Everyone and their mom (Hi Mom!) has heard about a project funded on Kickstarter. Maybe it was some small gadget that reached its goal in 11 minutes, or a movie project whose funding was more than double its initial goal. Regardless of what the project was, most successful projects have one big thing in common: their social media game before, during, and after the campaign is on point. As Facebook gets more restrictive toward businesses, more companies are turning to Twitter as their main social account. If you aren’t familiar with Twitter, it can definitely seem a bit daunting, but don’t be afraid! Read our intro to Twitter, then read on to learn how to optimize your Twitter account for Kickstarter.
If you already have your Twitter account up and active, you want to start aligning it with your crowdfunding campaign – imagery, language, and target audience. Start by updating your account’s cover photo. Include a high-resolution image from your campaign video, and use the brand assets made available by Kickstarter to indicate that a crowdfunding campaign is coming soon. Change the link on your bio to lead to a landing page that collects emails, and start building that email list.
Hopefully you’ll have already developed your campaign language and message, so start using it in your tweets. Research relevant hashtags and target them with posts, replies, and retweets. Those second two are important! You want to join the conversation, not dominate. Get people interested in what you have to say by showing genuine interest in what they have to say.
Finally, start reaching out to industry experts, reviewers, and influencers. Look into previous successful campaigns by competitors, and see who exactly was talking about them. Then start reaching out. Don’t immediately shove your campaign at them and say “REVIEW ME!” but (again) start a conversation. Once you’ve talked for a while (more than 1 day, come on) you can ask if they’d be willing to test your product for a potential review. If they say yes, awesome! If they say no, don’t keep bothering them about reviews. Keep in touch; be sure to send them the campaign link when it goes live, but don’t keep asking them to do you a favor. You’ll come off as rude and intrusive, and it’ll only hurt your image in their mind.
During the Campaign
Obviously you’ll need to announce your campaign the moment you launch it, so be sure to include Twitter in those announcements! Twitter allows you to have a pinned Tweet that stays at the top of your profile, so pin that Tweet immediately.
Keep participating in the hashtags you’ve researched (and send out campaign launch tweets using those hashtags), but also start tweeting out updates about the campaign itself. You hit $1000? Tweet it! You got 200 backers? Tweet it! Got halfway to funding? You get the idea. By getting excited and keeping people updated, you’re generating continual interest in your campaign and preventing people from mentally putting it on the backburner.
You’ll also need to engage in what’s called “social listening” – monitoring social media for mentions of your brand, industry, and competitors. Good social listening will allow you to catch tweets about your company that don’t include your Twitter handle. If they’re complimentary, thank the poster and share it out. If they’re negative, respond POLITELY to the criticism and thank them for the feedback. If the criticism is legitimate, you might even want to address it in general Tweets and in your campaign updates. People will be giving you money to make your dream a reality – the best thing you can do is reassure them that you are listening to their input.
After the Campaign
You’ve successfully funded your campaign, congratulations! That doesn’t mean your work is over, far from it. Now you have to complete your project and fulfill your backer rewards – a process that can take months. You know what helps keep people happy while they’re waiting? Keeping them updated along the way. And not just, oh we’re a few months out, but actual updates where you discuss where you are in the process, any ups and downs, ask for input on decisions, all that stuff. As you post these updates on your Kickstarter page, be sure to share them on Twitter too. Then when people respond (on Kickstarter and on Twitter) try to address everyone directly.
Once you start sending out rewards to backers, ask them for feedback! If they post a happy Tweet, like it and share it! Solicit reviews, ask for photos, and generally work hard to keep the buzz going even after the campaign is done. Build a community of fans and advocates, and when you’re ready to launch your next project, you’ll have a group of supporters ready and waiting.
Want to learn more about crowdfunding campaigns? Browse our blog archives! Ready to get your campaign up and running? Email me today at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d love to learn all about your project and how we can help.