M profiles logo on a black background.
20 Examples of growth hacking actions

20 Examples of growth hacking actions



Growth hacking is a marketing approach designed to stimulate the growth of a company, product or service using creative, innovative and cost-effective methods. This strategy is based on continuous experimentation, in-depth data analysis and a detailed understanding of user needs. The main objective is to identify and exploit the most efficient strategies for attracting customers, converting them and building lasting loyalty.

In this article, we explore 20 concrete examples of growth hacking actions that have propelled the rapid development of some of the world’s most recognized companies, setting them apart from their competitors. These case studies could provide the inspiration you need to integrate growth hacking into your projects and strategies. MirrorProfiles could well become the tool that enables you to appear in this list of successful growth hacking examples in the near future.

Airbnb: Using Craigslist to boost your visibility

Airbnb, the famous platform that lets individuals rent out their homes to travelers, has deployed a formidable growth hacking trick to gain a foothold in the market. Their strategy? “Partner” with Craigslist, a popular classified ad giant in the United States.

The operation was clever. Once a listing was published on Airbnb, hosts had the option of simultaneously sharing it on Craigslist with a single click. In doing so, they not only took advantage of the immense visibility offered by Craigslist, but also directed users to their listing on Airbnb. Airbnb went a step further by contacting people offering accommodations on Craigslist directly by email, inviting them to register with Airbnb for additional benefits.

This tactic offered Airbnb a golden opportunity to capitalize on Craigslist’s traffic and reputation without investing in advertising. Airbnb has thus been able to set itself apart, offering a superior, safer and better user experience. Thanks to this ingenious growth hacking technique, Airbnb has considerably increased its number of hosts and travelers, expanding its international reach.

Dropbox: Refer a friend for more storage space

Dropbox, a platform dedicated to online file storage and sharing, has set itself apart thanks to an inventive growth hacking strategy. The company rewarded its users for inviting their friends to sign up, encouraging them to actively promote the service.

The idea was straightforward and effective: initially, each user was entitled to 2 GB of free storage space. However, this space could be increased through sponsorship. For each new registration made via their personal link, the user gained an additional 500 MB, up to a maximum of 16 GB. Newcomers also benefited from an additional 500 MB on top of their initial space.

This approach not only generated a considerable viral effect, but also helped to build user loyalty by offering them a tangible, personalized benefit. Thanks to this powerful method, Dropbox has seen its daily subscriptions increase dramatically, multiplying them 40-fold in just 15 months.

Hotmail: Self-promotion with email signatures

Hotmail, launched on July 4, 1996, the American national holiday, is a free e-mail service. To increase its visibility, Hotmail has opted for an original growth hacking strategy: automatically add a signature to every email sent by its users. This signature, “PS: I love you. Get your free e-mail at Hotmail.” served as a gentle incentive.

This approach was ingenious: every email sent from Hotmail became an advertisement for the service. By clicking on the link embedded in the signature, recipients were directed to a registration page, enabling them to create their own free Hotmail account. This method favored viral distribution of the service, without the slightest advertising cost.

Thanks to this tactic, Hotmail enjoyed a meteoric rise, from 20,000 users in July 1996 to 12 million in December 1997, when Microsoft acquired the service for $400 million. Although Hotmail has since evolved into Outlook, this initiative remains a textbook case of growth hacking.

Uber: Free rides to attract new users

Uber, the platform connecting independent drivers and passengers looking for a ride, has made a name for itself thanks to a bold growth hacking strategy: offering free rides to new users.

The approach was ingenious. As soon as the Uber app was installed, users received a promo code for a free first ride, up to a predefined limit. But that wasn’t all: they could also share the code with their friends. Each friend who took advantage of the opportunity in turn gave them a free ride. Uber therefore encouraged users not only to try out the service but also to recommend it, turning trials into loyalty.

Thanks to this approach, Uber quickly conquered many cities around the globe, creating a favorable word-of-mouth effect and lowering the barriers for new users. This strategy has also enabled Uber to differentiate itself from traditional cab offerings, promising a simplified, fast and cost-effective user experience. Through these growth hacking methods, Uber has established itself as a major player in on-demand transportation.

