Make no mistake: crowdfunding is an eCommerce business through and through. Whether you consider yourself an engineer, a product designer, or even an ideas person who simply wants to release a cool product, you will need to be heavily entrenched in your social media feed to have the best chance at a successful crowdfunding campaign.
If you’ve done the hard work, online and off, shared your idea, built the community, posted your product shots, talked up your features, and hash-tagged your way to the finish line with enough backers in tow…congratulations! You did it, kid!
You should be proud that you succeeded (less than a third of crowdfunding campaigns do). However, the post-campaign work can be just as hard. You’ve raised some money and you’re ready to go. Now what? You finish designing the product, you source vendors, you build, you package and you ship. But what happens if you miss your deliverable date? What happens if you forgot to ask every single one of your users what size they need? What if the dye reacts poorly to the plastic and instead of a hot rod red, your product will now only be offered in maroon? There are a million what-ifs that could happen and many of them will. It’s smart to have a way to manage these problems, or more importantly the messaging of these problems, for your community.
Whether it’s for community management, logistics, or as a continuation of your sales strategy, you will want to make sure that you don’t shun your social media presence the second the timer is up on your campaign and the money is on its way. Let’s discuss some of the reasons why you’ll want to maintain your social media presence even after your crowdfunding campaign has ended.
SOCIAL & COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT
You’ll want to communicate consistently at least every 4 weeks, during and after the campaign. In fact, this is a requirement for platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter per their community guidelines.
This leads to five main benefits:
- Brand Loyalty and Trust
- Positive Reviews and Feedback
- Managed Expectations
- Crisis Management
- Minimized Risk of Chargebacks
1. Communicate effectively and there’s a better chance that people will not just be one-time customers. If you treat people like they are real people (spoiler alert: they are), they just might do the same. This encourages brand loyalty and trust. Have you ever driven an extra few miles past a competing store just to go to your favorite store where they put in just a little extra? Think of this as a digital golden rule.
2. Unfortunately, the internet is full of people just waiting to share their reviews and feedback – let’s make sure it’s not your poor customer service. Something will go wrong. Stay calm. Be transparent. DO NOT GO DARK. You’re only human and most people will understand if you tell them what’s up. The fact that you have updated your audience consistently up to now will work in your favor. They know that you’re working and working hard. People appreciate transparency, especially where their money is concerned.
3. Being in the trenches with your community is also a great way to manage expectations. You might think that spending all your time getting the product ready is what’s best for your customers. Really, that’s what’s best for your product. What’s best for your customers is to keep them in the know. If they are expecting a product of a certain shape, size, color, etc, but that changes…you must let them know. It was the great prophet (movie star, prophet, pretty similar) Antonio Banderas that said in his smooth, Spanish accent: “expectation is the mother of all frustration.”
4. Managing expectations goes hand-in-hand with crisis management. You have to plug holes, fast. Social media makes this easy. If you have to announce a shipping delay, you must do so with honesty, transparency, and a patient ear. Social media allows people to vent and feel heard, to feel understood, and to know that their money is in good hands. You are a good person, and they can appreciate that.
5. Part of being active on social media is staying relevant in your customer’s minds. Doing this will minimize the risk of chargebacks. Many crowdfunding campaigns are 30 days or more. Many crowdfunding companies won’t charge a backer’s credit card until the project is successful. The last thing you want is a customer forgetting that they backed you, not recognizing a charge on their card, and acting with their credit card company to initialize a chargeback. There are definitely other reasons that chargebacks can occur, but it is much easier to jump on those problems if you already have a rapport with your community.
A FEW MORE COOL THINGS YOU CAN DO
You can also use your new community to:
- Crowdsource content
- Get free marketing
- Make your digital marketing more effective
- Upsell cool new add-ons and features
1. Probably the coolest use for social media in a crowdfunding context is that you can crowdsource content. Encourage backers to take photos, shoot unboxing and review videos or even just repost your cool content. Many of your backers are likely first-adopters. First adopters love to be the voice that shows the masses the next cool thing. Lean into this! If you have a lot of followers, but not a lot of engagement, think about running a contest for people that repost and tag. Your cost of goods is likely a small price to pay for that many eyeballs.
2. Assuming you’re able to ship, the more buzz you can get, the more you can sell! If people want to sing your product praise, let them…even better, make it easy to do so! Crowdsourced content is free marketing that you didn’t have to pay to produce!
DIGITAL STRATEGY & ONGOING SALES
3. Marketing is really fighting for a tiny space in someone’s brain. The more exposure your product can get, the better the chances that it will be memorable. The theory of effective frequency says that a person must be exposed to an ad at least 3 times before they even start to think about if they want that product or not. Studies have shown this might be as many as 5-7 times before they retain ad information, and as many as 10 before they actually buy. That’s if they actually want your product. Once your campaign has ended, don’t kill your momentum and stop your messaging prematurely. In addition to being more effective, it is less expensive than starting over.
4. This marketing momentum even applies to those who have already backed you. Being at the front of their feed not only stokes their excitement, but it can give you additional opportunities to message out upsell opportunities: stretch goals, additional features or attachments, or even your next product. Yes, many of your followers are probably there because they’ve already backed you and aren’t likely to pluck down more cash. But it is called “social” media for a reason. Excitement = shares. They may not want your upsell, but your Instagram post just might be the reminder they need to share this amazing cool new product with their friends.
WORK WITH RAINFACTORY
It might sound like a lot of work to manage social media and community…and it is! That’s why we exist: to help you successfully manage your crowdfunding campaign, pre and post. Rainfactory has ongoing social media services that can step in and care for your community, while you focus on building your products.
Contact us today to keep up your momentum!