Written by Tom Field, Investment Associate at Seedrs. Tom helps businesses launch and run successful crowdfunding campaigns.
Social media is a valuable and cost-effective opportunity to grow closer to your community, widen your reach and drive brand commitment. A visual, interactive and curated profile on social media can expand your engaged community and drive brand awareness. If you have the right strategy in place, it can also allow you to have a more extensive network to lean on when building momentum around your crowdfunding campaign.
You might have an extensive social media following, or maybe it’s still in its early stages, but either way, this guide will include our most important tips on how to fully leverage your social media channels and drive momentum to your campaign at the right time and with the right type of content.
Tip #1: Match their Schedule
It’s all good telling everyone about your campaign, but to really reap the rewards, telling them at the right time is key. As much as you would like to send out a constant stream about your campaign, bombarding with posts can discourage investors.
The best times to get your voice heard are between 8-9 am and 2-3 pm towards the back end of the week – but don’t be shy! If you can try and keep a good flow of content and updates throughout the whole week, and even on weekends, it can make a real difference. A top tip would be to schedule your posts beforehand, so they land at the investor’s fingertips at the right time and touchpoint.
At Seedrs, we tend to post the majority of our content in the above mentioned hours of 8-9 am and 2-3 pm towards the back end of the week because investors seem to respond well at those times. Although, recent data published by SproutSocial suggest that engagement rates differ across industry and that brands in different industries should post content at slightly different times. This also slightly differs across social media platforms too – mainly because users arrive at each platform with slightly different motives and intentions.
In light of this: scheduling your posts allows your brand to be there at the prime touchpoints, even if you can’t be! This is a great way to help you manage your content flow on social media and help you optimise the number of engagement posts received. Start out with the times recommended to post at, but your audience may respond to content at slightly different times. It’s these marginal gains that once accumulated, can subsequently lead to further investment.
Here is a guide on how to schedule your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
- Start creating your post at the top of your Page’s timeline.
- Click 🔽next to Publish and select Schedule.
- Below Publication, select the date and time when you want the post to publish.
- Click Schedule.
You can then manage these posts by going on: Publishing tools → Scheduled posts
Twitter only run the possibility of scheduled posts when using Twitter Ads. If you haven’t already signed up, go to ads.twitter.com to sign up for an advertiser account.
Once you have done that, you go to compose tweets, and you should be able to see a scheduling tab which will allow you to push out promoted material at specific times.
To post content onto Instagram – first of all, you need a business account, but you will also need a 3rd party application. Hootsuite offers the ability to schedule and post photos for you as do Later. You can schedule posts from both platforms for free, to begin with.
It is a similar story for LinkedIn, they have no built-in scheduling feature, but there are 3rd party platforms which can facilitate free scheduling facilities, such as Postfity.
Once signed up to a 3rd party scheduling platform, you can then begin to use this as a central suite to coordinate your social media activity. However, this comes at a cost, the more advanced you get. Scheduling posts across Facebook using their in-house capabilities could be a good place to start.
Tip #2: Align your Messaging with the Campaign’s Progress
Before launching your campaign, start to tell people what you are trying to achieve from crowdfunding, and how it could help support your vision. Most importantly, keep your social network updated with your crowdfunding progress (e.g. 50%, 70%, 100% funded, 100 investors on-board, etc.).
Every time your company hits a funding milestone or achieves something great, let your audiences know. By talking about the momentum and progress you have had, it acts as a great signal to potential investors to then invest themselves.
After receiving your funding, talk about how you have spent that crowdfunding money and the value it’s had. Being communicative post-investment will make your community much more likely to advocate your brand and reinvest in follow-on rounds.
Therefore, it’s important when putting your content and communications plan together, that you see where there are opportunities to inform your network; pre, during and post crowdfunding. Key pieces of information to share with your network include:
- Your acceptance from Seedrs, acknowledging you are crowdfunding soon.
- Your go-live date.
- % funded or # of investors.
- How many days you have been fundraising.
- Days left before the campaign closes.
- When you have received your funds.
- What you have done with the crowdfunding money and how it’s made an impact on your business.
The way you push this information out there should vary in style as well as which platform you use. For instance, if updating your community that you’re 80% funded may be great for Twitter because it is short, sharp and recognisable. Whereas informing your network you are now crowdfunding might be better optimised through a dedicated post on Facebook which is much longer, descriptive and explanatory. That’s at your discretion!
Tip #3: Make it Visual
When you are putting together your campaign, you will need a good variety of visual assets to bring it all to life. These not only bolster your campaign but can prove to be an ideal material for sharing on social media. Posts with visual content tend to drive better engagement online, so the more you can do this, the better. Businesses that look to create exciting products; either with great flair, flavour or feel should try and be visual as they possibly can. One study, which analysed over 30,000 Facebook pages, showed that 87% of user interactions occurred in posts that contained photos. Likewise, on Twitter, tweets that contain pictures or other images get retweeted 150% more often than text-only tweets (Constant Content).
If possible, capture your organisation across your value chain. If you buy fresh produce from your local market, share that authenticity! If you’re an F&B business, show the ingredients that go into your product, or a behind-the-scenes tour of the kitchen or brewery.
Show your world-class team in action too – investors want to see the people behind the product that they are investing in. Also, update your cover photos, for instance across platforms to show that you are crowdfunding – optimise all of your visual artillery.
There is a great range of visual content you can use to help gather the attention of your community and effectively communicate your messages. Mixing up how and when you use visuals can be helpful in putting together a really dynamic social media strategy. A good set of visuals are:
- Team photos – this humanises you and your brand.
- Customers using your product – this is easy to resonate with for investors as they can start to visualise how your product works and how it’s received.
- Infographics/Data-driven visuals – to communicate lengthy or complex but important information.
- Illustrations – they can really help you stand out and can be great at telling stories.
- Videos – can often capture what you are trying to say a lot quicker and very consumable. In a 2018 HubSpot survey, 54% of consumers wanted to see more video content from a brand or business they support.
- GIF’s/Meme’s – depends on your brand, but these can be useful in communicating strong messages that are really digestible in an informal way.
In addition to informing your community of your crowdfunding progress, there are other visual tactics you can use to help signal to potential investors your business is worth investing in, based on consumer psychology. Using positive colours such as green when writing large % ‘s or numbers, for instance, play into an investor’s heuristic decision making and can make them feel calmer and more optimistic. The right layout and font can also play subconsciously on an investors mind. If a page is too crowded or poorly laid out, scattered with images surrounded by text, in a font which is too small, can be off-putting, difficult to read and consequently marginalises the engagement you receive on blogs and posts. It’s not just about the content; sometimes, it also about how you present it!
A Final Note: A Compliant Campaign is a Successful One!
You should be aware that your marketing of the campaign may involve financial promotions. We have prepared some frequently asked questions that you should be aware of to help you run an engaging and compliant campaign here.