How can Twitter be used to boost crowdfunding donations? This post shows 7 ways to use Twitter during your crowdfunding campaign [plus a free tool to find influential Tweeters to engage during your campaign].
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Gratitude goes a long way.
Tweeting donors with a public thank you can:
a) make the donor feel appreciated
b) encourage others to donate knowing they’ll be publicly thanked if they donate
c) offer an opportunity for your project to reach more people
A quick thank you tweet will look something like this:
‘thanks for the donation @twitter_example!’
This (importantly) offers appreciation to the donor for their support. But, does it encourage the donor (& others) to retweet so the project reaches more people? Not really.
A ‘great’ thank you tweet can encourage retweets.
Look at this thank you tweet below:
It was retweeted by the donor @HealthyNewborns to their 5,283. followers which is the exact action you want for further reach.
– The language of the tweet creates a sense urgency towards a fixed goal: “only £5k short!’
– A hashtag of the project is included ‘ #LIFEseriousgame’ (see more about optimizing hashtags later in this post)
– A link to the project was included, so anyone who sees that tweet can go straight to the project page
How often have friends asked you to donate to their fundraising campaign? How often do you donate straight away? How often do you wait until the deadline? People have great intentions but we’re natural procrastinators!
Creating a sense of urgency with your tweets increases the chances of an instant donation.
Take a look at the tweet below:
How does the tweet create urgency?
‘Only £12k to go by Sat’ – a fixed upcoming deadline is mentioned which heightens the sense urgency
‘80% funded’ – a specific stat showing progress builds momentum
Including an image in your tweet ensures it stands out in Twitter feeds (more on images later in the post)
‘When people sense you’re close to the finish line on a goal, they are more inclined to help you cross it. If you’re close to your goal, show how people can put you over the top. It creates tremendous urgency. Illustrate this in your fundraising appeals by using fundraising thermometers or tickers in your emails and on your donation forms.’
Caryn Stein , Vice President, Communications and Content, Network for Good, How to Create a Sense of Urgency for your Nonprofit Message
This is a simple tip that most crowdfunders don’t maximize on:
Why ‘pin’ a tweet?
– Whenever anyone lands on your main Twitter page, you’ll have a tweet explaining your campaign at the top. Carry on tweeting away & the pinned tweet will stay right at the top.
– Throughout your campaign you will slowly get more likes & retweets (provided you are regularly tweeting, to attract people to your Twitter page). More likes & retweets give your project momentum. More momentum means people are more likely to click on your project link to see what the fuss is about!
More resources about the effect of pinned tweets:
Are there tweeters with a big following that you would love to share (or donate to) your project? If you simply tweet them saying ‘please can you donate/retweet my project @influential_person?’ – they probably won’t.
To increase the chances of them doing so, I suggest you do the following:
Make a Twitter ‘list’ (see here how to make Twitter lists) of people you would like to retweet or donate to your project. Ideally this list will include people that would have an interest in your project, not random celebrities (we use a tool called Twenrich at Hubbub to automatically find influential people on Twitter but more about that later!). When you click on your Twitter list, you will only see tweets from these people.
An example of a Twitter list we use at Hubbub
2) Engage with your list
When your project launches, start engaging (favouriting, retweeting or, even better, commenting on) people in your list’s tweets.
Keep doing this for a few weeks to build trust & encourage them to visit your page (where there should be a pinned tweet about your project at the top). The more you consistently engage with others on Twitter, the more likely they’ll engage with you.
3) Make a personal twitter ask
Once you’ve been engaging with lots tweets for a while, it’s time to make an ask (preferably at the point when your project has hit at least 20% of its target). A good ask will include a link to the project, stats.
This post from Mashable has more examples of strong fundraising tweets.
When you include an image with your tweet, you can tag up to 10 people (which doesn’t eat into your 140 characters). Tag relevant people/organisations with lots of followers – getting a retweet from them will broaden your project reach. As suggested earlier in this post, retweet some of these people/organisations’ tweets too so they’ll be more likely to retweet yours when you tag them in an image.
Some A/B tests have shown that content with relevant images are 94% more like get views than those that don’t.
Why bother with hashtags? Hashtags tie all content about your project to your crowdfunding page into one place.
‘Think of a catchy name for your campaign and create a hashtag. Be relentless in spreading the word on ALL forms of social media – Twitter and Tumblr are great for spreading news fast. Using a hashtag will bring your posts together and make your campaign easily identifiable. Till this day, people still call me “Miss #OXFORD10000!”
Rachel Owhin #OXFORD10000
Resources about optimizing hashtags
We built a simple (free) tool that we use at Hubbub to help find influential people on Twitter. It saves lots of manual researching when deciding who is best to engage with!
How does Twenrich discover influential Tweeters?
The tool can take a public twitter account/or your own (e.g @jonathan_may) & will export a spreadsheet of all the account’s followers. It will put them in order of those who are most ‘influential’ (i.e with the most followers themselves) – super handy for choosing who to target/tag in your tweets!
Twenrich It also pulls out specific job roles. E.g if your crowdfunding project is related to rugby, it can automatically pull out all your followers with the word ‘rugby’ in their bios.