Airbnb is a website which lets homeowners rent out empty rooms to strangers through a posting on their site. They are known to have the most commendable growth hack because of their ability to reverse engineer Craigslist’s code. Users had the option to post their listing from Airbnb directly to Craigslist. In turn, the company saw a spike in traffic. The reason why Airbnb has such a great growth hack is that other companies couldn’t crack Craigslist’s proprietary code. After piggybacking and gaining momentum off of Craigslist for a while, Craigslist eventually fixed their code so Airbnb could no longer post directly. Regardless, the accomplishment had a lasting impact as Airbnb received the attention they wanted.
Twitter, one of the most popular social networking sites to date, struggled to keep a steady user base initially. A large number of people would be active for a few days and then log out for months at a time. Using testing and gathering required information, they rebuilt the site to lure their users back instead of using offers or promotions. They realized that if users select five to ten accounts to follow when they sign up, they would be more likely to return. People are willing to invest time and effort into things they have an interest in. They also realized that tweeting randomly doesn’t keep people around; rather, interacting does.
LinkedIn is a professional networking website. Their growth hack was a simple yet effective one. They allowed users the option to create public profiles. This let people search for them if their name was searched in a search engine. Before this, people who searched a name would need to filter out many irrelevant pages. LinkedIn made it possible to be found.
Youtube, the popular video streaming platform, also had a simple growth hack. They allowed users to share videos by directly copying an embed code they could use to post directly to their blog or website. This generated backlinks to Youtube.
Buffer is a sharing tool that lets users schedule when a post goes live. Their growth hack was done by purchasing the Digg Digg floating bar. This bar follows you as you scroll up and down the page. From here, they made their button an option on the bar which gave the company much-needed promotion.
Hotmail was a popular email platform in the 90s. A positive technique led to their growth hack. Emails sent through Hotmail contained a link which read “PS – I love you.” Once clicked, the link led back to Hotmail’s homepage. People were compelled to click the link and thus sign up for their service.
Dropbox used the strategy of referrals for their growth hack. Being a cloud-based storage host, Dropbox offered free increased storage per referral. Because of this incentive, their user base spread like wildfire. It was a cost effective approach compared to using advertisements to promote their services.
Online social networking site Facebook also had a few tricks up their sleeve. One of their growth hacks was possible through the use of embeddable widgets and badges. Users could post these on their blogs and websites which in turn gave Facebook better visibility. Some of these widgets led to hundreds of millions of clicks as well as millions of sign ups!
Quora is an online Q&A (question and answer) platform where anyone can post a question. Their growth hack was studying the behaviors and patterns of active users on Quora. Using this information, Quora created the same patterns on their website so that other users would mirror the same behavior.
PayPal, the online merchant platform, had a growth hack through eBay. Sellers originally had to post via text that they accepted PayPal. Because of its overwhelming popularity, PayPal made their logo usable for eBay. This logo was displayed next to company giants Visa and MasterCard. Soon, users from all over created accounts since PayPal was thought to be as trustworthy and prestigious as Visa and Mastercard. Other online retailers began using PayPal’s service as an acceptable form of payment because of its rapid growth and popularity.