LinkedIn: SEO optimization to increase profile visibility

LinkedIn has established itself as the must-have professional social network, offering the chance to build relationships with people and companies, and discover a wealth of opportunities. To raise its profile, LinkedIn has implemented a brilliant growth hacking strategy, focusing on SEO optimization of its users’ profiles.

The idea was clear: make every LinkedIn profile indexable by search engines such as Google, enabling them to appear in search results. The trick lay in the judicious use of keywords in line with the user’s activity, skills and ambitions. Let’s take the example of a digital marketing consultant who might choose keywords like “digital marketing”, “consultant”, “SEO”, “SEA”, “social networks”, and many more. It was also essential to take care of every section of the profile, including the professional title, summary, experience history, skills and recommendations. You can also customize your Linkedin URL to appear in Google search results.

This strategic approach has significantly improved the visibility of profiles on LinkedIn, making them easily identifiable by recruiters, customers or potential partners. What’s more, this method has reinforced LinkedIn’s position as a source of quality, reliable information, highlighting the expertise and achievements of its members. Thanks to this growth hacking tactic, LinkedIn has succeeded in attracting and retaining millions of users, consolidating its position as the leading professional social network.

X (ex Twitter): Suggested accounts for increasing the number of followers

X, formerly known as Twitter, is a social network renowned for sharing tweets, short messages, with a circle of subscribers. To gain visibility, X implemented a growth hacking strategy based on recommending accounts to new subscribers.

Operation was intuitive: on registration, users selected their interests from several categories. Based on these preferences, X immediately recommended influential or popular accounts in these fields, making it easy to follow them with just a few clicks. The aim of this approach was to facilitate the integration of newcomers through the discovery of relevant content from their very first steps on the platform. In addition, X encouraged users to import their contact list, promoting community growth by inviting acquaintances to join them.

This clever strategy has played a big part in X’s rapid expansion, not only by fostering a sense of community from the moment of registration, but also by improving engagement through links to content of interest. Thanks to this growth hacking approach, X has established itself as a key platform on the social networking scene.

Spotify: Free trial offer to attract new users

Spotify, the streaming music platform with over 70 million tracks, has made its mark with a clever growth strategy: offering a free trial period to new subscribers. This method consists of inviting new subscribers to discover the Spotify Premium service, without commitment, for a period of one month.

In addition to the already rewarding free version, this Premium package eliminates unwanted advertising, and offers attractive features such as the ability to download music for listening without an Internet connection, and improved sound quality. After the trial period, the service is offered at 10.99 euros per month, with preferential rates for students, families and couples.

The effectiveness of this strategy lies in its ability to captivate a new audience with the platform’s multiple advantages, leading a significant proportion of users to opt for paid subscription. This approach, described as growth hacking, has propelled Spotify to the top of the global music streaming market, with over 365 million monthly active users, 165 million of whom are paying subscribers.

Facebook: Friend recommendations to boost user numbers

Facebook is currently the world’s number one social network, offering its users the chance to keep in touch with their loved ones and share their interests. One of his key strategies for attracting new members was to offer suggestions of friends to new subscribers, an ingenious “growth hacking” approach.

When registering, users are asked to provide basic information: name, email address, date of birth and gender. Facebook uses this data to generate a list of people the user might know, based on various criteria such as shared contacts, schools attended or places visited. Users can then decide whether to send friend requests to some of these suggestions or ignore them, making it easier to develop their personal social network with tailor-made recommendations.

This methodology has not only helped to rapidly increase the number of Facebook users, but has also encouraged deeper engagement, enabling users to rediscover distant acquaintances or forge new bonds. By making relevant content such as photos, videos, publications and events accessible, Facebook has solidified its position as the market leader in social networking, with over 2.8 billion monthly active users.

Google: A banner on the home page to highlight Chrome

Google, the world’s leading search engine, has deployed an effective growth hacking strategy to promote its Chrome browser. The tactic employed: an eye-catching banner ad on the Google home page. The concept was clear and straightforward. Visitors to the Google home page were greeted by a banner inviting them to download Chrome.

The banner highlighted the browser’s advantages such as speed, security and customization options. By clicking on “Download Chrome”, users were taken to a personalized installation page where they could select their preferred operating system and language. Thanks to this approach, Google was able to capitalize on its immense web traffic, reputation and reliability to push Chrome to its audience.

