Spreading the word and communicating with supporters is a vital part of any successful crowdfunding campaign. Social media is a cheap and effective way of doing this, but many people who create projects on Kickstarter are not aware of the amount of time and preparation that is needed for an effective social media campaign or how best to attract the attention of potential backers.
Here are three steps to keep in mind when preparing a social media strategy for your Kickstarter project:
1. Plan Ahead
Social media is a great tool for promoting your Kickstarter campaign, but once it has launched there are so many other things to take care of that managing social media accounts and interacting with fans can easily become an afterthought. The best way to reduce this issue is to start early.
Generally, setting up accounts on major platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are generally the most important) and preparing a strategy for social media communication should start around 3 to 6 months prior to launching:
“In the days before a campaign launch, successful crowdfunders do two things. First, they create a list of “core” supporters who will contribute funds and spread the word about the project. Second, they write the majority of the social media posts they will use throughout the campaign and create a posting schedule for themselves and for their core supporters,” – Source.
To build your list of core supporters before launching your project, you should reach out to people you know by directly by messaging them, explaining your project and asking for their support by backing and sharing when your project goes live. The posts you plan for the duration of your campaign should include interesting information, updates on the progress of your campaign, “thank you” posts to backers, and keeping fans aware of milestones reached (such as hitting 50% of your funding goal).
All of these will help keep backers stay engaged with the project. Posts on social media should include a link to your project’s page, and always encourage anyone who might be interested to share.
2. Choose the Right Platform for your Project
Choosing the right social media platform(s) to market your Kickstarter project can sometimes be a challenge; especially if you are not familiar about how these platforms work. While Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are generally the most recommended ones, the amount of time you have to update different accounts, who your target audience is, and the category your project falls under should also come into consideration when making this decision.
A general rule of thumb is to not take on more than you can handle; having well-done profiles on a couple of sites and updating those frequently is better than trying to use them all without being able to provide supporters with frequent, good quality updates.
“For example, if you are a filmmaker, you’re likely posting videos and commenting on the videos of others on YouTube and/or Vimeo. If you have a fashion-themed project, make sure you’re on Instagram. If your project is attractive to foodies, find people who love pictures of food on Pinterest. There is no cookie-cutter plan for social media; you have to find what appeals most to your specific audience.” – Source.
For more information about what platforms work best for different purposes see this previous article, and this one for more information on how to use LinkedIn more specifically. One of the advantages on using LinkedIn compared to other platforms is that users on this site tend to check in more frequently, it can be a good way to establish your credibility, and there are interest-specific groups where you can engage more people who might have an interest in your project.
3. Be Creative
It is important to be creative when planning strategies for social media outreach because you want to be sure that your posts are attracting people’s attention in a setting where things are easily overlooked and information overload is common. You want to word your posts in a way that is brief, to the point, and grabs attention. It usually helps to include a picture or video to enhance your posts. Also, where it is applicable, coming up with incentives to engage people on social media can go a long way in helping to gain support for your project:
“In 2012, I consulted on a Kickstarter campaign for Katie Todd, an indie singer who produces her own albums and has a dedicated fan base on Facebook. For every 10 backers we gathered, we released a cute or goofy picture of her from her childhood. This was mildly embarrassing for Katie, but a great incentive for her adoring fans to get their friends to contribute so they could see the next picture. This was a fun (and free) way to make the backers happy while also getting them to do some recruiting. Win-win,” – Source.
The more personal and interactive your posts are the more attention your social media efforts will attract. It is important not to spam networks with the same information over and over again, or constantly be begging for pledges. Another mistake that is made a lot is thinking that social media marketing is a one-way street.
Building rapport with your fan base is key to getting them to give money to and share your project; project backers want to feel like you are a real person that they can relate to, and the best way to do that is through interacting with people personally as they reach out to you.
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About the author
Krystine Therriault is the community manager for CrowdCrux and has helped creators with their crowdfunding projects on KickstarterForum.org. She loves learning about new trending projects and dissecting them to bring new tips and information to creators. You can find her on LinkedIn here.