If you are a latecomer to using social media marketing for your business, then you might feel a bit overwhelmed at the task ahead of you. You may have checked out the Instagram and Twitter accounts of your competition, seen their large following and wanted to give up before you started. Or maybe you’ve been using channels like Instagram and Twitter for a while now, but aren’t seeing much growth from your efforts.
All of you are the reason I wrote this article.
Because you really need to know about growth hacking.
What is growth hacking and why do I care?
Wikipedia always seems to say it better than I can. Wikipedia defines growth hacking as a process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most efficient ways to grow a business. This process involves marketers, engineers, and product managers. Their job is to focus on building and engaging the user base of a business. Through a variety of non-traditional tactics such as rapid follow-to-follow-back campaigns, new and small businesses can quickly gain traction and find new customers. When it comes to growth hacking, the costs are low and the results are fast.
Growth Hacking and Instagram
Airbnb, Hotmail, Dropbox, Youtube and Paypal are all brands you know. They also all happen to be growth hacking success stories. These companies used smart growth hacking tactics to emerge out of seemingly nowhere. On Instagram, growth hacking can have similar opportunities. An Instagram account with only a small following can quickly become an Instagram hit by playing your cards right. Let’s look at how.
How To Grow Your Instagram Account
- Take the time to edit your photos – With modern camera phones, it seems like anyone can be a photographer. But editing can go a long way to help your photos stand out. Download a photo editor and get serious about your photos. Make sure you keep your style consistent, including the filters you use. If you are looking for an easy photo editor try VSCO, Afterlight, or Aviary photo editors.
- Only upload your best photos – Don’t post every picture you take. Go for quality over quantity. Go back through any old photos and remove the ones that are not part of your defined brand.
- Pick your niche – Don’t try and be popular on Instagram for everything. Whether you are representing yourself or your business, choose what it is you want to influence and stick to it. As a brand, you might be trying to drive certain products. Or, you might be focused on hiring, company culture, and career growth. Decide early what it is you are trying to accomplish.
- Hashtag hacking – This point is so smart it almost feels like cheating. List up to 30 hashtags as a separate comment. Then, delete them after 24 hours and add a second set of 30 hashtags. This allows you to stay at the top of 60 different hashtags and also keeps others from stealing your best hashtag secrets. After another 24 hours, delete your second set of hashtags to increase engagement from followers you already have. If you’re wondering how to know which hashtags to use, read all about the art of the hashtag here.
- Engage with other accounts – A big part of growth hacking is making friends. Like and comment on other photos. Your comments and likes will always appear to people that already follow you. Even when it’s not your own content, being active on social media keeps you fresh in others minds.
Bots & Tools
You aren’t left to tackle Instagram growth hacking all on your own. Different social media marketing services are out there to help you succeed. Experiment with growth hacking bots for Instagram. Most of these bots help you to mass follow and like photos, so that you can spend less time checking out other accounts but still boost your own in the process.
- Instavast ($10/month) – Helps you to also mass unfollow people, which isn’t normally offered. You will also be able to schedule your posts in advance. And even at such a cheap price, you’ll be able to track which of your hashtags are working best so you can keep improving your strategy.
- Archie.co ($19-$29/month) – A generally good and easy-to-use deal. The main appeal of this service is how easy it is to use for even the least experienced Instagrammer.
- InstaMacro ($59.99/month) – More of the same, but faster and better. They’ll find you the best followers and take over all your tedious tasks.
- Boostly.io ($150/month) – If the price already is making you fidget in your seat, let me calm you quickly be assuring you you’ll get what you pay for. Boostly is a social media marketing service, and they promise to take as much work out of your hands as possible.
Of course, no matter what bot or tool you were to use you are going to have to put in some level of effort. These are tools, not finite solutions, and it will take a bit of time to get the results you want.
Growth Hacking on Twitter
Growth hacking isn’t just for Instagram, you can also use it for Twitter. Again, even a seemingly quiet Twitter account can suddenly gain a large following thanks to growth hacking techniques.
Why Grow Your Twitter Account?
Twitter is a powerful tool for business when used correctly. Twitter takes pride in real-time news feeds, allowing conversations to naturally take place around important topics. It’s kind of like a live chat session the whole world can be in on. This allows brands to get involved in relevant conversations. It also allows them to post frequently (note: frequently doesn’t mean the same thing over and over again) about the same topic, bringing it to the forefront of the conversation wherever it naturally can take place. If you were to post multiple times a day about the same general topic to Facebook, that wouldn’t go over so well. Twitter is an entirely different world and one that few businesses have learned how to take advantage of!
While Twitter can help you generate more leads and drive clicks to solidify your brand awareness and increase brand visibility, you can’t build these connections if you have no followers in the first place.
How to Grow Your Twitter Account
A growth hacking twitter strategy is going to come down to getting more followers (and good followers) and increasing engagement with them.
For more followers and more engagement:
- Tweet consistently – A good following and active engagement will require that you post often. You’ll need to pay attention to what is going on in your industry and stay involved in the conversation. Sporadic tweets every week or two aren’t going to cut it.
- Share quality content – This can be your own well-orchestrated tweets, as well as retweets from industry influencers. Content also doesn’t have to be actually tweets themselves, but materials such as blogs, with the option to tweet certain quotes.
- Pay attention to timing – Take the time to see how you are doing with tools like Twitter Analytics. This will help you to see which timing is getting you the most engagement, so you’ll know when to continue to post in the future.
- Post images with your tweets – By now we all know that people are more likely to respond to an image than words. Bufferapp blog says that using an image with a tweet doubles its likelihood of engagement. So find good, relevant images and use them!
- Use Twitter for customer service – As a business, when you respond to customer needs via Twitter a lot of great things happen. If you respond timely, the customer is usually pleased. They are also more likely to continue to engage and use you for customer service in the future. Seeing your past customer service responses also creates an incentive for other customers to start following you. Wins all around.
There’s pretty much a social media service out there for everything nowadays. We’ve already gone over what tools can help with Instagram, now let’s look at Twitter.
- Jooicer (0-$99/month) – This is a tool that helps with following and unfollowing accounts, as well as setting up tweet scheduling. The variation in prices relates to how many accounts you will follow and unfollow per month.
- TweetFavy ($9-$29/month) – This tool is less about followers than it is about impressions. Which, of course, can lead to new followers. The most basic package aims at 140-420 new followers a month. Which for $9, isn’t bad.
- Tweepi ($10.75-$24.99/month) – Tweepi stands out as a Twitter tool because it helps you sleep with one eye open. Meaning, it helps monitor your competition and analyze their success so you can make it your own. And like the previous tools, it will help you gain new followers.
The What, The Why, The How
So now you know what growth hacking is and why it’s important for your business. And with a better idea of how to use growth hacking for your Instagram and Twitter, it’s time you stop reading this article and start growing your followings.