Using social medias to engage with campaign supporters

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Crowdfunding is all about engaging with your existing networks and creating new ones. But how you do that?  There is no best way and the possibilities are endless. However, social media always play a fundamental role in the process. Here we give you some tips on how to best use them before, during and after a crowdfunding campaign.

Before you launch the campaign

The period before the campaign is probably the most critique one for the success of your crowdfunding campaign. It is the moment where you should start to lay the foundations of what will be your crowdfunding community. To start with, understand exactly what is your core audience is and what topics it is into. Then, use Twitter to find influencers who could be interested in your project and follow them. Try to engage with them, by re-twitting or answering their tweets and using the most trendy hashtags in that particular niche. Don’t be afraid to ask them if they can retweet to their followers one of your tweets about your project. You will be surprised to see that many people won’t say no. Identify Facebook groups of interest and join them. Be an active user by contributing to the discussions. Just before launching your campaign, tell the group members about your project and ask them their feedback and support. You could do the same on Linkedin, but here try to use a more formal style. Always remember to thank people for retweets and feedback.

During the campaign

Once the campaign is launched, social media can be used for mainly two purposes: communicating campaign’s and project’s updates to your existing community and fostering word of mouth. Both activities are crucial for the success of your crowdfunding campaign. Communicating updates is useful for engaging in a relationship with your supporters. Furthermore it has been estimated that sending out at least 13 updates a week, brings in 60% more money than those campaigns that do it only 5 times per week. Fostering word of mouth is essential, instead, to expand your supporter base. For example,to do this, you can consider creating a contest on Twitter and Facebook that offers the users prizes in exchange of tweets and facebook shares.

After the campaign

During this phase, social networks come particularly handy for managing community’s  expectations and asking for supporters’ feedback. The former is a crucial element especially in reward crowdfunding, where you have to produce and ship rewards. It is quite common, in fact, to experience delays and unexpected problems. So it is in your best interest to manage the expectations of your backers. You can use social networks to communicate real time updates and news regarding rewards delivery or other issues. The latter, instead, is an important aspect no matter what typology of crowdfunding you used. Keeping the dialogue on with the project supporters can turn useful to receive useful feedback and suggestions and to increase supporters’ loyalty.

In general, keep in mind when using social media to communicate your crowdfunding projects that sharing photos and asking questions are quite effective ways to engage with users. You need, though, to be careful not to be spammy. So try to post relevant and diverse content and to find the right balance in the quantity of posts you want to share everyday.

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This post was originally published as part of Startup Europe. The European Commission’s Startup Europe initiative was created to connect web entrepreneurs across Europe, providing networks, resources and information to help them startup their business and grow, creating new jobs and transforming the economy and society.
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