Laura Sotirova, a marketeer, former English teacher, Pilates and Yoga practitioner, and a Herizon community member takes us on a journey of how she leveraged social media marketing to promote a unique restaurant concept and the challenges she faces in finding and engaging her target audience.
Explore the transformative power of growth hacking and how it can adapt and thrive across different industries. Laura’s journey is a testament to the endless possibilities of growth hacking in today’s business landscape.
Laura is looking for new opportunities within marketing, check her LinkedIn profile to find out more and don’t hesitate to reach out to her!
Back in the spring of 2018, one of my closest friends shared some exciting news. She and her boyfriend had ambitious plans to open a restaurant in a little town in our country. This wasn’t just any restaurant, it was all about serving up healthy meals tailored for sports enthusiasts. – “There will be a lot of quinoa dishes, fresh salads, and protein-packed shakes” – she said.
I’ve always been careful about what I eat due to my Celiac disease, so when my friend mentioned the concept, a light bulb went off in my head. – “I can take charge of the social media marketing strategy for the restaurant’s social channels”!
In those days, I was already exploring the digital terrain of social media marketing thanks to my studies during my Master’s degree. Little did I know then just how rewarding this venture would eventually become. It was a testament to combined skills and passion in creating and spreading the message of health, fitness, and delicious, nourishing meals.
Our journey was a shared learning experience, with every person who entered through the restaurant’s door and those we transformed from mere Instagram and Facebook followers into flavourful foodies, turning scrolling into savouring. Armed with pixels and hashtags, we embarked on a digital gastronomic adventure, where every post became a passport to our world of healthy delights.
It was easier said than done when I embarked on the task of identifying and targeting our customer’s personas. How do we locate these elusive souls, and, more importantly, how do we tempt their palates to savor our culinary creations? This hurdle encapsulated a common social media marketing challenge – finding the right audience and, equally crucial, captivating their interest to become loyal customers of our restaurant.
I started enrolling in different digital marketing courses, diving into the knowledge that seemed to swirl endlessly, like a captivating whirlpool with no discernible end in sight. Upon completing each course, it became apparent that within the vast expense of the social media realm, there was always another layer to explore on the path to achieving those conversions for my restaurant project.
After four months of dedicated efforts in crafting different Instagram marketing strategies, we began to see the fruits of our persistence. During this time, we engaged in tracking of metrics, setting KPI’s, in – depth analysis, and testing. We continuously refined our KPI’s to align with our evolving objectives, which were focused on moving from the engagement phase to the conversion phase within our marketing funnel.
We eagerly anticipated the results, and at long last, our patience paid off as leads started to emerge. This marked the culmination of our social media marketing endeavours for my restaurant project, where our strategies effectively guided interested prospects toward the ultimate goal of becoming loyal customers. We achieved our long – sought–after results and witnessed the success we had tiredly worked for.
But what exactly Growth Hacking in the business sphere is?
To answer this question, I have to go back to my story and locate the setting when I decided to pack my bags and move to Finland. In a period when one world crisis was ending, and another one was just commencing, I decided to embark on a new chapter in my life and move to Finland. Amidst gathering information about the Finnish labor market, the job search, and the hunt for a place to call home, Mari from Herizon entered the picture. She had crafted a powerful Growth Hacking Fundamentals Course that delivered profound knowledge and fresh insights into the elusive world of Growth Hacking. It felt as if she had distilled the very essence of this cutting-edge field and made it accessible to those eager to grasp its true meaning.
To put it in the simplest possible words and explain what I have learned – Growth hacking is a dynamic approach to business growth that revolves around developing and executing innovative strategies to accelerate revenue and expand user or customer bases rapidly.
At its core, it involves a continuous cycle of data-driven analysis and experimentation. Growth hackers scrutinize data to gain insights into what is or isn’t working, which leads to the creation of hypotheses. These hypotheses are potential solutions or strategies aimed at enhancing KPI’s, such as user acquisition or conversion rates.
Prioritization is key to selecting the most promising hypothesis, considering factors like resource allocation and scalability. Finally, these hypotheses are tested rigorously, and the results are used to inform future strategies. Growth hacking is a constant and iterative process that empowers organizations to adapt quickly, innovate, and achieve their growth objectives.
Reflecting on our past efforts with my friend to promote and generate revenue for her restaurant, I can see now that we essentially operated as growth hackers, with our focus primarily on harnessing the power of social media. The realization has led me to understand that growth hacking is a versatile approach that can be applied across every facet of business. Whether it is strategizing for content marketing objectives, optimizing email marketing campaigns, or even applied in more conventional sectors, the principles of growth hacking can be adopted and put to use effectively. It is a framework that knows no boundaries, making it just as applicable and impactful in cutting-edge industries like EdTech and FinTech as it is in traditional business domains.
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