How I Used Growth Hacking For The Greater Good by Jana Dennison

How I Used Growth Hacking For The Greater Good

Growth hacking. If you are in marketing you have heard the term, and have possibly even attended a hackathon or 10. I never felt great about this form of marketing. Scraping sites for email addresses and stealing the contacts of my competitors just felt…wrong. And since I named my company Zettist after my grandmother (Izetta), who was the purest of souls, I didn’t want to earn new business in any sort of shady ways.

That is, until I actually tried growth hacking for myself and it worked! Listen, I never once scraped a site or stole my competitors’ contacts. I didn’t even do it for my business. I did, however, try growth hacking on my personal Twitter account—just to see what would happen.

In just a few short months I went from 50 followers to over 2,000! Some of them spam bots, of course, but the majority are active Twitter users who interact with me. To say I was surprised is an understatement.

Now, my ways are amateur in comparison to almost anyone who calls herself a hacker. I am not here to claim that I am a growth hacker in any way, and our agency doesn’t offer “Growth Hacking,” but here is how I grew my audience with amateur growth tactics, and how you can, too. if you’ve found that your account has gone stale.

 

Follow Influencers

The first step on my quest to Internet fame (totally kidding, folks) was to follow influencers. I did a quick Google search on the top marketing influencers on Twitter and gave about 100 of them a “follow.” By doing this, I gained almost 200 followers in the first 24 hours. This is because some individuals/businesses have “follow bots” set up. So, you follow a specific influencer in their niche, and they follow you back!

As I gained followers, I followed everyone back. Remember those bots I talked about? They also automagically unfollow anyone who does not follow them back in predetermined amount of hours. By following everyone back, I avoided getting unfollowed.

Tweet!

It took about a month, but I finally had 1,000 followers. Before I reached this 1,000-follower threshold, I was not tweeting much. I was just focusing on the follow game. But, now that I had an audience, I used my favorite scheduling software to blast out tweets throughout the day.

Now people were interacting with me and I was getting excited!

 

Start Conversations

The next thing I did was think about, “How can I do more?” This led me to play around in a program called Zapier. (I don’t know why I hadn’t looked into this before, because it is absolutely amazing, but more on that later.)

Zapier is a program that does “if this, then that” tasks (IFTTT also does this, but Zapier seems to be more robust). I set up a Zap so that if someone follows me, I tweet at them. This sort of thing is generally used for evil. I can’t tell you how many DMst/tweets I get a day from people touting their products, or asking me if I need a social media agency to help with my business (Hello?! Know your audience!), but I was using this to generate some good, old-fashioned conversation.

I set up my Zap to say “Nice to “meet” you @______! Which brand inspires you the most?” Instantly, people were tweeting me brands that inspired them! Some people were confused by the question, but many got it.

This has done two things for me: First, it allows me to start a conversation with someone I do not know, but want to know. And second, I am learning about so many amazing brands that I had no clue about before!

As I write this, I have 2,206 followers on Twitter. I expect this number to grow to over 5,000 by the end of the year. I believe that this three-step growth hacking (if you can even call it that) process is for the greater good.

Would I recommend it to any of my clients? Probably not (unless they were an unknown brand)—but I would recommend it to anyone trying to grow his or her personal social influence, or get some brand recognition.

So, get out there and tweet you little birdies! And let us know how this simple trick works for you!

The Best Way To Leverage Your Brand On Social Media by Jana Dennison

The Best (And Most Fun) Way To Leverage Your Brand On Social Media

Social media marketing is not brain surgery, but it does take time. There are too many businesses that post to their accounts once in a blue moon and then never come back to schedule more posts or to check to see how the post is performing. Well, these businesses need to take a class in consistency!

With a great scheduling tool and just 10-20 minutes a day, you can take your social media marketing from zero to hero—and we are going to tell you how!

 

Be Social

I always ask fellow marketers for their one piece of marketing advice when I speak with them. Just a few months ago I was told, “Treat people how you want to be treated.”

This golden rule is not only wonderful for your personal life, but for social media as well. If you see someone crushing their fitness goals online and your brand revolves around fitness, let them know you are rooting for them and cheering them on! If you see other marketers who are getting great results, ask them how they did it and let them know they are an inspiration to you!

