More on Marketing
1 year ago
How TikTok helped us grow to 6 million users
This resulted to obimy's new audience.
Hi! obimy's official account. Here, we'll teach app developers and marketers. In 2022, our downloads increased dramatically, so we'll share what we learned.
obimy is what we call a ‘senseger’. It's a new method to communicate digitally. Instead of text, obimy users connect through senses and moods. Feeling playful? Flirt with your partner, pat a pal, or dump water on a classmate. Each feeling is an interactive animation with vibration. It's a wordless app. App Store and Google Play have obimy.
We had 20,000 users in 2022. Two to five thousand of them opened the app monthly. Our DAU metric was 500.
We have 6 million users after 6 months. 500,000 individuals use obimy daily. obimy was the top lifestyle app this week in the U.S.
And TikTok helped.
TikTok fuels obimys' growth. It's why our app exploded. How and what did we learn? Our Head of Marketing, Anastasia Avramenko, knows.
our actions prior to TikTok
We wanted to achieve product-market fit through organic expansion. Quora, Reddit, Facebook Groups, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Apple Search Ads, and social media activity were tested. Nothing worked. Our CPI was sometimes $4, so unit economics didn't work.
We studied our markets and made audience hypotheses. We promoted our goods and studied our audience through social media quizzes. Our target demographic was Americans in long-distance relationships. I designed quizzes like Test the Strength of Your Relationship to better understand the user base. After each quiz, we encouraged users to download the app to enhance their connection and bridge the distance.
We got 1,000 responses for $50. This helped us comprehend the audience's grief and coping strategies (aka our rivals). I based action items on answers given. If you can't embrace a loved one, use obimy.
We also tried Facebook and Google ads. From the start, we knew it wouldn't work.
We were desperate to discover a free way to get more users.
Our journey to TikTok
TikTok is a great venue for emerging creators. It also helped reach people. Before obimy, my TikTok videos garnered 12 million views without sponsored promotion.
We had to act. TikTok was required.
I wasn't a TikTok user before obimy. Initially, I uploaded promotional content. Call-to-actions appear strange next to dancing challenges and my money don't jiggle jiggle. I learned TikTok. Watch TikTok for an hour was on my to-do list. What a dream job!
Our most popular movies presented the app alongside text outlining what it does. We started promoting them in Europe and the U.S. and got a 16% CTR and $1 CPI, an improvement over our previous efforts.
Somehow, we were expanding. So we came up with new hypotheses, calls to action, and content.
Four months passed, yet we saw no organic growth.
Russia attacked Ukraine.
Our app aimed to be helpful. For now, we're focusing on our Ukrainian audience. I posted sloppy TikToks illustrating how obimy can help during shelling or air raids.
In two hours, Kostia sent me our visitor count. Our servers crashed.
Initially, we had several thousand daily users. Over 200,000 users joined obimy in a week. They posted obimy videos on TikTok, drawing additional users. We've also resumed U.S. video promotion.
We gained 2,000,000 new members with less than $100 in ads, primarily in the U.S. and U.K.
We were confident we'd chosen the ideal tool for organic growth.
Over 45 million people have viewed our own videos plus a ton of user-generated content with the hashtag #obimy.
About 375 thousand people have liked all of our individual videos.
The number of downloads and the virality of videos are directly correlated.
Where are we now?
TikTok fuels our organic growth. We post 56 videos every week and pay to promote viral content.
We use UGC and influencers. We worked with Universal Music Italy on Eurovision. They offered to promote us through their million-follower TikTok influencers. We thought their followers would improve our audience, but it didn't matter. Integration didn't help us. Users that share obimy videos with their followers can reach several million views, which affects our download rate.
After the dust settled, we determined our key audience was 13-18-year-olds. They want to express themselves, but it's sometimes difficult. We're searching for methods to better engage with our users. We opened a Discord server to discuss anime and video games and gather app and content feedback.
TikTok helps us test product updates and hypotheses. Example: I once thought we might raise MAU by prompting users to add strangers as friends. Instead of asking our team to construct it, I made a TikTok urging users to share invite URLs. Users share links under every video we upload, embracing people worldwide.
