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7 ways to use Twitter during your #crowdfunding campaign

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding campaigns are heavily reliant on two things - an audience pool that's large enough to help reach campaign goals and inspiring content that engages would-be donors to get involved. As far as channels go, Twitter is great for not only promoting content associated with your campaign, it's also great for driving donations and finding potential influencers who are willing to promote the campaign on your behalf.

In this post we'll cover 7 ways that you can leverage the benefits of Twitter to increase the potential success of your crowdfunding campaign.

We'll take a look at:

  • 1 - Creating a sense of urgency to encourage action
  • 2 - Why you should use ‘pinned’ tweets
  • 3 - Making the most of images
  • 4 - Optimizing the use of #hashtags
  • 5 - How to thanking donors an influence others
  • 6 - How to discover other influencers on Twitter
  • 7 - How to engage with influencers

1. Creating a sense of urgency to encourage action

Twitter is a great platform for constantly updating followers on any kind of ongoing activity or promotional event - whether that be a sporting event, tv show or a fundraising campaign. Because updates on Twitter have a short shelf life, you can constantly post updates in rapid fire succession without worrying that you'll be annoying your followers. This works especially well when your campaign requires donors to urgently donate in order to hit key milestones that will help to guarantee the projects success.

For example, if your project needs another £1,000 before 5pm to make the most of the matched funding that's available - post an urgent update on Twitter encouraging donors to give, what the goal is and how long they have left to take action. The same goes for when a project is in its final days/hours and requires urgent donations to reach its ultimate goal. This is exactly how the team at Oxreach (University of Oxford) encouraged donors to give the final £162 (plus matched funding) they needed to reach their goal on the final day of their Smart Handpumps crowdfunding project.

Take a look at the tweets below to see how they encouraged donors to make the last few crucial gifts they needed:

Step 1: Post an update that tells followers how much time is left and how much funding is required to reach the project's goal.

Step 2: Keep donors updated on the progress you are making and reiterate the deadline. Also encourage those who may have already given to share the project with their own networks and twitter followers.

Step 3: Once you've reached the target, share and celebrate that success with your followers - thanking them for their support.

‘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 

2. ‘Pin’ a tweet on the top of your Twitter account

This is a simple tip but it's one that most Twitter users don’t maximize:

  • Pin a tweet about your crowdfunding campaign (with an image, project url) to your Twitter page for the duration of your project.

Why ‘pin’ a tweet?

– Whenever anyone lands on your main Twitter page, you’ll have a tweet explaining your campaign at the very top - meaning you've provided a constantly convenient call to action for anyone who happens upon your page. Italso means that you can carry on tweeting updates related to the project and 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!

Here are a few more resources about the effect of pinned tweets:

The power of pinned tweets

The science of a pinned tweet

3. Make the most of images (and other media sources)

Twitter is a thumb-scroller's paradise. They can mindlessly scroll for hours wading through their many followers until something sparks their interest enough to stop and digest the content long enough to take action. With every tweet that mentions your crowdfunding project, make sure to use images (or even better - videos) that will cause followers to stop scrolling and to take action.

When you include an image with your tweet, you can also tag up to 10 people (which doesn’t eat into your 240 characters). Tag relevant people/organisations with lots of followers – getting a retweet from them will broaden your project reach.

Some A/B tests have shown that content with relevant images are 94% more like get views than those that don’t. 

4. Optimize the use of #hashtags to increase reach

Why bother with hashtags? Well, hashtags tie all related content together in once place. Even more importantly, Twitter users will follow certain hashtags to stay up-to-date on certain topics or events that they are interested in. If you are using a hashtag that others are regularly following, it's possible that potential donors will see your tweet and feel encouraged to find our more. Or event better yet -to donate and share your project with their own followers.

‘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  

More resources for learning about the optimisation of hashtags

5. Thank donors on twitter

When you thank a donor on Twitter it achieved two things.

1) It make the donor feel awesome and really proud of their involvement in the project. They might even be so proud that they share your tweet with their own followers (which could lead to more donations)

2) It shows potential donors who are following your project that other people are donating (and being recognised for doing so). It could be just the thing that encourages someone to jump from observer to donor.

Look at this thank you tweet below:

6. Automate how to discover influential Twitter users

We've built a simple (and free) tool that we use at Hubbub to help find potential influencers on Twitter for project that are running on our hubbub.org platform. It's also a tool that is free for anyone to use who is looking for a way to find a ready-to-use list of potential influencers who may be interested in supporting your crowdfunding efforts.

How does Twenrich discover influencers?

The tool can take a public twitter account/or your own & 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.

7. Increase the chances of influential people tweeting about your project

We are living in the time of the influencer. Platforms like Instagram and Youtube get the majority of influencer action, however, there are still plenty of great influencers on twitter who could be very willing to help promote your project. The key with influencers isn't to encourage that they give (although nice if they do) but that they share your project with their large network of followers in hopes that their influence will garner more supporters for your project.

To increase the chances that an influencer will join your campaign, we suggest the following :

1) Make a Twitter List

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. They don't need to be famous in the A-list sense, but well known and popular influencers who have a notable reputation in similar areas to that of your project.

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 and important stats. 

This post from Mashable has more examples of strong fundraising tweets.

To make the most of the these suggestions, we encourage you to do as many of these as possible during the time of your crowdfunding project. The synergy of their collectie influence can be exactly what your project needs to reach its goal. If we can help in anyway, please get in touch with a member of our team via hello@hubbub.net.

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