This marketing maneuver has not only enabled Google to carve out a place for itself in the competitive web browser sector, challenging heavyweights such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari, but it has also strengthened the loyalty of its users. By offering an enhanced web experience integrated with other Google services (Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive, etc.), Chrome has established itself as the browser of choice for over 65% of Internet users.

Instagram: Interacting with Facebook to increase visibility

Instagram is renowned for sharing photos and videos with its community. In its quest for notoriety, the platform relied on an ingenious growth trick: close collaboration with Facebook, the world’s most influential social platform.

This process was straightforward: any new Instagram subscriber had the option of linking their account to Facebook. This action enabled efficient synchronization of contacts, publications, and stories between the two platforms. In addition, it offered the opportunity to invite their Facebook friends on Instagram by sending them notifications or messages. Instagram thus benefited from Facebook’s huge user base, with over 2.8 billion monthly active users.

This rapid development tactic not only attracted users already accustomed to social networks, but also enabled Instagram to distinguish itself by being more visual, creative and dynamic. Thanks to this growth strategy, Instagram has established itself as one of the dominant social platforms, boasting over 1.3 billion monthly active users.

PayPal: User payments to attract new members

PayPal, the famous online transaction platform, is renowned for enabling its users to make payments without disclosing their bank details. One of its key growth strategies, or “growth hacking”, has been to offer financial incentives to existing users to encourage new members to sign up.

The operation was straightforward and attractive: on opening a PayPal account, a user immediately received a $10 bonus. In addition, he had the opportunity to earn $10 for every friend he invited who made a transaction of at least $100. Referred friends also received a $10 welcome bonus. This approach encouraged users to actively promote PayPal within their network and to use the service for their online transactions.

This ingenious strategy propelled PayPal from 20,000 users in July 2000 to 5 million in July 2001, enabling the company to outpace its competitors by offering an easier, faster and more secure online payment solution. Thanks to this growth hacking method, PayPal has established itself as the market leader in online payments, with over 400 million active accounts today.

Slack: Full-featured trial offer to seduce businesses

Slack is a platform designed to improve communication and collaboration between team members through features such as themed channels, direct messages, video calls, and integrations with various tools. In order to gain notoriety, Slack has implemented a growth hacking strategy offering companies a free trial of all its features.

This approach was straightforward and attractive: any company signing up to Slack was entitled to a free one-month trial of the Slack Plus service, with no upfront commitment. The Slack Plus service offered significant advantages over the free version, including message history backup, advanced user permissions management and priority customer support, all for a cost of 11.75 euros per user/month. Special rates were also offered to non-profit organizations and educational establishments.

This tactic was a resounding success, enabling Slack to attract a large number of businesses. Not only did it introduce users to the various benefits of the platform, it also encouraged a significant transition of companies to paid subscriptions, eager to continue benefiting from the Plus service. Thanks to this growth hacking strategy, Slack has become one of the leaders in team communication and collaboration, with over 12 million daily active users.

YouTube: Introducing the share button to reach new audiences

YouTube is the world’s most popular video-sharing platform, offering its audience the opportunity to view, comment on, enjoy and create video content. Its innovative growth strategy was to integrate a share button directly under each video.

The system was designed for ease of use, with viewers able to share their favorite videos with their contacts via email, SMS or social networks, all at the click of a button. In doing so, YouTube capitalized on the power of digital word-of-mouth, encouraging its users to tell their network about content they liked.

Thanks to this approach, YouTube has expanded rapidly, reaching new audiences potentially uninitiated to the platform. This strategy has also stimulated user engagement, enabling them to express their opinions, react and participate in exchanges around content. This growth hacking tactic has solidified YouTube’s position as the undisputed leader in video sharing, gathering over 2 billion monthly active users.

Pinterest: Inviting influencers to increase visibility

Pinterest is a platform dedicated to discovering and saving ideas for all kinds of projects and passions. To gain popularity, the platform opted for an effective growth hacking strategy: invite influencers to create content on Pinterest.