Social media is meant to be social. Let’s all work together to keep it that way.

We could honestly stop here. Be social. Stay social. There are multiple ways for you to remain social and active even if you do not have much engagement on your posts. If this is an area that stumps you, read on!

 

Twitter Search

If you are on Twitter and find that not many people tag your handle, you can always utilize the search bar to have mini discussions with people who maybe mentioned your brand without tagging (check this by typing your brand name without the @). Or if your brand is new, you can search topics you are an expert on and insert yourself into relevant conversations!

Let’s say you own a roofing business: You could type “roof” into the search bar, apply a location to your search filters, and start a conversation with people in your area who are having roof problems! It’s so simple, and a great way for you to start to build a relationship with peopl who will grow to trust your brand because you engaged with them.

For example, if I find a post where one of my fitness clients is mentioned without a tag, I will look to see what that tweet says. If the person writes, “I need a gym membership!” we’ll  send them a pass to try our gym free for a day.

One “free pass” link has been clicked over 300 times—this year alone! Imagine having 300 more leads just from a simple Twitter search. And, by the way, you can also search terms on Facebook as well.

 

Hashtags

Another great way to start a conversation is by following a relevant hashtag on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Since we are on the topic of roofing you could follow the hashtags #home #roofing #roof or something else that speaks to your niche and go through and comment on media revolving around this subject.

Instagram works better for a global audience or for a company that is in multiple states, but if you use it correctly and avoid spamming people, your comments could go a long way!

 

Reply to Comments

This is the easiest way to stay social, and possibly the most ignored! If people are interacting with your brand, you are very lucky. Reply to everyone! Even negative comments. This will help to establish you as trustworthy and help you to gain a higher following. If others see that you reply, they will be more likely to follow along and start a convo with you.

If you consistently follow this advice and track your progress, you will most definitely see great results. By following these simple steps, my personal Twitter went from 50 followers to over 2,000 followers in just a few short months. It’s amazing what a simple conversation can do. So, get out there and get social!

How To Make A Gif Meme In Photoshop by Jana Dennison

How To Make A Gif Meme In Photoshop (With Video)

Memes are all the craze right now, but they can be tricky to figure out—especially when the meme includes an animated GIF. Well, if you are wondering how you can make GIF meme like our example below, look no further!

We are going to go through the step-by-step process for you. If you are a visual learner, head to the bottom of this page and check out our YouTube tutorial.  Now, we won't be making the actual GIF, but we will be embedding it into a meme and then uploading it to Twitter and Instagram.

 

How to Make a GIF Meme

First, head over to Google or Giphy and search for the GIF file that you would like to use. I tend use Google just in case the creator of the animation did not upload the file to Giphy. For this tutorial, we typed “happy dance” into Google and got this adorable result:

 

Make sure that your GIF fully loads before you download it, or you will end up with a motionless JPEG image.

 

Take These Photoshop Steps

Next, open Photoshop and grab the GIF that you just downloaded from your file folder.

We always want our memes to be a square so that they look great on all visual platforms. To do this, click on Image > Canvas Size. Your canvas becomes a square when you make the width and height the larger the same size and always the larger of the two numbers. In this case, and in many cases, it is 6.944 in. Once your canvas is “larger number” x “larger number,” you are ready for the next step.

Now that your GIF is in the middle of the square canvas, you may want to move it. You can do this by clicking the top layer of your GIF in the “Layers” panel, holding down shift, and clicking the bottom layer.

Once all of your layers are selected, click the “Move” tool and move the GIF to the spot on the canvas where you want it to be. When you’re satisfied with the position, be sure to click the spacebar to see how it looks. We recommend doing this after each step. This way, if you mess up, you don't have to start all over again from the beginning! (Don’t you wish there was a “spacebar” for life?)

screenshot3.png

Once your GIF is in the correct place, it is time to add your text.

You can add the text by clicking the “Type” tool in Photoshop and selecting the font, size, and color you would like to use. Then type in that caption! 

Now that your text is on the image and you have checked to make sure the GIF looks correct, you are done! Unless you are looking for some recognition, then read along.

