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How I Win 1000 Signups/mo. by Hacking Social Media

Have you ever Googled “how to get app signups”?

If you need a good laugh, you should try that Google search.

There’s a ton of vague and annoying advice like:

  • Go viral
  • Do retargeting
  • Consider running Facebook Ads
  • Build an email list through content marketing
  • Make some videos for YouTube

I’m not saying this stuff is useless.

But for me (someone running an early stage startup & small business) I’ve never been “wow”ed by the results I got from these tactics.

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So a few months ago I went on a hunt for non-conventional growth strategies for my startup, Kollecto.

My team & I spent a lot of time experimenting with new strategies, and started to see results with a handful of social media hacks.

So here’s a recap of all the things that worked (and didn’t work) on our journey hacking social media to reach 1000 signups/ mo…. All the juicy details.

 

 

Part 1 – How we hacked Twitter to 10x our traffic

Which comes first? The Chicken or the Egg?

Nevermind, don’t answer that…

Here’s an easier question:

Which comes first? The web traffic or the signups?

Obviously it’s the signups, which is why my first goal was to boost the amount of traffic coming to the Kollecto site.

To do this, I leveraged an awesome marketing tool called Socedo.

Using Socedo, we jumped from ~1,000 visits per month to nearly 10,000 visits per month in just a few months.

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Here’s how we used Socedo:

We targeted people saying certain keywords on Twitter:

  • “Wish I could buy art”
  • “Wish collect art”
  • “Went to art museum”
  • “Went to art gallery”
  • etc.

For example, we targeted people like this:

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Socedo hunted through Twitter and automatically found tweets like this for us.

Basically this is what was happening:

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And then the software did something really cool.

For each of these Tweets, Socedo:

  1. Followed the lead
  2. Added them to an “Art Lovers” list
  3. Liked their tweet (24 hours later)
  4. And sent the person a DM (if the person followed us back)

DM example: “Hey Chris! Saw your tweets on art. If you’re interested in collecting, check out our Art Collecting School program {link}”

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This strategy brought a solid chunk of traffic to our site.

And this was the result….

We went from about ~1000 views/mo in December to almost 10,000 by March.

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And almost all this traffic was coming from social media!

Twitter & Pinterest to be exact…

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I’ll come back to Pinterest in Part 3 of this post.

But if you need a breakdown of why we saw success with hacking our Twitter account using Socedo…

Here’s what was happening…

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Users would see us engaging with them.

Then they would get interested and click one of 3 things:

  1. They would click on the DM link we sent. This was easy to set up because Socedo did all the work
  2. They would click our bio link. This was also easy to set up. We just made sure we had our website url in our Twitter bio
  3. Or they would click on a cool Tweet we posted. This was a bit tougher to maintain, because it meant we had to CONSTANTLY have fresh & interesting Twitter content for people to discover.

That’s where the next hack came in…

 

Pro Tip:

If you want to try this strategy to 10x your own website traffic, I’m putting together an awesome SuperClass Webinar with tons of gems:

  • The Socedo targeting strategies that worked & didn’t work
  • My analysis of Socedo vs. other similar tools
  • The one trick that boosted our success
  • and a bunch more!


Learn more about the SuperClass Webinar

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Part 2 – The crazy Twitter experiment that worked

Next we hit another challenge.

We had all these art lovers clicking on our Twitter page….

And we needed a way to convert them!

And get them to click on our links…

As I was pondering how to tackle this issue, I landed on an awesome podcast episode that gave me a crazy idea!

At our next team meeting, I told my team about my new plan.

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So we tried it!

For 14 days…

…we posted 25 tweets/day

And each tweet linked to a blog post!

Here’s what the calendar looked like:

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And the results were awesome!!

First, I had my whole team listen to the podcast episode that had inspired the idea. Check it out below if you’re interested! Specific part that inspired me at 26:35

Garrett Moon on the SPI Podcast – talking about maximizing the reach of your content

I also had my entire team read Jab Jab Jab, Right Hook – a really insightful book on connecting with customers via social media by Gary Vaynerchuck. We framed it as a fun book club so everyone was super pumped to read, discuss & implement the ideas.

