In 2012, on Kickstarter alone, 2.2 million people pledged a total of almost $3.8 million, and successfully funded over 18,000 projects. However, those numbers account for successfully funded projects only and more than half of the projects launched on Kickstarter do not reach their funding goal. Although there are other outlets or methods of promoting your campaign, such as press releases, direct outreach and more, here we offer some of our social media secrets on increasing your project’s visibility among the countless projects on crowdfunding platforms:
Setting Up Social Media Networks
First, you’ll need to take a step back and determine which social media networks are appropriate for your product or service. Here, you have two important factors to take into consideration; the purpose of each network/what it offers and the demographics of each network.
- Purpose: The purpose of each network, or what it offers, can range from photo-heavy networks, such as Pinterest, to networks which only allow 140 characters per message. So, you want to make sure you’re taking advantage of the appropriate networks, and forgetting about the ones that won’t help your brand sell its products or services at the end of the day. For example, Pinterest is primarily used to share images and photos and has become popular for sharing recipes and do-it-yourself arts and crafts. If you’re trying to promote a new app or service, this may not be the right platform for your brand. However, if you’re promoting your brand-new kitchen gadget, this platform is where you’ll want to be.
- Demographics: Media Bistro recently produced a great infographic on the top social networks and their corresponding demographics - this graphic will help you decide which networks your brand should join once you’ve determined your target audience(s).
If you think visiting each of your brand’s social media networks once a week or once every couple of days is a recipe for success, quit while you’re ahead and hire a digital marketing agency to manage your social media networks for you. Social media management, right alongside public relations, is a 24-hour job that never sleeps. Right when you’re ready to call it a night, a disgruntled “fan” posts on your brand’s timeline, “your product sucks, you better stop posting updates every day ‘cause I just don’t want to hear about it!”
As a rule of thumb, post one to two times per day on each network, except Twitter. We recommend Tweeting anywhere from 5-10x per day, and reaching out to at least 5 key influencers, or people talking about topics related to your project.
Rule of thumb #2: Engage. Engage. Engage. If you’re not engaging with your fans and the media, they’re not going to engage back. If you want to build an online community for your brand, follow these ideas for engaging your audience:
- Reach out to influencers and build relationships - unless your project is the coolest thing ever, the media are not going to write about it. Pitch them an interesting angle that will differentiate your product among similar ones. No competition? Great! Tell them why people need your product.
- Post images - according to Facebook, posts with images double engagement numbers
- Keep is simple - tweets with less than 100 characters have a 17% higher rate of engagement than longer tweets do
- Ask questions, ask fans to “Like” your posts, ask followers to “Retweet,” etc. - asking followers to retweet using the whole word "Retweet" (instead of the short and casual “RT”) increases retweet rates by 23 times! Which leads right into....
- Include a call to action - a clear statement, instructing fans what to do can be crucial to your campaign. Go ahead and ask, “please support our crowdfunding campaign for ‘X’ and order yours today here: [insert custom bitly link].”
- “What’s bitly,” you ask? Bitly.com offers URL shortening with real-time link tracking. Want to compare whether people are more interested in product photos or lifestyle photos? Create a bitly link for each and see which receives the most clicks on your networks with the associated photos.
Twenty-Four Hour Countdown
Twenty four hours out, you’ll want to begin, what we call, a “social media countdown” - this countdown includes posting to each of your brand’s networks once every hour with a countdown and a call to action (i.e. “COUNTDOWN: 24 hours left to order your very own ‘X’, and support our #crowdfunding campaign! Learn more here - [insert custom bitly link].”).
The reason behind the countdown is to ensure you’re hitting all of your target audiences. Since you may be in a different timezone than those you’re marketing to, you’ll have to take into consideration the fact that some people are sleeping while others could be on their mobile phones, riding a subway. Posting a countdown every hour not only ensures you’re getting your message out to all of your markets, but also serves as a reminder for those who may have been waiting to pledge until the last leg of the campaign.
We all wish there were a magical “fund” button that could fund our projects with just one touch. *SMACK* Wake up, your project isn’t going to fund itself! Determine which networks your brand should be a part of, join them, stay active and round up the end of your campaign with a social countdown.
If this seems like too much work, as mentioned earlier, you may want to consider hiring crowdfunding experts to take care of your campaign for you. Command Partners has worked successfully on many high-level crowdfunding engagements, and has a keen understanding of the critical role they need to play in carrying out a noteworthy campaign. Visit www.commandpartners.com to learn more about the agency’s crowdfunding marketing services.