Social media marketing is a crucial part of a Kickstarter campaign. Once you have your Kickstarter content and media in order, it’s time to start spreading the word about your idea, getting it out to potential backers, and getting online communities to help promote your campaign for you.
In part 1 of this Kickstarter series, I went over some ideas to get your Kickstarter page content in order. In this second part, I’ll take a look at the social media side, and some ideas to generate more backers through social media communities. In the last and final installation, I’ll look at how to run on- and offline publicity to engage your community in a project.
Planning a Social Media Campaign
It’s important to build an online presence around a Kickstarter project, but it’s also important to show the world that there is more to it than just the campaign for funding. Social media pages are good places to post updates about a project’s progress towards its goal, and they’re also a good place to share other important information about the idea.
Let people get to know your team and your project a bit more personally. You’re asking them to back not only a good idea, but also you and your team, so give them a reason to! Show viewers how passionate you are about this project, and why you want to see it come to life.
Facebook makes great a central hub for a social media campaign. It’s a good place to post and share the most important media from other social media sites. It’s also a great way to engage your community.
Recommended for YouWebcast: The Art of Growth Hacking: Gaining Early Traction by Doing Things that Don't Scale
You can start networking your project by sharing your project with friends, family, and professional contacts. Even if people you know can’t help out with funding, they will probably be happy to help share your idea with their friends. Don’t be ashamed to ask for a like, a share, or a pledge. If you can get this first batch of potential backers behind you, you can show the Kickstarter and other online communities that people besides yourself believe in your project and want to see it reach its goal.
An article by Sarah Gillbert, creator of one succesful Kickstarter campaign, stresses the importance of Facebook in her campaign. She explains how she was able to find her “choir” of loyal followers and backers through Facebook and other social media.
A Twitter account provides a forum to deliver regular updates on project progress and encourage users to help out as you approach your goal. Encourage people on your Kickstarter and other pages to follow you on Twitter to stay up to date with updates, and engage your followers.
You can give your followers tidbits of interesting information about your project, and you can try to encourage them to share and retweet updates and news. People who have backed your project will want to see the project achieve its goal, so they’ll be the most likely to help spread the word and help you get your news out to their networks!
YouTube is a perfect avenue to share your vision and promote an image behind a Kickstarter project. Videos can help people understand your idea better and allow people to get to know you and your personality. It’s a good idea to have some videos up to share on your Kickstarter page. Videos can really help viewers and potential backers grasp the product or idea in a more tangible sense, and you can show off just why the idea is so cool.
A blog is a good space to get into the story behind a project and get into details in greater depth. It’s a place where interested readers can watch the story and the campaign evolve. It can also be a good forum to solicit publicity with well-polished posts that can easily be shared and reposted on other websites. I’ll talk more about building publicity in the third and final installment of this Kickstarter campaign series.
Moore’s Cloud: Social Media Campaign for their New ‘Light’
Moore’s Cloud, who is currently running a Kickstarter Campaign to produce their design of a programmable intelligent light, is doing a good job of playing up the strengths of each format. Their website provides a lot of in-depth information about their product and the team behind it, and also links to all other sites. Their Facebook page acts as the hub for Moore’s Cloud’s online presence, where they share and post important media from Twitter feeds, Youtube and Vimeo posts, blog development articles, and publicity from around the web.
Youtube and Vimeo show several additional videos on the functionality and capabilities of the light. And their Twitter provides a steady stream of quick updates about the project, as well as tidbits about the back-story and the team at Moore’s Cloud. They don’t overload followers with information, and they try to avoid repeating the same message.
The message and tone is consistent across each of their sites, but the content itself is optimized for that site and its community. Each of their pages provides enough information for it to stand alone, and though the focus of each page is not on the Kickstarter campaign itself, the pages share with interested viewers enough information about how to get involved and back the project.
Momentum and Planning
A Kickstarter campaign is all about momentum, so it’s a good idea to have a strong plan for social media laid out before a project goes public. There is a short window to reach the goal for a project, so it’s important to work the social media angle well to build buzz around your project and capitalize while others are talking about it. Keep nurturing and engaging the community that you have established, and experiment with different sites and mediums to build more followers, fans, and hopefully backers.
It’s a good idea to maintain some level of adaptability in a campaign as well. It’s possible that one social network starts to really catch on, in which case extra energy and time should be invested in that site. Respond to your backers and followers as you start to find what sites and mediums they react well to. You have a month to reach your goals, so keep up the flow by constantly engaging your potential backers. Once people have already backed you, they are involved and invested, so try to make it easy for them to help spread the word.
Invest as much time as you can with your social media, even if the project feels like it has a long way to go. Keep trying new techniques and approaches. When something finally sparks on a social network and starts building a buzz, a realistic goal can be reached a lot quicker than you might expect.
Good luck, and make sure to check back with the third part of this Kickstarter series, where I’ll discuss how to build publicity behind a Kickstarter campaign. And if you missed it, I covered how to plan a Kickstarter project and bring together all the tools for your Kickstarter page in the first part, right here.
Have you had any experience running your own Kickstarter Campaign? What social media elements worked well for you? What did not work so well?