The approach was clever: rather than launching directly to the general public, Pinterest’s creators opted for exclusive, invitation-only access. They targeted and invited well-known bloggers in several sectors such as fashion, decor and gastronomy, offering them the opportunity to discover Pinterest and share their discoveries with their audience. This method allowed Pinterest to benefit from the credibility and audience of influencers, who would then introduce the platform to their followers.

Thanks to this strategy, Pinterest quickly won over new users already interested in its main themes. This approach has also set Pinterest apart from other social networks by offering a more visual, creative and inspiring user experience. The success of this growth hacking technique has positioned Pinterest as a major network, with over 478 million monthly active users.

Quora: Personalized email digests to boost engagement

Quora, known as a platform where you can ask and answer questions on a multitude of subjects, has adopted an ingenious growth hacking strategy to increase its notoriety. It consisted in sending a personalized email digest to its users.

The process was straightforward: as soon as they signed up, Quora users periodically received an email compiling questions and answers likely to be of interest to them. This selection was based on their interests, subscriptions and activities on the platform. Users could then click directly on the links to explore the answers in detail or contribute their own answers. In this way, Quora encouraged its members to revisit the site, explore new topics and engage in conversations.

Thanks to this personalized, high-quality approach, Quora has not only succeeded in stimulating user activity, but has also set itself apart from other Q&A sites through the diversity and relevance of its content. This growth hacking tactic has made Quora one of the world’s most popular platforms, attracting over 300 million active users every month.

Yelp: Badges for active users to boost engagement

Yelp, the well-known platform for finding and reviewing establishments such as restaurants, hotels and hairdressing salons, has set itself apart thanks to a particularly effective growth hacking strategy. In fact, it has opted to distribute badges to the most active members of its community.

This approach was direct and engaging: users actively participating on Yelp – whether by writing reviews, adding photos, or voting on other members’ contributions – could receive badges illustrating their activity, expertise, and even personality. Badges such as “Gourmand”, “Explorateur”, or “Roi de la fête” were on offer, not forgetting the possibility of gaining “Elite Squad Member” status. The latter offered privileges such as invitations to exclusive events and advantages at Yelp partners.

With this method, Yelp not only succeeded in boosting user engagement through recognition and motivation, but also created a unique sense of community and trust. In doing so, Yelp has not only found a way to set itself apart from other review platforms, but has elevated its status to one of the world’s most visited sites, boasting 200 million reviews and over 36 million monthly active users.

Gmail: Using invitations to create a sense of exclusivity

Gmail, the free e-mail service, is renowned for its many advantages, including large storage capacity, intuitive user interface and seamless integration with other Google services. To raise its profile, Gmail relied on an innovative growth hacking strategy, making access to the service exclusive to invitation holders.

The way it worked was quite simple: owners of a Gmail account received invitations which they could then send by email to a restricted circle of contacts. This method created a feeling of exclusivity and rarity, turning Gmail into a prestigious service, almost reserved for a certain elite. Invitations have even become valuable items, sold on eBay at impressive prices!

Thanks to this approach, Gmail has grown rapidly, stimulating curiosity and desire among users. This strategy has also enabled Gmail to stand out from the competition by offering a more innovative, powerful and personalized user experience. This growth hacking tactic has propelled Gmail into the top tier of email services, attracting over 1.8 billion monthly active users.

Zappos: Exceptional customer service sets Zappos apart from the competition

Zappos is renowned for its online sales of shoes and clothing. It owes its reputation to a growth hacking strategy focused on outstanding customer service.

Their approach was straightforward: anyone contacting Zappos, whether by phone, email or chat, received personalized, friendly and efficient care. With no time constraints on conversations, no pre-established scripts for operators and no sales pressure, the ultimate goal was total customer satisfaction. This included recommending a product from a competitor’s site, sending flowers or even sharing a joke.

This unique approach has set Zappos apart from other e-commerce players thanks to a memorable customer experience. It also strengthened customer loyalty, making them more likely to use the service again and recommend it to others. By adopting this growth hacking strategy, Zappos saw its sales top the billion-dollar mark in 2009, before being acquired by Amazon for $1.2 billion the same year.

