By: Mandy Cummings, WildRock Account Coordinator
A surprisingly common myth about crowdfunding is that once you make your project live, affluent beneficiaries will come flocking to fund your idea. In reality, it takes strategy and foresight to seek out the crowds that will be interested and passionate about your cause, and time invested in building that online community, before your campaign launches.
A proven way to foster that community and excitement for your project is through effective use of social media. In fact, according to crowdfunding platform Fundable, social media is a critical factor in crowdfunding success, citing that for every order of magnitude increase in Facebook friends (10, 100, 1000), the probability of success increases drastically (from 9%-, 20%, to 40%).
Based on WildRock’s research and experience in helping leverage social media for crowdfunding projects, here are three tips for your campaign:
Pick your channel. The list of social media sites available can overwhelm even the experts. Choosing your appropriate channels wisely will help direct and focus your efforts, without spreading you and your team too thin.
- Facebook first. Regardless of what other channels you decide to expand your presence on, Facebook should be your foundation. Posting updates on your personal page is an easy way to keep friends and family looped in to your efforts, and creating a business page allows you to monitor stats and analytics to better focus your posts and timing.
- Branching out. Carefully consider the demographics of your target audience and nature of your project when determining which additional social media channels to pursue. For example, Twitter’s hashtag features lets you join in conversations about particular trends and topics, and can be a valuable way to solicit feedback from your customers and keep reporters and media contacts updated about your project. Product-based projects can find success in engaging on Pinterest and Instagram, giving your audience more imagery and insight into how the new product can be used.
Start early. It may seem obvious, but efforts on social media have the greatest impact when channeled towards the largest audience. Take the time well in advance of your project launch to start building your fan base on your various social channels and engaging in dialogue so that when you’re ready to launch, you have an actively listening audience.
- Drive traffic through outside links. Include social media icons in your email signature, newsletter, blogs, articles – anywhere you have an online presence, use links to drive folks back to your social media pages.
- Empower your supporters who are already following you on social media to be your advocates, encouraging them to share about your brand and increase your network. With a loyal supporter base and creative content and messaging, social media efforts throughout your campaign have a greater chance of going viral and attracting new interest.
Create engaging content. Creating “sharable” content and images that people can easily use will encourage fans to spread the word and give traction to your campaign. Images tend to be the strongest source for sharing, and facts can also be impactful in tugging on the heartstrings of why your project is important.
- Mix it up. Use a variety of content, combining project/funding updates, funny/human interest posts and posts that encourage fan engagement.
- Network, network, network. Social media is not only a powerful way to converse with your audience, but also to strategically network with other organizations. Be proactive in researching and reaching out to likeminded groups and pages that are already established on social media sites, aligning your project with their brand and introducing yourself to their audiences. Before your project launches, begin “talking” on other pages outside of your own where your ideal supporter might be listening. This could mean joining discussions by other organizations on LinkedIn, or commenting on articles posted by partners on Facebook.
Are you thinking about launching a crowdfunding project? WildRock can help, click here to learn more: www.wildrockpr.com/crowdfunding.