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Then we pre-planned ALLLL of our tweets

25 tweets

for 14 days

meant that we had 350 unique tweets to write.

Crazy, right?

Each tweet had totally different copy. We ended up with a MONSTER spreadsheet of planned tweets like this:

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Then we started posting.

It felt like we were posting a lot.

But we kept referring to some awesome data that confirmed our strategy:

The average Twitter user spends just 13 minutes using Twitter… so the chances of someone seeing more than one of our tweets per day was super low.

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At the end of the 14 day experiment, the numbers spoke for themselves.

Here’s what happened:

BEFORE the experiment, we were averaging:

  • 267 link clicks/mo.
  • 400 retweets/mo.
  • 540 likes/mo.

And AFTER the experiment, we were up to:

  • 3,500 link clicks/mo.
  • 2,900 retweets/mo.
  • 4,300 likes/mo.

That’s WILD!!!

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We didn’t double our traffic coming from Twitter

We didn’t tripple it

We didn’t even quadruple it!!!

We grew it 13x!

That’s 13x the number of leads coming to our site!

We also grew retweets 7x and likes 8x, which was nice too.

And it turns out that maintaining this success was easier than we thought it would be!

It was pretty clear that we couldn’t continue to write 25 new tweets every day.

That would literally turn us into Twitter Zombies!

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So to maintain our success, we turned to another amazing software tool, called Edgar.

We used Edgar to build a library of our best tweets from the experiment & automatically repost them, based on a calendar we built

Remember that we had 350 tweets from the experiment.

So even though we were posting a lot, we had tons of content our Twitter followers had never even seen before!

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That’s why Edgar was so helpful.

Here’s how Edgar works:

  1. You build a library of all your tweets
  2. You set a schedule for when each tweet type should go out
  3. Edgar grabs random library tweets, and sends them at times you scheduled

So our virtual assistant loaded all of our top tweets into Edgar and set up a schedule:

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Using Edgar, we were able to automate the success of the 14-day experiment and keep our Twitter link clicks high.

The moral of the story?

Socedo and Edgar helped us increase traffic almost 900% — overnight.

With traffic trending in the right direction, we turned our attention to one last hack….

 

Pro Tip:

If you want to try this crazy Twitter experiment too, I’m putting together a SuperClass Webinar with tons of gems & details on this hack:

  • How we hired a virtual assistant to help
  • How we decided which tweets were “top performers”
  • The #1 thing we wish we knew before starting this experiment
  • and a bunch more!

Learn more about the SuperClass Webinar

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Part 3 – How we hacked Pinterest to win 1,000 subscribers / month

Hell yeah! We made it to the final hack!

And there’s one thing we haven’t talked about yet….

Yup!

We haven’t talked about Paid Ads.

Now here’s a real confession:

I get nervous when people start talking about paid advertising.

  • Facebook Ads
  • Google Adwords
  • Promoted Tweets
  • etc.

It seems like a HUGE MONEY PIT, unless you have $10,000+ to experiment with.

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The reality of my situation was this:

  1. I didn’t have $10,000 to spend
  2. I didn’t want to “just run some Facebook ads” without seeing any results

So my team & I went on a hunt again, and this time we looked for non-conventional advertising strategies.

We found a ton of success running ads on a lesser-known ad platform: Pinterest!

Now before you jump to any conclusions, let me just share one thing!

At first I thought Pinterest only worked for us because we had an art startup.

Art is visual.

So it makes sense that we would advertise on Pinterest- a visual ad platform.

But recently, I tried Pinterest ads for a totally different topic.

I ran some ads for my Apps Without Code Bootcamp, and they performed even better than the Kollecto ads.

So here’s my learning:

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Now here’s why Pinterest worked for us:

There are A TONNNN of people running ads on Facebook, Twitter, Google Adwords, etc!

Only a small fraction of those people are running ads on Pinterest.

And since ad platforms are based on bids…

…our money stretched way further on Pinterest when there were fewer people to outbid us!