Reddit: Using fake accounts to boost business

Reddit, a platform dedicated to sharing and discussion via themed forums called subreddits, has adopted an inventive growth technique to make a name for itself. It used the creation of fake accounts to boost activity on the platform. Cuckoo with MirrorProfiles ahah

The method was simple: Reddit’s creators generated hundreds of fictitious profiles used to post links, comments, votes, etc., on various subreddits. This tactic created the illusion of a lively and varied community, attracting the attention and curiosity of new visitors. It also encouraged real users to become more involved, through feedback, suggestions and compliments.

Thanks to this growth strategy, Reddit has expanded rapidly, from a few thousand to several million visitors per month in just a few years. This approach has also set Reddit apart from other content-sharing platforms, offering a more interactive, authentic and personalized user experience. With over 430 million monthly active users, this method has firmly positioned Reddit as one of the world’s most popular platforms.

GitHub: Offer free public projects to attract developers

GitHub is much more than just a software project management platform, it’s a vibrant ecosystem built on the Git version control system. In a bid to set itself apart, GitHub has adopted a particularly effective growth hacking strategy: allowing developers to work on public projects at no cost.

The idea behind this approach was both simple and revolutionary: by registering on GitHub, developers had the freedom to start or join public projects. These projects, whose source code was open and accessible to all, became the ideal playground for collaboration. Developers could not only share their expertise, but also learn, debate, correct anomalies and perfect the project. GitHub took advantage of this community dynamic, transforming each individual contribution into a collective asset.

Thanks to this tactic, GitHub quickly won the hearts of developers worldwide, eager to participate in open source initiatives, discover new technologies or simply share their passion. This approach has not only set GitHub apart from other development platforms, but also enabled us to offer a more enriching, enjoyable and collaborative user experience. Capitalizing on this growth hacking strategy, GitHub has become the undisputed leader in software development, bringing together over 65 million users and hosting over 200 million projects.


Through the discovery of 20 examples of growth hacking, you can see how some companies have stood out from the crowd and experienced rapid growth. These examples illustrate that growth hacking is not a magic formula, but a creative approach. This approach requires you to find innovative solutions that are specific to your market, product and audience. Based on experimentation, measurement and optimization, growth hacking aims to achieve high growth targets.

To get started in growth hacking, it’s essential to understand your product, its added value, your target audience and your market. The next step is to identify the growth levers best suited to your business and test them on an ongoing basis. This involves analyzing the results obtained, retaining effective strategies and discarding those that are not.

Growth hacking is an art requiring curiosity, creativity and rigor. While there is no universal method, there are a number of principles and best practices that can be followed.

Now it’s time to take action. Get started with growth hacking and give your business a boost!


What are the 3 pillars of Growth Hacking?

The three essential foundations of growth hacking include:

  • Acquiring new users: This stage involves attracting as many prospects as possible to the company’s website or application, using innovative and effective methods such as SEO, social media and viral marketing, among others.
  • Retaining existing users: This involves retaining customers by offering them a quality user experience and meeting their expectations through tools such as marketing automation, emailing, push notifications, loyalty programs, and more.
  • Increasing frequency of use: This pillar aims to encourage users to make greater use of the product or service offered by the company. This can be achieved through techniques such as gamification, tailor-made recommendations, exclusive offers and so on.

How do I get involved in Growth Hacking?

To put growth hacking into practice, which is a marketing technique designed to rapidly accelerate a company’s development, it is advisable to follow the steps below:

  • Evaluate and understand your sales tunnel to identify obstacles or opportunities for improvement.
  • Select optimization areas according to their potential impact and ease of implementation.
  • List the various possible optimization actions, and determine which ones to prioritize.
  • Set clear objectives, test hypotheses and measure results.

What is the role of a Growth Hacker?

A Growth Hacker is responsible for devising and implementing creative, cost-effective digital marketing strategies to boost the growth and profitability of a product or service. Its mission involves testing, analyzing data and exploiting tricks to optimize customer acquisition, conversion and retention processes.

Picture of Tristan Bance
Tristan Bance

Subscribe to
our newsletter


Rent a Linkedin profile today

The best way to harness the power of Linkedin is to rent a
Linkedin account. We’ll help you do it in less than 48 hours.

Vous souhaitez louer des
comptes Linkedin pour décupler
votre prospection ?
You want to rent
Linkedin accounts to increase
your prospecting volume?