Don't direct-sell. TikTok isn't for Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube promo videos. Conventional advertisements don't fit. Most users will swipe up and watch humorous doggos.
More product videos are better. Finally. So what?
Encourage interaction. Tagging friends in comments or making videos with the app promotes it more than any marketing spend.
Be odd and risqué. A user mistakenly sent a French kiss to their mom in one of our most popular videos.
TikTok helps test hypotheses and build your user base. It also helps develop apps. In our upcoming blog, we'll guide you through obimy's design revisions based on TikTok. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
11 months ago
I Posted Six Times a Day for 210 Days on Twitter. Here's What Happened.
I'd spend hours composing articles only to find out they were useless. Twitter solved the problem.
Twitter is wrinkled, say critics.
Nope. Writing is different. It won't make sense until you write there.
Twitter is resurgent. People are reading again. 15-second TikToks overloaded our senses.
After nuking my 20,000-follower Twitter account and starting again, I wrote every day for 210 days.
I came across the strange world of microblogging.
Traditional web writing is filler-heavy.
On Twitter, you must be brief. I played Wordle.
Twitter Threads are the most popular writing format. Like a blog post. It reminds me of the famous broetry posts on LinkedIn a few years ago.
Threads combine tweets into an article.
Sharp, concise sentences
No regard for grammar
As important as the information is how the text looks.
Twitter Threads are like Michael Angelo's David monument. He chipped away at an enormous piece of marble until a man with a big willy appeared.
That's Twitter Threads.
I tried to remove unnecessary layers from several of my Wordpress blog posts. Then I realized something.
Tweeting from scratch is easier and more entertaining. It's quicker and makes you think more concisely.
Superpower: saying much with little words. My long-form writing has improved. My article sentences resemble tweets.
You never know what will happen.
Twitter's subcultures are odd. Best-performing tweets are strange.
Unusual trend: working alone and without telling anyone. It's a rebellion against Instagram influencers who share their every moment.
Early on, random thoughts worked:
My friend’s wife is Ukrainian. Her family are trapped in the warzone. He is devastated. And here I was complaining about my broken garage door. War puts everything in perspective. Today is a day to be grateful for peace.
Documenting what's happening triggers writing. It's not about viral tweets. Helping others matters.
There are numerous anonymous users.
Twitter uses pseudonyms.
You don't matter. On sites like LinkedIn, you must use your real name. Welcome to the Cyberpunk metaverse of Twitter :)
One daily piece of writing is a powerful habit.
Habits build creator careers. Read that again.
Twitter is an easy habit to pick up. If you can't tweet in one sentence, something's wrong. Easy-peasy-japanese.
Not what I tweeted, but my constancy, made the difference.
Daily writing is challenging, especially if your supervisor is on your back. Twitter encourages writing.
Tweets evolved as the foundation of all other material.
During my experiment, I enjoyed Twitter's speed.
Tweets get immediate responses, comments, and feedback. My popular tweets become newspaper headlines. I've also written essays from tweet discussions.
Sometimes the tweet and article were clear. Twitter sometimes helped me overcome writer's block.
I used to spend hours composing big things that had little real-world use.
Twitter helped me. No guessing. Data guides my coverage and validates concepts.
Test ideas on Twitter.
It took some time for my email list to grow.
Subscribers are a writer's lifeblood.
Without them, you're broke and homeless when Mark Zuckerberg tweaks the algorithms for ad dollars. Twitter has three ways to obtain email subscribers:
1. Add a link to your bio.
Twitter allows bio links (LinkedIn now does too). My eBook's landing page is linked. I collect emails there.
2. Start an online newsletter.
Twitter bought newsletter app Revue. They promote what they own.
I just established up a Revue email newsletter. I imported them weekly into my ConvertKit email list.
3. Create Twitter threads and include a link to your email list in the final tweet.
Write Twitter Threads and link the last tweet to your email list (example below).
Initial email subscribers were modest.
Numbers are growing. Twitter provides 25% of my new email subscribers. Some days, 50 people join.