Cha-ching 🙂

 

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So our Pinterest strategy went like this…

First, we got a subscription to Twenty20.com, which gave us stock photos that look like someone real actually took the photo for Instagram (or something like that).

Pinterest is all about strong visuals, so I knew we needed some “images with character”.

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When cropped the right way (we used Canva.com for this), these photos were perfect for Pinterest 🙂

The downside?

Twenty20 access was pretty expensive. They have a secret startup plan, but it’s still not cheap.

So we made sure we fine-tuned our Pinterest strategy before investing.

As we started experimenting with Pinterest, we learned a lot of lessons.

For example:

1. Keyword targeting worked better than targeting by interest.

Here’s what I mean…

On Pinterest, there are 2 major ways to target your audience.

You can target keywords like “street art” or “Bansky”. Keywords = things someone might type in the search bar.

or you can target specific interests like “Art” or “DIY Crafts”. Interests are Pinterest’s pre-built categories.

We landed the best results when we targeted a mix of general keywords and specific keywords, but skipped the “interest” targeting.

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Here’s another thing we learned…

2. Vertical images converted better than horizontal images

So we mainly looked for “portrait” photos.

But if there was phenomenal horizontal image, we used Canva to put into the optimal format!

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  1. The jury’s still out (we’re still testing), but it sure looks like our Pinterest ads perform better in the afternoon and evening. Buffer noticed the same thing:
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  1. Oh, and people responded really well to humor. This was one of our top-performing promoted pins:
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We started with a budget of $10/day and grew it from there.

And as a result we DOUBLED the numbers of users signups each month.

  • BEFORE Pinterest (when we were just hacking Twitter): 540 signups/ mo.
  • AFTER 1 month of Pinterest hacks: 870 signups/mo
  • And AFTER 2 months:  1115 signups/ mo.
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And the crazy part about it all?

Non-conventional marketing strategies drove all this growth!

Which is amazing.

But there was one last thing that made a huge difference.

We sent our Pinterest ad traffic to an Engineering as Marketing project, which was the trick to converting all this traffic into real app users.

Engineering as Marketing is when you build mini-apps for the purpose of marketing or lead gen.

Our Engineering as Marketing project was a mini-app landing page, that was CRAZY GOOD at converting new users.

When I first pitched the idea to my team they were like:

“What?!”

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But the results were AMAZING.

And then they were like:

 

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I’m sharing more about our mini-app landing page projects (the last piece of the puzzle to how all these strategies succeeded) in my upcoming Webinar SuperClass.

If you’re interested, check out the details below.

Otherwise, jump on my email list & I’ll shoot you an update when I share my next blog post.

 

APPS WITHOUTCODE (3)

Thanks for checking out my blog post!

Believe it or not, there was a lot of detail I left out.

So I’m planning an awesome webinar for folks who want to 10x their own website traffic & signups

Here’s what I’ll cover in the webinar:

 

Reserve your seat here 

(You won’t actually be charged until we set a date for the webinar. Recording will also be available if you cannot attend live.)

>> Add to Cart – $49 <<

 

 

Categories

Marketing

TaraReed_ View All

Hi there- My name is Tara Reed & I’m the founder of Kollecto. I'm a non-technical founder building software without writing any code.I’m also a first-time entrepreneur who swore I'd never become an entrepreneur…Oh well, sh*t happens! :) Follow my journey as I build a cool art startup...

8 thoughts on “How I Win 1000 Signups/mo. by Hacking Social Media Leave a comment

  1. This is awesome information. I agree, whenever I type in advice about blogging, all these vague articles pop up that really don’t help much… so thanks for the insight! I’m going to share this on my Facebook travel blogger page!

    Like

  2. I think this also can apply to promotion of content from music artist trying ga in wAves online…especially in regards to a brand new video or album. I am definitely using these services you mentioned. You were very specific and knowledgeable

    Like

  3. Awesome tips! I haven’t read an entire blog post in many moons. Another thing I like to do with twitter is share OPC (other people’s content) using a tool like snip.ly. Sure you’re sending traffic to another website, however snip.ly allows you to overlay a comment box where you can add the link of your choosing. Another Jab…in the marketing strategy!

    Like

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