5 Ways To Scale Your Social Media While Bootstrapping

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In other words: five ways to scale your social media without spending an extra penny! Sounds too good to be true? Here's how to get it done:

When it comes to getting your startup off the ground with some much-needed capital, we don’t all have the luxury of getting investors right off the bat. So sometimes you have to make the best of what you have and fund your business with your own money. This is known as bootstrapping and it comes with a variety of hurdles, one of them being how to maximise and scale up your marketing efforts, including social media on a shoestring budget; not least because this can often lead to more brand awareness and (if you’re doing it right) more sales.

Here are five ways to scale your social media while bootstrapping:

#1 Be Engaging

Of course, you must broaden your reach and grow your audience. However, you must not forget about your engagement rate. Various social media platforms including Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook provide you information on how engaging you are with your followers.

You can learn how the public is interacting with the content you are putting out. If your followers are publicly reacting to your content by commenting, retweeting, liking, and sharing, then they will surely return for more content.

When looking at your ‘engaging’ posts, try to spot out all the similarities so that you know what is effectively engaging the public. Then, reproduce that kind of content once more and use it as a guideline for your future social media ads.

When scaling in a startup, processes and efficiency can be the key. Once you have the formula for what works, you can create templates and a schedule in order to scale of production of the right content.

#2 Monitor Your Competitors

With social media websites like Facebook, you can keep track of how your competitors’ pages are doing, You can have a look at their engagement rate, the number of posts they have published throughout the week, and the time it takes for their likes to grow. Using websites such as SEMrush (limited free use) you can even check out how active they are and how much traffic they gain from this activity.

Compare your content with your competitor’s most successful content and essentially mirror their best content to quickly improve and scale your social media efforts. If their engagement rate is high, then how often are their posts going up? Note the important information and then consider adding content or scaling back on the number of posts dependent on the evidence you find.

Once you identify the best bits of there social media that you can use, apply these to your social media strategy. If you’re not able to post at the times they do, or at the volume, you can use apps such as HootSuite (free version available for up to 3 socials) and Buffer to schedule in advance.

#3 Focus Deeply On A Few Channels

Once you set up your startup the temptation is to get all possible form of social media, it’s good practice to create a profile on each in order to preserve your company username as you may need it in future. However, managing all of these social media channels would be extremely time consuming and perhaps expensive.

In order to scale as a startup whilst bootstrapping you’ll need to focus on a narrow few and go deep as a pose to broad and shallow. Even if you’re only active on one or two social media channels, provided they are the right ones it’ll be more effective and easier to scale.

A tip on deciding the best channels to focus on would be assessing which your competitors are most active on, or assessing the type of content or product you have to see if it lends itself to Instagram or Twitter for example.

Once you have made your choice of channels, focus and spend time exploring, this will inform your strategy and help to scale.

#4 Spread The Workload

In this case, more cooks in the kitchen make the broth extra good. You’ll never be able to spend enough time by yourself engaging and interacting enough to scale your business. Sharing the workload with others, regardless of their position in your startup is a great way to scale your social media without spending a penny more.

Besides the obvious benefits of being able to cover more time on each channel between the team, you’ll benefit from different ideas and viewpoints that can help boost your efforts and improve your overall strategy.

If you’re team consists of just you, there’s still hope, try eliciting the help of friends and family members who will be willing to spend a little time helping out by simply retweeting, following and sharing. Every help here will help boost your startup’s overall presence.

Keep in mind: whether it’s fellow team members or friends helping out, it’s important to have a clear strategy outlined for them and a clear brand and tone for them to align with.

#5 Hold Giveaways

This one’s simple, people love free stuff. You can start giveaways to help promote your brand by attracting more potential clients and if you attach these prizes to social media interactions it is more than likely to help scale up your social media accounts.

Giveaways don’t have to be a hassle to enter, for example, on Twitter you could offer your services or your product to one of the first 500 followers on your new Instagram account. This won’t cost you and is a good way of getting a quick boost. Done regularly, giveaways can form part of an effective social media growth strategy.

Remember, credibility is paramount, especially for a startup. Share the stories of those who’ve won to make sure your followers know these are giveaways. Not only will this boost engagement, it’ll also encourage participation in future giveaways.

Wrapping It Up

While paid social media campaigns can help you create a greater social media presence, companies have been known to have an impressive social media following without paying too much. Social media is free and with the right strategies and a healthy dose of trial and error you can lead your startup business to healthy organic growth even whilst bootstrapping.



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