Without them, my writing career is over. I'd be back at a 9-5 job begging for time off to spend with my newborn daughter. Nope.
Collect email addresses or die trying.
As insurance against unsubscribes and Zucks, use a second email list or Discord community.
What I still need to do
Twitter's fun. I'm wiser. I need to enable auto-replies and auto-DMs (direct messages).
This adds another way to attract subscribers. I schedule tweets with Tweet Hunter.
It’s best to go slow. People assume you're an internet marketer if you spam them with click requests.
A human internet marketer is preferable to a robot. My opinion.
210 days on Twitter taught me that. I plan to use the platform until I'm a grandfather unless Elon ruins it.
1 year ago
How to gain Twitter followers: A 101 Guide
No wonder brands use Twitter to reach their audience. 53% of Twitter users buy new products first.
Twitter growth does more than make your brand look popular. It helps clients trust your business. It boosts your industry standing. It shows clients, prospects, and even competitors you mean business.
How can you naturally gain Twitter followers?
Share useful information
Post visual content
Spread your @name everywhere.
Use existing customers
Share useful information
Twitter users join conversations and consume material. To build your followers, make sure your material appeals to them and gives value, whether it's sales, product lessons, or current events.
Use Twitter Analytics to learn what your audience likes.
Explore popular topics by utilizing relevant keywords and hashtags. Check out this post on how to use Twitter trends.
Post visual content
97% of Twitter users focus on images, so incorporating media can help your Tweets stand out. Visuals and videos make content more engaging and memorable.
Your audience should expect regular content updates. Plan your ideas and tweet during crucial seasons and events with a content calendar.
Twitter connects people. Do more than tweet. Follow industry leaders. Retweet influencers, engage with thought leaders, and reply to mentions and customers to boost engagement.
Micro-influencers can promote your brand or items. They can help you gain new audiences' trust.
Spread your @name everywhere.
Maximize brand exposure. Add a follow button on your website, link to it in your email signature and newsletters, and promote it on business cards or menus.
Use existing customers
Emails can be used to find existing Twitter clients. Upload your email contacts and follow your customers on Twitter to start a dialogue.
Run a followers campaign to boost your organic growth. Followers campaigns promote your account to a particular demographic, and you only pay when someone follows you.
Consider short campaigns to enhance momentum or an always-on campaign to gain new followers.
Increasing your brand's Twitter followers takes effort and experimentation, but the payback is huge.
👋 Follow me on twitter
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9 months ago
Explaining Twitter Files
Elon Musk, Matt Taibbi, the 'Twitter Files,' and Hunter Biden's laptop: what gives?
Explaining Twitter Files
Matt Taibbi released "The Twitter Files," a batch of emails sent by Twitter executives discussing the company's decision to stop an October 2020 New York Post story online.
What's on Twitter? New York Post and Fox News call them "bombshell" documents. Or, as a Post columnist admitted, are they "not the smoking gun"? Onward!
What started this?
The New York Post published an exclusive, potentially explosive story in October 2020: Biden's Secret Emails: Ukrainian executive thanks Hunter Biden for'meeting' veep dad. The story purported to report the contents of a laptop brought to the tabloid by a Delaware computer repair shop owner who said it belonged to President Biden's second son, Hunter Biden. Emails and files on the laptop allegedly showed how Hunter peddled influence with Ukranian businessmen and included a "raunchy 12-minute video" of Hunter smoking crack and having sex.
Twitter banned links to the Post story after it was published, calling it "hacked material." The Post's Twitter account was suspended for multiple days.
Why? Yoel Roth, Twitter's former head of trust and safety, said the company couldn't verify the story, implying they didn't trust the Post.
Twitter's stated purpose rarely includes verifying news stories. This seemed like intentional political interference. This story was hard to verify because the people who claimed to have found the laptop wouldn't give it to other newspapers. (Much of the story, including Hunter's business dealings in Ukraine and China, was later confirmed.)
Roth: "It looked like a hack and leak."
So what are the “Twitter Files?”
Twitter's decision to bury the story became a political scandal, and new CEO Elon Musk promised an explanation. The Twitter Files, named after Facebook leaks.
