How To Rally A ‘Crowd’?
The use and success of crowdfunding in the past decade has really gained momentum massive thanks to the prominence of social media. By definition, crowdfunding itself is a type of social media in which networks of people virtually exchange information and support ideas. However, justcreating a crowdfunding campaign on a platform—like HFAVET or even other huge platforms—will surely not reach enough people to gain an adequate response to achieve your campaign’s goals. After all, a key component of successful crowdfunding is rallying a “crowd.”
Although the HFAVET platform aims to support and promote its campaigners’ initiatives as much as possible on its own social media platforms, it is important that each veteran entrepreneur makes use of social media platforms to promote their own individual campaigns as well.
*Note: These need to be separate from your personal social media accounts where you post pictures of your dog and children at your day job. Your social media sites should focus exclusively on your crowdfunding campaign’s mission and goals.
Which Social Media Platforms Are Best?
Each social media platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, and also attracts its own unique community of followers.
When selecting the digital social media platforms that are best suited to your crowdfunding campaign, it is important to consider these few questions:
- Who are your products targeting or going to benefit? In other words, who is your “perfect” customer?
- Where do they spend the majority of their professional time?
- What is their favorite social media platform?
- If you were your “perfect” customer, how would you want to consume information about your product?
Face, Tweet, Hashtag, Link or Pin?
Now that you have considered the products and target customers unique to your business, the next step is to learn about the features and followers of each platform to understand which are most compatible with your campaign. This will help you know which platforms to use and how much time and content should be invested using each one.
1.4 Billion Users
Typically the social media core of businesses, Facebook provides opportunities to reach very high volumes of diversified people.
Tips: Build up engagement with your followers. Do not expect that your followers will naturally engage with you. Give regular updates on your campaign’s progress and try asking your followers questions and encourage them to write comments. Ask questions both related to your campaign and even those you might ask a friend. Ask questions like what inspires them, what gets them out of bed everyday, and if they love someone who has served in the military. It is also important that you try to respond to every follower’s comments.
Also, always try to include visual photos or videos in your posts. The more eye-catching your posts are, the more likely your followers are to read your messages when scrolling through their busy Facebook feeds.
Approximately 284 Million Users
Twitter enables people to innovate and share ideas instantly. Users can send and read each other’s posts, known as tweets. Tweets are short message posts of up to 140 characters, published on the author’s profile and sent to followers of their page.
Twitter is a useful tool for immediately engaging with followers on important updates. Given that 80% of Twitter followers use the mobile app, the use of Twitter will help a crowdfunding campaign maintain continual contact with followers and customers, which will ultimately allow you to mold your brand around your followers’ lifestyles.
Tip: Over 500 million tweets are sent out daily; that equates to approximately 5700 tweets per second. If your audience is not online right when you post your campaign’s tweets, then the odds are that they are likely to miss your message. Posting several tweets throughout the day will increase the chances of reaching a higher percentage of your followers.
300 Million Users in over 200 countries
LinkedIn is a platform that connects professionals to increase productivity and success. LinkedIn allows professionals to send messages, endorse and connect to others via mutual contacts.
Tip: Try connecting with leaders and influencers in the same industry as your business. Post blogs on LinkedIn sharing your own business’s experiences that might help others in the industry.
300 Million Users
Instagram focuses on sharing photos and video content, while allowing users to share and give feedback on posts. Instagram will allow your campaign to craft a visual experience for your followers and contribute to your branding processes.
Tip: For every photo or video posted on your campaign’s Instagram account, try including a lot of related hashtags in the caption. Try hashtags like #HelpFundAVeteran #Veteran #Military #Entrepreneur etc. This will lead Instagram users who are searching for specific topics to your campaign page, and will ultimately increase your number of followers.
40 Million Users
Pinterest connects people through ‘things’ that they find interesting. Pinterest allows its users to collect ideas for projects and categorize things based on their interests. Pinterest engages a primarily female audience. You will be able to add pins of your products with links to your website or crowdfunding page.
Tip: Add posts (called pins) to your Pinterest board that are relevant to your business’s industry. This will attract followers who are also interested in your business’s industry and related products.
Benefits of Strategically Selecting Your Social Media
With so many options of different platforms to utilize to help promote your business, the use of social media during your campaign may seem overwhelming. That is why it is critical to focus on selecting the platforms that will most benefit your individual campaign and appeal to your “perfect” customer. Choose the networks where your potential supporters are most likely to be found and that are most compatible with your individual campaign.
Choosing the best social media networks for your business will not only help your project raise more capital to finance your business, but will also build a community of supporters, help you acquire and retain customers, and ultimately increase brand loyalty and sales long term.