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5 Lessons We Learned from Real Growth Hacking Examples

Growth hacking post blog

For this post, we’re taking you back to school. But don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a boring, watered down lecture about politics in pre-revolutionary Russia. Nope, today we’re teaching all about growth hacking! This post won’t just lay out a bunch of guidelines though; instead, we want to teach you using real world case-studies from companies who have growth hacked their way to the top. So pull out your pens and pencils, get out your college-ruled notebooks, and pay attention!

1st Period: History Class with Timehop


Growth hacking has dealt some problems to fast growing companies in the past. For example, Groupon grew too quickly and ultimately suffered when that growth didn’t translate into long-term users of their product. Timehop, however, is centered around a clever way to forego this problem. The app is designed to show you your posts from social media one year ago. This means that you can send yourself a tweet or a message on Facebook through Timehop and receive it a year from now.

Our takeaway here is a great one, and it’s actually one of the most widely broadcast ideas concerning growth hacking recently – customers need to be brought onboard to engage with the product over the long term. Fast growth is great, but having a leaky bucket of customers that come in and leave just as quickly is not. Instead, growth hacking needs to account for a way to keep customers using the product or service over the long haul. If a product lacks a means of keeping customers, then the growth that’s seen in the beginning won’t be lasting long.

2nd Period: Study Hall with Quora


Quora is a great site for asking interesting questions on any topic and having them answered by people who are knowledgeable and more than qualified to respond. The growth Quora has achieved is both from its user base and because of its user base. Quora has designed their site around content, but the content is all produced from the users who ask and answer each other’s questions.

The lesson we learn from Quora is to always seek out win-win scenarios if we can. This means devising methods for our customers to get what they want while we get the growth we want. Quora relies on the strength of the community to do this, and other community based sites have done this as well. However, this isn’t the only way to growth hack successfully for a win-win scenario. Get creative, and follow the old adage “work smarter, not harder!”

3rd Period: Music Class with Sing! Karaoke


Sing! Karaoke by Smule has succeed in creating a network effect that has been similarly successful to Quora’s. The app is designed to be used to be used with other people, and it inherently encourages sharing. Users sing their favorite songs and can send the recordings to friends or share them with the community. Together, the users turn this simple app into a constantly fun, shareable moment.

Our takeaway from Sing! Karaoke is one of the fundamentals of growth hacking – getting people to share your product or service with other people is incredibly important. Once people get talking and sharing, the real exponential growth can start happening. Designing this kind of potential into your product or service should be a requirement from the outset. You’ll thank yourself later for the boost in your growth hacking when you need it.

4th Period: Biology with Qualaroo


The analytics company Qualaroo went even further than we’ve previously seen to growth hack and promote their brand. In an inception-style growth hacking campaign, they purchased the domain and created a forum site for users to discuss the eponymous marketing discipline. Now more than 60,000 users associate Qualaroo with the online community for growth hacking. Isn’t that convenient?

The key lesson from Qualaroo is for businesses to conceptualize a platform for useful content and potentially user interaction. Depending on the business, this might not be possible, although it probably is possible for many. For example, small businesses that cater to their specific location don’t need to create create a platform for users all over the world (although they could). Instead, why not build a platform for the most active customers within the local community?

5th Period: Field Trip with Uber


Enough staring at screens! Let’s get out into the real world, as Uber recently did. For a limited time, the ride-sharing company decided to chauffeur entrepreneurs and investors around the San Francisco Bay Area for pitch events, free of charge. They also set up an arrangement with Nor Cal Dry Bar to give away an Uber ride to any customers that booked a large event. Both of these campaigns brought Uber to different demographics and customer segments, and also provided some good press and more buzz about the brand.

The point here is that sometimes it’s good to get up and take a walk away from the computer for a minute, especially when dealing with people. If you have the means to create a campaign that can provide some sort of real-life interaction with people outside of the context of a screen, you’re much more likely to create a significant impact on that person. If you do it right, this can only mean customers coming back for more and talking up how great you are. Pretty sweet.

Have you had enough learning for today? We hope so, but if not, click the link below for some extra credit!

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