Last week, I wrote about Why you need to start building your crowdfunding community now. Since then, many people have asked me if I’d share some how-tos so they could start their own online community building plans. Many of these how-tos apply to online community building in general. I hope you find them helpful and let me know what you’d add.
PART ONE: Build your strategy
Do a review of your current social media presence. What platforms are you using right now? Are your platforms personal accounts or accounts created for your product or service? How many followers do you have on each of these platforms?
Who is your target community?
Identify your target online communities, how and where to reach community members. Are you trying to reach moms in Facebook groups? Are you after gamers who talk strategy on Reddit? What about fashionistas on Snapchat? Or, do you need to reach executives on LinkedIn?
Develop a content marketing plan
Outline the content you have to share (or will need to create) about your product, and determine which platform its most suited for, and how you can repurpose it for multiple uses. Include branded images with every post and incorporate video when possible.
Develop a schedule for pre-, during and post-campaign social media activity, i.e. pre-launch promotion, campaign updates, post-campaign production updates. I will talk more about this in my free webinar when we dive into pre-planning content.
Determine which resources you may need to manage your community, i.e. Hootsuite, SproutSocial.
PART TWO: Start building your crowdfunding community
Now that you’ve got your plan, it’s time to establish social media accounts for your campaign on the platforms you identified in your strategy. Start by reaching out to your existing personal and professional connections by connecting with them through these platforms. Search hashtags to find people who are having relevant conversations and follow them. Seek out media and bloggers who may interested in your product and add them too. Take a look at people who follow your competition and follow them. Soon you’ll have a big group of people you’re following; they will be notified and will potentially follow back.
Share messages that are meaningful to your community
Start sharing meaningful messages, at least three times per day, that are not just promoting your campaign. A fair split is 20% of messages about your campaign, such as development updates, announce new team members, share interviews or articles being published about your project, update your followers on how the campaign is going and thank supporters for getting you to where you are. The other 80% should be non-campaign related messages, such as curated content, relevant industry insights or news, replies and retweets, and other developments happening at your company.
Quick tip: Be sure to customize messages for different social media platforms. For example, what works for Instagram may not work for Twitter!
Go beyond the comfort zone of your immediate network and start joining online groups, forums and discussion boards before your campaign launches. Writing comments on blogs relevant to your campaign is another way to generate interest and also backlinks to your website. But this is important: don’t dive into the sell right away. Social communities are, well, social! You have to build a relationship and engage authentically. Express your passion about a cause or solution, tell your story and let people know who you are, share enthusiasm about your project without selling, and respond quickly to feedback and comments. Once you have built interest about your project (and the people behind it), let them know about your campaign and direct them to the campaign page (once it is active).
Being a community manager is a time consuming and critical part of a successful crowdfunding campaign. My final step (or consideration) here is this: identify when it’s time to hire a community manager to handle this for you. It will allow you to focus on so many other elements of your campaign.
Join my FREE Webinar so I can tell you so much more. In the series of three webinars, you will discover…
- Why you need to pay attention to crowdfunding, how it works, and the unexpected opportunities it brings to almost every niche—from small businesses, to artists, authors, screenwriters, educators and more.
- A recipe for success based on proven results from other campaigns, with ideas and concepts you can use for your own campaign + learn the common mistakes that prevent many campaigns from being funded.
- What your future could look like after a successfully funded crowdfunding campaign, with testimonials and commentary from people just like you who’ve been through it and are now reaping the rewards for their business.
This webinar series is coming up on October 5, 6 and 7, 2016. Get on the list now!
The A to Z Blueprint For Planning, Building and Launching a CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN That Will Flood Your Project With Fans and Backers