Musk promised exclusive details of "what really happened" with Hunter Biden late Friday afternoon. The tweet was punctuated with a popcorn emoji.
Explaining Twitter Files
Three hours later, journalist Matt Taibbi tweeted more than three dozen tweets based on internal Twitter documents that revealed "a Frankensteinian tale of a human-built mechanism grown out of its designer's control."
Musk sees this release as a way to shape Twitter's public perception and internal culture in his image. We don't know if the CEO gave Taibbi the documents. Musk hyped the document dump before and during publication, but Taibbi cited "internal sources."
Taibbi shares email screenshots showing Twitter execs discussing the Post story and blocking its distribution. Taibbi says the emails show Twitter's "extraordinary steps" to bury the story.
Twitter communications chief Brandon Borrman has the most damning quote in the Files. Can we say this is policy? The story seemed unbelievable. It seemed like a hack... or not? Could Twitter, which ex-CEO Dick Costolo called "the free speech wing of the free speech party," censor a news story?
Many on the right say the Twitter Files prove the company acted at the behest of Democrats. Both parties had these tools, writes Taibbi. In 2020, both the Trump White House and Biden campaign made requests. He says the system for reporting tweets for deletion is unbalanced because Twitter employees' political donations favor Democrats. Perhaps. These donations may have helped Democrats connect with Twitter staff, but it's also possible they didn't. No emails in Taibbi's cache show these alleged illicit relations or any actions Twitter employees took as a result.
Even Musk's supporters were surprised by the drop. Miranda Devine of the New York Post told Tucker Carlson the documents weren't "the smoking gun we'd hoped for." Sebastian Gorka said on Truth Social, "So far, I'm deeply underwhelmed." DC Democrats collude with Palo Alto Democrats. Whoop!” The Washington Free Beacon's Joe Simonson said the Twitter files are "underwhelming." Twitter was staffed by Democrats who did their bidding. (Why?)
If "The Twitter Files" matter, why?
These emails led Twitter to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story has real news value. It's rare for a large and valuable company like Twitter to address wrongdoing so thoroughly. Emails resemble FOIA documents. They describe internal drama at a company with government-level power. Katie Notopoulos tweeted, "Any news outlet would've loved this scoop!" It's not a'scandal' as teased."
Twitter's new owner calls it "the de facto public town square," implying public accountability. Like a government agency. Though it's exciting to receive once-hidden documents in response to a FOIA, they may be boring and tell you nothing new. Like Twitter files. We learned how Twitter blocked the Post's story, but not why. Before these documents were released, we knew Twitter had suppressed the story and who was involved.
These people were disciplined and left Twitter. Musk fired Vijaya Gadde, the former CLO who reportedly played a "key role" in the decision. Roth quit over Musk's "dictatorship." Musk arrived after Borrman left. Jack Dorsey, then-CEO, has left. Did those who digitally quarantined the Post's story favor Joe Biden and the Democrats? Republican Party opposition and Trump hatred? New York Post distaste? According to our documents, no. Was there political and press interference? True. We knew.
Taibbi interviewed anonymous ex-Twitter employees about the decision; all expressed shock and outrage. One source said, "Everyone knew this was fucked." Since Taibbi doesn't quote that expletive, we can assume the leaked emails contained few or no sensational quotes. These executives said little to support nefarious claims.
Outlets more invested in the Hunter Biden story than Gizmodo seem vexed by the release and muted headlines. The New York Post, which has never shied away from a blaring headline in its 221-year history, owns the story of Hunter Biden's laptop. Two Friday-night Post alerts about Musk's actions were restrained. Elon Musk will drop Twitter files on NY Post-Hunter Biden laptop censorship today. Elon Musk's Twitter dropped Post censorship details from Biden's laptop. Fox News' Apple News push alert read, "Elon Musk drops Twitter censorship documents."
Bombshell, bombshell, bombshell… what, exactly, is the bombshell? Maybe we've heard this story too much and are missing the big picture. Maybe these documents detail a well-documented decision.
The Post explains why on its website. "Hunter Biden laptop bombshell: Twitter invented reason to censor Post's reporting," its headline says.
