Growth Hack Yourself

It’s 2:00AM and I can feel a headache approaching after I’ve spent countless hours scouring a variety of technical blog posts and ugly developer websites. Maybe I’m just feeling extra feisty because I’m tired or maybe I have a point. I’m going to believe in the latter as I delve deeper into this topic of online branding and see if there is anything that I can do to improve my online game and stand out in a super competitive industry.

I recently had the opportunity to see an event on growth hacking and it was awesome! The idea of getting ‘free’ users by setting goals and funnels that followed key metrics was something I really gravitated towards. Also, the ability to track all the ways a user interacts with your product is pretty damn cool. I want to try!

But unfortunately, I don’t have a website getting thousands of page views or a mobile application that is sending me detailed user information that I can optimize. But I do have a social media presence and much like other developers, it has been extremely lacking lately. I think it’s time to spruce it up! LinkedIn and Twitter, you better watch out.

#1 LinkedIn

So, LinkedIn already has a bunch of built in metrics that display everything from profile views, to posts. Below are just a couple screenshots from a recent article that I published to my network. I can see a total count of the readers and how they are split by demographic.

Recent activity of a selected post
Demographics of viewers

That is pretty cool but this is suppose to be a technical blog post and I don’t think that this functionality is damn near nerdy enough for a post on my awesome blog to be dedicated to it. So taking things one step further, I decided to parse a CSV file of all my connections on Linkedin. I extracted all my contents and applied the below ruby code to the CSV file.

Snippet of Code used to parse the CSV file

I was able to capture their name, industry, and location so next time I publish an article, I have the option of sending them an email to make sure that they are aware of my post. I can even filter who I send an email to based on article content like geography, target industry, etc. This will now be extremely useful when I want to get additional views of future posts. And since the email list is in a super easy to maintain format, I can easily use a host of different tools like Mailchimp to create newsletters and other content effortlessly.

#2 Twitter

The first option that I’m going to detail I believe is compliant with the T&Cs of Twitter. This nifty little trick allows you to follow all the users on a given page. This is extremely useful when building lists on a specific topic or say following your competitors followers (Muahaha). This list will automatically follow all visible people on the page.

First you want to be be on a page that shows the users that you wish to follow with the accompanying “follow” button. In the example below, I just searched for everyone who was tweeting about #KittenMittens.

Yay! Kitten Mittens

Then after you find the list of all those people that you would like to follow, you simply just open up the “inspect element” tool on Google Chrome browsers and open up the console. All you have to do next is paste the following code snippet into the console and it will go through the page following all the users listed. If you want it to stop, you can just close out of your console or type in “clearInterval(a)” in the console.

Code Snippet

Now if you want to take things to the next level and you don’t care about Twitter’s T&C, or being called “Spam master” by your friends then you can actually apply the above code on multiple pages but keep in mind that you can only follow up to 1,000 people a day. In addition, you can pair this strategy up with a program that allows you to delete people that don’t follow you back (There are tons of platforms available). This will help to preserve your golden follow/follower ratio. Thennnn, you can even tweak the above JavaScript snippet to do things like favorite, retweet, and quote tons of tweets at a time. I’m not providing the code here but if you really want to do it, I’m sure you will find a way.

I plan on learning more growth hacking techniques that I can apply on a personal, professional, and product level. There is no shortage of eager startups that are looking to maximize every dollar and I’m sure that we will see some extremely innovative ideas in the near future.

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