Audience growth is one challenge faced by all new businesses, especially those with a limited team of founding members.
The idea of growing a following on Twitter or Facebook sounds simple to many of us. But in reality, this is a job that involves so many platform-specific details and monitoring that many companies wind up hiring employees just to manage the upkeep and dedicate the time that is really necessary for growth.
An all-organic growth strategy can take months, even years, of continuous effort to hit those hundred-thousand-follower milestones or engagement rates worth sharing. As a result, more companies have opted for growth hacking as a way to manage and expand your business’s market on a substantially larger scale in a fraction of the time.
Growth hacking apps and software are now more necessary than ever for marketing managers and startup teams to identify their most effective ways to reach their audiences and generate real results that offer useful insights into future strategies.
If your company isn’t doing this already, there is a near guarantee that your competition is growth hacking and moving at a faster pace, using tools designed to expand their presence and marketing efforts across social platforms.
So why is growth so important, anyway?
Because the size of your audience is a fundamental metric that determines how many eyes and ears your message or product reaches.
The data in your analytics becomes more meaningful with growth and better informs the direction your business is headed. Growth enables trends to be quickly identified as well as pivots that may be necessary.
Data also reveals new findings that may not have been visible otherwise. It’s how acquisition is achieved and how, in the startup world, a new company can demonstrate their true potential to generate revenue with an engaged audience that fits their target demographic.
Fortunately, there are new tools available to make quality results come sooner, where management and monitoring can happen in one place.
Here are some growth hacking tools worth giving a spin to best suit your company’s needs. Below are some scenarios and solutions for your bootstrap marketing needs.
Accelerated Audience Growth
If your goal is to reach your target demographic in higher volumes, try a tool like Fanbase.
Fanbase targets your growth hacking based on communities, keywords, and the networks you’re after. For example, reaching the followers of another brand or the people on Twitter who are discussing topics related to your business.
Fanbase also allows you to growth hack through Twitter lists, a user-generated selection of other Twitter users based on specific areas of interest (not to mention, one of Twitter’s most effective yet underrated features).
Depending on your goal, Fanbase builds a growth rate that correlates to the quality and volume you’re seeking. Whether you’re casting a wide net with a variety of users or prefer to have a smaller sample of quality engagement, Fanbase is tailored to your needs with a user-friendly setup.
Strategic Content Promotion
If your goal is to promote a quality piece of content to a larger audience, try Outbrain.
Outbrain can create a paid promotion using content that your company has published — such as a blog post, a link to great press coverage, or a branded video.
If you’ve ever tried using Facebook’s ad platform or boosted posts on your company page, Outbrain works in a similar fashion but on a larger scale of platforms.
Outbrain also allows you to customize everything from your campaign goal (awareness, conversion, engagement) to your daily spend. It is especially useful if your marketing budget is lean — allowing businesses and brands to spend a minimum of $10/day and set the cost-per-click rate.
Social Media Content Aggregation
If you’re juggling multiple campaigns on several platforms, try nTuitive.
This social media software brings synergy between your company’s blog, e-commerce site, email campaigns, and more by syncing over 35 different platforms. Teams with multiple members may find this to be a handy tool for collaboration, as campaign managers can add users and set access permissions based on given roles.
Identifying Your Target Audience
If your goal is to find quality followers on a platform that is harder to automate this (like Instagram or Twitter), try SocialRank.
Instagram and Twitter can be difficult places to build up your brand’s number of followers. Unlike Facebook’s ad campaigns built to generate more Likes to your company’s page, there are few ways to funnel an ad on Twitter or Instagram to directly result in more follows.
For example, you may want to tailor your messaging directed toward influencers versus followers of similar accounts. SocialRank is helpful in consolidating lists of current followers, allowing you to view their profile information and organize them into categories.
Increased Click-Throughs & Improved Automation
If you’re using multiple apps and need to monitor your call to action, try Zapier.
Suppose your team is using Slack, running a MailChimp email campaign encouraging sign-ups to your product, and simultaneously using social platforms to run ads for more sign-ups in multiple places. Zapier is easy to integrate into all of your networks so your team spends less time logging in to many accounts or adding up your results.
Zapier keeps track of everything and consolidates your results, sending daily email updates so that nothing slips through the cracks. You can then identify the best platforms for optimal results, without having to guess where your audience is growing and engaging the most.
Whatever your marketing need or your budget is, you can find a solution. Take time to find ways to automate and improve your marketing campaigns so that you can focus on your business. You might not be able to solve all of your problems, but you can solve the big ones.
Focus on what has the biggest return for your effort and don’t overwhelm yourself with tools, software, or initiatives that don’t provide a clear return. Marketing on a budget can be a lot of fun and work well if you know what your goals are, knock them out one at a time.
In-post Photo: Kenny/Canva.com
Screenshots by Cynthia Johnson. Taken August 2017.