Twitter's ad hoc decision to moderate a tabloid's content is not surprising. The social network had done this for years as it battled toxic users—violent white nationalists, virulent transphobes, harassers and bullies of all political stripes, etc. No matter how much Musk crows, the company never had content moderation under control. Buzzfeed's 2016 investigation showed how Twitter has struggled with abusive posters since 2006. Jack Dorsey and his executives improvised, like Musk.
Did the US government interfere with the ex-social VP's media company? That's shocking, a bombshell. Musk said Friday, "Twitter suppressing free speech by itself is not a 1st amendment violation, but acting under government orders with no judicial review is." Indeed! Taibbi believed this. August 2022: "The laptop is secondary." Zeynep Tufecki, a Columbia professor and New York Times columnist, says the FBI is cutting true story distribution. Taibbi retracted the claim Friday night: "I've seen no evidence of government involvement in the laptop story."
What’s the bottom line?
I'm still not sure what's at stake in the Hunter Biden scandal after dozens of New York Post articles, hundreds of hours of Fox News airtime, and thousands of tweets. Briefly: Joe Biden's son left his laptop with a questionable repairman. FBI confiscated it? The repairman made a copy and gave it to Rudy Giuliani's lawyer. The Post got it from Steve Bannon. On that laptop were videos of Hunter Biden smoking crack, cavorting with prostitutes, and emails about introducing his father to a Ukrainian businessman for $50,000 a month. Joe Biden urged Ukraine to fire a prosecutor investigating the company. What? The story seems to be about Biden family business dealings, right?
The discussion has moved past that point anyway. Now, the story is the censorship of it. Adrienne Rich wrote in "Diving Into the Wreck" that she came for "the wreck and not the story of the wreck" No matter how far we go, Hunter Biden's laptop is done. Now, the crash's story matters.
I'm dizzy. Katherine Miller of BuzzFeed wrote, "I know who I believe, and you probably do, too. To believe one is to disbelieve the other, which implicates us in the decision; we're stuck." I'm stuck. Hunter Biden's laptop is a political fabrication. You choose. I've decided.
This could change. Twitter Files drama continues. Taibbi said, "Much more to come." I'm dizzy.
1 year ago
Humanity is not even a Type 1 civilization. What might a Type 3 be capable of?
The Kardashev scale grades civilizations from Type 1 to Type 3 based on energy harvesting.
How do technologically proficient civilizations emerge across timescales measuring in the tens of thousands or even millions of years? This is a question that worries me as a researcher in the search for “technosignatures” from other civilizations on other worlds. Since it is already established that longer-lived civilizations are the ones we are most likely to detect, knowing something about their prospective evolutionary trajectories could be translated into improved search tactics. But even more than knowing what to seek for, what I really want to know is what happens to a society after so long time. What are they capable of? What do they become?
This was the question Russian SETI pioneer Nikolai Kardashev asked himself back in 1964. His answer was the now-famous “Kardashev Scale.” Kardashev was the first, although not the last, scientist to try and define the processes (or stages) of the evolution of civilizations. Today, I want to launch a series on this question. It is crucial to technosignature studies (of which our NASA team is hard at work), and it is also important for comprehending what might lay ahead for mankind if we manage to get through the bottlenecks we have now.
The Kardashev scale
Kardashev’s question can be expressed another way. What milestones in a civilization’s advancement up the ladder of technical complexity will be universal? The main notion here is that all (or at least most) civilizations will pass through some kind of definable stages as they progress, and some of these steps might be mirrored in how we could identify them. But, while Kardashev’s major focus was identifying signals from exo-civilizations, his scale gave us a clear way to think about their evolution.
The classification scheme Kardashev employed was not based on social systems of ethics because they are something that we can probably never predict about alien cultures. Instead, it was built on energy, which is something near and dear to the heart of everybody trained in physics. Energy use might offer the basis for universal stages of civilisation progression because you cannot do the work of establishing a civilization without consuming energy. So, Kardashev looked at what energy sources were accessible to civilizations as they evolved technologically and used those to build his scale.
