Kickstarter Lesson #28: Social Networks

7 April 2013 | 9 Comments

How often is too often to share your Kickstarter project on social networks?

This is a question that all Kickstarter creators ask themselves as they consider their strategy for Facebook and Twitter (also consider LinkedIn and Pinterest).

To a certain extent, we all know the answer to that question. We know what it’s like when someone incessantly posts their Kickstarter project, charity event, or anything where they’re asking you to do something for them. Those are the posts–and the people–that we unfollow on our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

We know that much–we have a general idea of what “too often” looks like. So make sure you post less than that.

But as I often talk about in these lessons, content is just as important as quantity. You might only post once every other day, but if all of your posts read, “Hey you! Go back my Kickstarter project!”, people are just as likely to stop paying attention to you as if you posted every day.

The important thing about any post you make on a social network about your project is that you make it about them, not about you. An easy way to do this is to make your posts funny. I find that self-deprecating humor works particularly well. If your target audience for a particular post are professionals in the field of your project, make your post interesting to them. You can always ask for feedback and advice–not only will it potentially improve your project, but it will help people feel invested in what you’re doing. I posted once or twice on my alumni group on LinkedIn asking for feedback, and it went over well.

You can also encourage backers to click the Facebook Like button on your project page. I did that with Viticulture by having an entire set of stretch goals based on Facebook Likes. That may have been overkill, but quite a few people found out about the project from their friends on Facebook, so I think it worked. A nice hybrid solution is to wait until you have a decent number of backers and Likes, and then offer a stretch goal if you close the gap between backers and Likes.

The one big downside to these social network blasts is that they’re the equivalent of casting a wide net to catch a single fish. Imagine these two scenarios: In the first scenario, you see a friend Like a movie on Facebook. In the second scenario, you get an e-mail from a friend gushing about the same movie and telling you why they think you would love it. In which scenario are you more likely to see the movie?

So my suggestion is this: Once or twice during your project, post a project update in which you ask backers to recommend the project to one friend. Not all of their friends. ONE friend. Make it easy for them to select that friend. For example, for Viticulture I might have said, “Which friend of yours from your hometown do you most look forward to playing board games with when you’re town?” or “Which friend of yours has been to Tuscany?” Asking a specific question like that will help the backer avoid the analysis paralysis of figuring out whom to personally recommend the project.

In fact, let’s try it right now. Which friend of yours has most recently talked about launching a Kickstarter project? If you think that friend would benefit from reading these Kickstarter Lessons, it would be great if you could recommend this blog to him or her.

Next: Hometown Press and Local Media

To delve deeper into this topic with the expertise of Funding the Dream’s Richard Bliss, you can listen to a 22-minute podcast about building momentum on Kickstarter with Richard and Jamey here, or an episode specifically about social networks here. There’s also a Fast Company article about the best times and ways to post on social networks here.

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There’s also an interesting article about Twitter here that says that the best place to place URLs in tweets is the middle (not the beginning or end).

9 Comments on “Kickstarter Lesson #28: Social Networks

  1. I love that suggestion to ask everyone to suggest the project to ONE FRIEND.

    Pick the friend they think is most likely to love the project, and send them a personal email or message.

    Great idea!

  2. The last paragraph of this entry just reminded me I was going to send a couple of friends a link to your site! While they use Indiegogo and it is to help raise funds for their theatre company I’m sure they will still find some helpful advice here.

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