Brand Your Masterpiece

If you want people to know who created this masterpiece, we suggest either putting your logo or Instagram/Twitter handle in the corner of the photo. This will give people who think it’s funny or helpful a reference on who to follow on social media. So, grab that “Type” tool, or drag your logo to the corner and then, you guessed it, check to make sure it looks perfect!.

In our tutorial, our logo was huge when we dragged it onto the canvas. In order to change this, make sure the logo layer is selected and then hit Command + T or Control + T (depending on whether you have a Mac or PC). Now hold down Shift to make the image smaller or larger. By holding down Shift, you are letting Photoshop know that you want to scale it down with its proper proportions.

screenshot5.png

Save for Twitter

The final step to creating this animated masterpiece is to go to File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy). If you don’t want the transparent background, uncheck the box that says “Transparent” and make sure all of your settings look like these:

screenshot6.png

Save for Instagram and Facebook

This GIF will now work on Twitter, but for Instagram and Facebook you need to take it a step further. Go to Giphy and upload your GIF to their platform. Make sure to fill out the tags and source URL (your website). Then, when the GIF uploads, click the Instagram or Facebook icon and Giphy will email you the file. Or, you can go to File, Export, Render Video in Photoshop and you will get the same result (Just make sure the file size will fit on social media)!

Voilá! You are now a GIF god! Now get out there and make people laugh with your creativity.

Have any questions or improvements to our tutorial? Comment below! We always love feedback.

Content Marketing 101: The Benefits Of Sharing Value by Jana Dennison

Content Marketing 101: The Benefits of Sharing Value

Connecting with customers can be hard. People don’t just want to receive flyers, watch ads, or endure another radio commercial (seriously). This is the old way of doing things, and it’s stale. With all the marketing noise in the world today we easily drown out most of it.

You know what’s crazy, though? People still seek out advertisements every day, and enjoy them. You’re guilty of this, too! You’ve probably even shared some with your friends.

But these aren’t flyers or magazine clippings of people with six-pack abs.

It’s content.

The Main Difference Between Traditional Marketing and Content Marketing

Okay, okay… I suppose flyers and magazine clippings are technically “content”. You got me. But the stuff we’re going to be making is different!

Let’s say you’re the owner of a local gym and you want to add content marketing to your business. There are plenty of ways to do this, but starting with a blog is a great first step. Some blog post examples could include:

How to Use Kettlebells
How Jackson Tucker Lost 70 Pounds with Zumba
10 Things Only People Who Hate Cardio Will Understand

Do these look familiar? Of course! You’ve seen posts like this on all sorts of sites, and this is exactly what content marketing is. The goal isn’t to sell anything.

It’s to create value

All the examples above are either informative, engaging, or entertaining. Maybe all three! This is exactly what people want. It’s worth their time, and they’re interested.

By now you’re probably beginning to see the magic of content marketing. You’re connecting with your audience in a genuine way, and they’re taking notice.

Here are 5 more benefits and distinctions that content marketing has over traditional marketing:

1. Communication

From questions, feedback, or just a friendly hello, social media platforms offer a great connection to your audience. You can find out what problems they’re having and what it is they want. Market research in the bag!

2. Increases Traffic

The greater the content, the more it gets shared. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest allow your best content to be seen by people that would normally be hard to reach. Get people talking!

3. You Own It

What’s created is yours and helps promote your brand. It also has the added benefit of a longer shelf life, unlike traditional advertisements.

4. Establishes You As The Expert

This one goes without saying. Demonstrating your expertise by helping others (without asking for anything in return) is a big deal, and ties in with the last point…

5. Builds Trust

This is huge. When newcomers are immediately greeted with a wealth of engaging content for free, a relationship begins to form. They start identifying with you, talking about you, and seeking out what else you have to offer. Awesome!

A Harmonious Relationship

Content marketing is the exact opposite of advertising. No longer do we have to shove our products or logos in front of people. Instead, we can simply provide what people wanted all along, and let them make their decisions from there. People, helping people, helping people!

That’s the essence of content marketing 

“You can never go wrong by investing in communities and the human beings within them.”
Pam Moore
For more content marketing tips, follow us on Instagram.