What is Growth Hacking?


creative growth hacks

What is growth hacking, anyway? Marketing and social media offices use the term casually, but the truth is, not many people know what it actually means. According to the Fashion and Business Council, growth hacking is a technique developed by tech startups that uses creativity, analytical thinking and social metrics to grow traffic and sales.

What’s the difference between this and traditional marketing, you ask? The key term here is creativity. The beauty of growth hacking is that it’s innovative and rarely requires massive corporate budgets or tables filled with people wearing headsets refreshing your brand’s Twitter notifications.

Technically, social media and SEO count as growth hacking techniques;both are ways to increase traffic and ROI without needing the budget of a Best Buy or a Target. If you don’t have the money for Super Bowl commercials and magazine ads in Vogue, this type of marketing solution is really up your alley. That’s not to say corporations can’t use this strategy, or that social media is useless for them. It just means that theirFacebook ad campaigns are millions and millions of dollars’ worth of advertising.

Growth hacking can also mean using nontraditional platforms as a means of growth. Take Air BnB, for example. The impressively growing company used Craigslist to increase their user base. Since Craigslist is filled with people looking to rent homes and apartments, Air BnB gives you the option to post your apartment listing to Craiglist as well. They adapt other audiences and customer bases to supplement their own. It’s free, it’s ingenious, and it works.

The best part? You don’t need to have a degree in technology or a PhD in coding to figure out how to growth hack your company. In fact, the point is that people used to thinking outside the box can do this easily and for free. Creativity is paramount. Is there another platform that your own brand could work well in conjunction with, like the Air BnB and Craigslist match made in heaven?

Another option that the Fashion and Business Council lists is simply social media listening. If you’re selling homes, search the #home hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterestto find users who are already active on social media and who could be a perfect fit for your business. They’re already out there, so it’s simply a matter of finding them. SEO is another great way to do this: Have you worked through whether or not your website is SEO friendly? If not, now is the time.

There are millions of ways to use these growth hacks, among others. There’s no rule that you have to spend exorbitantly to have great social media (We’re a pretty good example of that as a company, actually). Work with your social media team to use creative solutions instead of just throwing money at a problem, and watch your growth skyrocket.


Reprinted with Permission.

Image credit: CC by Will

About the author: Maggie Happe

Maggie Happe is a recent graduate of Creighton University and a contributor to Social Media Contractors.

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