a piece of real estate apps could put directly on users' Facebook profile pages back in 2008) in a novel way. Our core gameplay was to hide Easter eggs there for users to collect; it incentivized them to put the box in a prominent location at the top of their profiles so they could find the eggs more easily. Friends visiting your profile would also see these eggs, wonder "what the heck is this," and click on an egg, which would bring them to an install screen prompting them to join and add a patch to their own Facebook profile as well. Then the process would repeat with their friends (and then the friends of their friends, and so on). This worked great for years, until FB removed profile boxes as part of a major redesign.

2) Incentivized gifting: we would give 1 unit of in-game currency for each egg you sent to a friend (this worked great until every other app also discovered how well it worked and FB banned incentivized invitations due to users getting invite fatigue).

3) This one wasn't really a viral loop so much as an arbitrage play: in the early days of Facebook ads, we discovered we could acquire a user for about $0.15 and the average user would return ~$1 in ad revenue (and later virtual currency spend) in about the first month... and that wasn't even counting the viral externalities of those users begetting other users! This was essentially a money printing machine. At one point we were spending thousands of dollars per day on ads and the only limit on our growth was that we couldn't keep the servers up and running under the incredible load.

4) Aggregated news feed posts. Someone at Facebook posted a breakdown of how the news feed algorithm worked at the time. The "graph rank" was calculated by a number of variables for a piece of content summed over all of your friends who had shared that particular thing. This meant that if many of your friends shared the same "object" it would be very likely to appear at the top of your news feed. We designed an entire game around this insight: the first level was built to be super easy and encourage you to share that you had completed it via "Open Graph" actions. This meant that we could seed it with a cluster of people in a city and very rapidly it would snowball into the highest ranked post in most peoples' news feeds. We picked up 5 million users in a single month with this growth hack (primarily in South America and Eastern Europe where FB games were still novel at the time) and were the #1 free iOS game in Argentina and Uruguay (amongst other countries) that Christmas.

sole-fields · 35d ago

Yep, THESE are growth hacks. Awesome. Any similarly creative approaches for Roboflow?

braddwyer · 35d ago

Of course, but you’ll have to wait until the memoir comes out a decade from now :p

ashwindeepak · 39d ago

I think a lot of growth hacking has to be built in the product. Generally, people don't like ads. People feel the need to shill their company or product in their ads. That's a mistake, the best ads don't. The best ads get you excited, they resonate & most importantly, they are true.

People don't like being sold to and if you want to learn more about how to double your users in 24 hours, my ebook on effective marketing strategies is 50% off for the next 24 hours.

ashwindeepak · 39d ago

See? For our app, we just shared the perspective of the user & what they could do on it, no call to action or anything because our call to action was built in our app. If they want it, they know how to find it.

In the restaurant industry, a lot of places have their branding on their plates, and it's not by accident - when someone posts a picture of their food, guess who gets free advertising? Our product is something people would post just like food and, throughout the entire time they use it, they see our brand consistently, just like the plates. And sometimes, they may just take a picture :)

estebanvargas · 36d ago

There's one thing that works pretty well for us beyond the "traditional" (outbound email, content marketing) stuff:

Since we're devs we're being approached by HR departments all the time for us to work for them. We kindly decline their offer. But since we're selling to HR dpmts, we later turn the conversation into "Hey, what do you think about our tool?", and it has become a great lead gen mechanism.

sole-fields · 35d ago

Interesting. So this would be... you make your LinkedIn "actively looking" and that brings them in?

Gabi · 36d ago

We're trying the Bullseye framework.
Currently focussing testing a child-led referral programme vs parent-led referral programme.

We're looking at partnering with a company that has a community of parents that fit our target audience. They are sponsoring 30 kids from their community per month and then seeing what our conversion to paid customers look like.

In addition, we are creating content to engage learning insights that are relevant to startup/ developer parents too. Grownups can learn A LOT from kids so we would like to share those insights too.

We are also focusing on building engagement on Linkedin as that seems to be one of our social channels that have had the most engagement.

TLDR for Traction:
https://medium.com/@yegg/the-19-channels-you-can-use-to-get-traction-93c762d19339

NFT-gal · 35d ago

Very cool. I had a conversation with someone recently who was running a tutoring service for young kids. They had a ceiling on growth by trying to go through the parents. Once they tried referral through the kids - i.e. "bring your friend and XYZ will happen!" then that worked really well.

Gabi · 30d ago

Thanks so much for sharing that! Interestingly that's where we're at now :)

lorenwinzeler · 36d ago

Currently deploying an activity based trial model. Usage based pricing is familiar, however, most SaaS trials are time-based. An activity based trial focuses on a specific activity or outcome in the application. Usage based but around a goal. That activity or goal aligns with the value metric that they will pay for!

The benefit of activity based trials vs time based trials is that we expect more signups for trials under the activity based free trial. If a user does not anticipate using or having time to use a software in the next 7-14 days, they will often not signup at all because they would rather signup for the trial when they have time or a greater immediate need. They might forget or put it off.

It overlaps with product led growth thinking, especially in converting these trials to paid.

sole-fields · 38d ago

I'm curious about the creative approaches. Referrals are obvious, same with entering existing online communities on Reddit, Discord, FB, etc. What else? Doesn't have to be something you've used, in particular. Could be someone else's successful strategy.

NFT-gal · 38d ago

The best examples of this are email service providers. I.e. Mixmax, Superhuman, "Sent from iOS" – a little ID tag on every email sent. Those drove massive, massive growth. Was reading about hotmail -- that's how they did it.

kinder · 39d ago

Facebook Groups growth hack

coryz · 38d ago

how'd you do it?

kinder · 38d ago

Well, in short..

- First of all, have a good product/idea which will make people really want it.

- After that, everything is easier and you will be more welcome by others to see you posting on Groups, Communities, or to send them emails.

- For Facebook, first join groups that are related to you, your product, or your service. Be there for a while, write some posts, ask some questions, comment.

- If the group is big and quality (no spam) and you see it can bring you a lot of value to get your post there, contact admin and ask is it ok to post it.

- Don't sell, instead share some usage case, scenario, case study, tutorial, or how to solve some problem using your product.

- Now what I do is, create a native Facebook video and post on my FB page. Then I use "share to group option", which basically re-shares that native Facebook post/video into other groups. And I do that for 5-10 groups.

Here are some stats for my posts, all of the organic reach:

https://i.imgur.com/zlMxCL2.png
https://i.imgur.com/vYLNhAC.png
https://i.imgur.com/yyoKVKO.png

### Be aware
to not overdo it and get blocked by Facebook. You might receive some warnings. Do it slowly, like 5 posts per day with a delay of hours between. You can do it faster, but if you wanna stay on the safe side, do it slower.

Or, you can end up not just banned from the FB groups, but even worse Facebook can blacklist your domain name, so you will not able to post your domain link anywhere on their platforms both FB and IG. It can be a huge problem, and I had that ~year ago with another project. You can check this post https://community.vanila.io/uiux/general/solved-instagram-facebook-blocked-our-url-we-need-your-help-guys~5442faa9-ae26-46e2-9adc-83c40e52cba6 on my community.

More or less, that is the strategy. But once again, its revolve around great product/idea/problem solve, find a targeted group, being part of the groups for a while, and not being greedy

Gabi · 36d ago

This is very interesting! Thanks