Acquisition Channel Opportunities: Headline Marketing, Twitter Communities, Live Audio

Want to get more paying users? I've read over 300 tech news articles over the past week and identified 3 opportunities:

  • What headlines work in 2021? BuzzSumo, a tool that allows people to find out what content is popular on any website, analyzed 100 million of them and found the patterns among the most successful headlines.

  • Communities are a great acquisition channel for getting your first users. Twitter's new feature that will allow its users to create and join communities.

  • Live audio = the newest content marketing format. Discord just released a feature to enable live audio rooms and Spotify has acquired a Clubhouse-like competitor. Find out what this means for you.

1. What Headlines Work in 2021? A New Analysis Provides the Answer

Buzzsumo just released a study where they analyzed 100 million headlines across Facebook and Twitter.

The findings: What worked in 2017 isn't working now. For example, curiosity-based headlines worked well on Facebook 4 years ago. However, guidance-based headlines ("how you should X") seem to drove far more engagement now.


What this means for you: Things are changing fast. This sentence from the original articles summarizes things well:

...on Twitter, only two of the most popular headline phrases have remained the same since 2017.

If you do any sort of marketing, you write headlines. Read the full study and you'll discover many surprising insights on the types of headlines that drive engagement.

2. Communities Work for Getting Early Users. Twitter is Working on Adding Communities

Jane Machun Wong, an independent analyst, has tweeted a screenshot showing that Twitter is working on their own version of Facebook Groups.


Some facts: In my Zero to Users research on acquisition channels that work for founders, I found that communities (Reddit sub-reddits, Facebook groups, etc.) to be particularly effective.. Take ManyPexels, an unlimited graphic design service, and how they got their first users:

I posted the site on a few Facebook groups for entrepreneurs, and we made our first sales (about $1,500 in one day).

We got our initial users solely via niche Facebook groups of entrepreneurs and startups. I joined many Facebook groups and wrote a post asking for feedback on ManyPixels and our value proposition. My message basically was, "Hey guys, here is what we do, would you be interested in this? Yes/No/Why not?" I also experimented by promising that each person giving us feedback would have a promo code. This worked well — lots of people commented, and this was a small hack that got us a lot of buzz.

What this means for you: If Twitter launches communities, and you're early enough in the game, you can not only join them but create new ones (successfully) as well. If we look through Twitter's history of past releases, when Twitter is launching a new feature they also provide a way for users to easily discover it (like with Twitter Fleets).

A similar (recent) example: Just look at Clubhouse and how the biggest clubs right now are from users who were the first to join. This caused an interesting growth loop: When new users joined, they saw the clubs and joined. Clubhouse saw the increased number of members, causing them to show them more to new members, etc. Being an early adopter pays off.

3. Live Audio = The Next Major Content Format?

Everyone is working on adding live audio rooms to their platform. Discord launched Stage Channels just a week ago. On Tuesday, Spotify has acquired a live audio app a week ago and announced plans for a new audio experience:

Creators and fans have been asking for live formats on Spotify, and we’re excited that soon, we’ll make them available to hundreds of millions of listeners and millions of creators on our platform...

For Discord, here's how their Clubhouse-like feature currently looks like:


What this means for you: Live audio chat is here to stay. Clubhouse defined the format, and now everyone is trying to copy it.

Like with any other feature, once these platforms launch live audio, they will give initial exposure to people who use them. So, if you've ever struggled getting traction on Spotify, Twitter (once they release Spaces to everyone) or Facebook (when they release audio rooms), try hopping into live rooms and see what happens.

  1. 2

    Thanks for this, wasn't aware of Twitter communities.

    1. 1

      Twitter looks to be the only major social platform that doesn't have groups. Facebook has it, LinkedIt has it, even Pinterest has group boards.

      1. 1

        I wouldn't say Pinterest group boards are communities...but I get your point.

  2. 2

    Seems that headlines go through the same process as marketing channels...certain formats get saturated and people stop using them.

    1. 2

      This is true with marketing in general:

      advertisers do something -> people see it and get 'banner blindness' -> advertisers try something else.

    2. 1

      This is true. Businesses use clickbait = readers get tired of clickbait and stop trusting it = businesses try another thing = the cycle repeats.

  3. 1

    Thank you for sharing this, Twitter communities.

  4. 1

    I love when BuzzSumo does these big data studies. I worked with them on one of their Facebook studies (actually wrote most of it).

    Really interesting to see the Twitter headline categories that continue to excel. I would have thought they were played out by now, but I guess not.

    Personally, I'm going to be making heavy investments in social audio--namely Twitter Spaces. Clubhouse is just not my jam, but what Twitter is doing with Spaces is what I've been waiting for in the world of Live conversations.

    Communities on Twitter will be cool too when they decide to roll it out. I haven't heard from anyone testing it yet, but once it's available I'll be diving in headfirst there too. Twitter has always sat at my #1 or #2 favorite social platform over the years, and it's super cool to see them FINALLY innovating on it.

    1. 2

      I agree on Spaces, I've been active on CH for almost 2 months now but I can't stand it anymore, the scammers are taking over. All the people worth listening to are the guys/girls with a decent Twitter following who come onto CH.

  5. 1

    Interesting..got me thinking..

    1. 1

      Yeah, I'm kinda in a unique position where I've seen so many case studies on what works in user acquisition that I'm able to do these articles and identify types of opportunities that might not be useful to other people.

  6. 1

    So basically instructional headlines worked best on FB:

    Instructional trigrams were ones that gave way to commanding statements or phrases that suggested some sense of obligation and / or urgency.

    Headline example: Everything you need to know about washing your hands to protect against coronavirus (COVID-19) (unicef.org 2.2M shares)

    1. 1

      Yep, though I'd argue they're clickbaity as well, with the "everything you need" phrase.

  7. 1

    Is it me or nobody seems to be using Twitter spaces?

    1. 1

      They are still in private beta.

  8. 1

    I don't get the fuss about live audio. Isn't it like Zoom, just without the video part?

    1. 1

      People underestimate how much you can increase adoption if you make your product easier to use IMO. So yeah while it's technically that, it has UX that's MUCH easier to use and get into.

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