From Kardashev’s perspective, there are three primary levels or “types” of advancement in terms of harvesting energy through which a civilization should progress.
Type 1: Civilizations that can capture all the energy resources of their native planet constitute the first stage. This would imply capturing all the light energy that falls on a world from its host star. This makes it reasonable, given solar energy will be the largest source available on most planets where life could form. For example, Earth absorbs hundreds of atomic bombs’ worth of energy from the Sun every second. That is a rather formidable energy source, and a Type 1 race would have all this power at their disposal for civilization construction.
Type 2: These civilizations can extract the whole energy resources of their home star. Nobel Prize-winning scientist Freeman Dyson famously anticipated Kardashev’s thinking on this when he imagined an advanced civilization erecting a large sphere around its star. This “Dyson Sphere” would be a machine the size of the complete solar system for gathering stellar photons and their energy.
Type 3: These super-civilizations could use all the energy produced by all the stars in their home galaxy. A normal galaxy has a few hundred billion stars, so that is a whole lot of energy. One way this may be done is if the civilization covered every star in their galaxy with Dyson spheres, but there could also be more inventive approaches.
Implications of the Kardashev scale
Climbing from Type 1 upward, we travel from the imaginable to the god-like. For example, it is not hard to envisage utilizing lots of big satellites in space to gather solar energy and then beaming that energy down to Earth via microwaves. That would get us to a Type 1 civilization. But creating a Dyson sphere would require chewing up whole planets. How long until we obtain that level of power? How would we have to change to get there? And once we get to Type 3 civilizations, we are virtually thinking about gods with the potential to engineer the entire cosmos.
For me, this is part of the point of the Kardashev scale. Its application for thinking about identifying technosignatures is crucial, but even more strong is its capacity to help us shape our imaginations. The mind might become blank staring across hundreds or thousands of millennia, and so we need tools and guides to focus our attention. That may be the only way to see what life might become — what we might become — once it arises to start out beyond the boundaries of space and time and potential.
This is a summary. Read the full article here.
1 year ago
Pixelmon NFTs are so bad, they are almost good!
Bored Apes prices continue to rise, HAPEBEAST launches, Invisible Friends hype continues to grow. Sadly, not all projects are as successful.
Of course, there are many factors to consider when buying an NFT. Is the project a scam? Will the reveal derail the project? Possibly, but when Pixelmon first teased its launch, it generated a lot of buzz.
With a primary sale mint price of 3 ETH ($8,100 USD), it started as an expensive project, with plenty of fans willing to invest in what was sold as a game. After it was revealed, it fell rapidly.
Why? It was overpromised and under delivered.
According to the project's creator[^1], the funds generated will be used to develop the artwork. "The Pixelmon reveal was wrong. This is what our Pixelmon look like in-game. "Despite the fud, I will not go anywhere," he wrote on Twitter. The goal remains. The funds will still be used to build our game. I will finish this project."
The project raised $70 million USD, but the NFTs buyers received were not the project's original teasers. Some call it "the worst NFT project ever," while others call it a complete scam.
But there's hope for some buyers. Kevin emerged from the ashes as the project was roasted over the fire.
A Minecraft character meets Salad Fingers - that's Kevin. He's a frog-like creature whose reveal was such a terrible NFT that it became part of history – and a meme.
If you're laughing at people paying $8K for a silly pixelated image, you might need to take it back. Precisely because of this, lucky holders who minted Kevin have been able to sell the now-memed NFT for over 8 ETH (around $24,000 USD), with some currently listed for 100 ETH.
Of course, Twitter has been awash in memes mocking those who invested in the project, because what else can you do when so many people lose money?
It's still unclear if the NFT project is a scam, but the team behind it was hired on Upwork. There's still hope for redemption, but Kevin's rise to fame appears to be the only positive outcome so far.
[^1] This is not the first time the creator (A 20-yo New Zealanders) has sought money via an online platform and had people claiming he under-delivered. He raised $74,000 on Kickstarter for a card game called Psycho Chicken. There are hundreds of comments on the Kickstarter project saying they haven't received the product and pleading for a refund or an update.