Crowdfunding opens doors for entrepreneurs offering them new opportunities. Where traditional funding institutions such as banks do not see the potential of a certain project, the crowd can. This way the necessary amount of funding can be raised after all.
However, setting up a crowdfunding campaign takes time and effort. Entrepreneurs need to appeal and convince potential investors both online and offline to fund their company or project. “After their campaign is ‘live’, entrepreneurs can’t just sit back and wait for the money to come in”, says Chris Thomas, founder of international crowdfunding platform Eureeca. In this article, he shares 7 tips for entrepreneurs to get the most out of their crowdfunding campaigns by using social media.
#1 Create clarity
The first thing that is important is clarity. To get potential backers interested, the project needs to crystal clear to them, as well as the ambitions of the entrepreneurs and the need to raise money at this moment. Perhaps it is stating the obvious, but when visitors of the social media channels immediately get the purpose of the project and support this, they are more likely to finance it. Being specific is key. An often overlooked first step is completing all the basic information on the channels and using the appropriate supportive images, such as headers and logos.
#2 Posts frequently
One of the most important aspects of creating crowd engagement on social media is to post regularly. This will keep followers involved in the progress of the project. A good tool to use is a content calendar. This document shows which messages will be posted on what day and time with the possibility to schedule them beforehand. This will create structure in your communication outings. “A content planning ensures taking care of social media will not turn into a fulltime job”, Thomas states. When the calendar is filled, and fixed posts are scheduled, entrepreneurs only have to focus on the creation of spontaneous content as the campaign continues.
#3 Be specific
The importance of being specific also applies to the content of the posts. Be clear about 1) why the money is raised, 2) how much funding is needed and/or still missing and 3) how people can support the campaign. By emphasizing urgency in the messages, people who are interested will in most cases be persuaded to donate or invest. Also, don’t forget to add a clear call-to-action to make it as easy as possible for followers to support the campaign.
#4 Build trust
Being authentic is one of the most important aspects for building trust amongst followers. Hence, show the entrepreneurs behind the project, tell your crowd who are involved, why they are supporting the project and what their goals are. Make sure it will come across as ‘real’. If not, people will be less involved and the tendency to support or even join the campaign will decrease significantly. Besides introducing the team, behind the scenes footage is a great way to involve the crowd. These videos or photos will show the spirit of the company, making it more personal.
#5 Involve your followers
Try to get your followers as involved as possible. It is a proven fact that asking questions creates engagement and provokes reactions. Are people reacting to your messages? Make sure that they will be answered. Social media is all about interaction. Just posting messages will not work, it’s a two-way street. Another best practice according to Thomas is showing appreciation to people who are already supporting the campaign. Did you ever think about creating a post with a special thanks to one of your ambassadors?
#6 Reach further
Try to reach a broad audience with your posts. This will happen partly by creating the right content but can also be stimulated by linking and tagging people and companies in the posts. Did you know there are a lot of topic-specific groups and communities on Facebook? Ever thought of posting in one of these? Invest time in searching the right groups that pursue the same goals and share your project here. Another trick that will boost your number of fans is to analyze the likes of your post and invite all those who did like your post but are not yet connected to your company page. They will only have to accept it.
Moreover, entrepreneurs can look into companies that are related to their goals and reach out to them for help. In a lot of cases openly supporting a crowdfunding campaign will reflect on the company in a positive way and often ensures a boost in the reach of the campaign. Besides these free options, there’s the possibility to use advertisement to broaden the reach of your messages. Facebook, for example, makes it very easy to target the right people based on their demographics and interests.
#7 Analyze and optimize your way up
Always keep analyzing your social media channels. Looking at the statistics will give you a clear view of what posts are most effective and what times and days work best for your followers. Use this to constantly optimize your strategy and get the most of your social media campaign. Good luck!
Guest post by Chris Thomas, founder of international crowdfunding platform Eureeca. Shutterstock image by MSSA.
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