Building An Online Community and how it benefits a crowdfunding campaign
Social media has become a ubiquitous mainstay in the lives of billions of global consumers and investors alike. Crowdfunding is driven by social media and this “revolution” has transformed the traditional funding and marketing monologue into a one-to-one and one-to-many dialogue and allows customers and investors to impact the business world like nothing in human history. This is the process I use to organically transform a crowd into an engaged community of funders and brand advocates using social media:
The first step in the process of creating a community funders and brand advocates is to target the people that have a genuine interest in what your brand has to offer. Having a strategy where you are blasting out a general message to a general audience is not going to work as a community building strategy. The goal from the start has to be to create a targeted community organically and that will require sharing high-quality content that is useful and relevant specifically to the community you are targeting. People like to look at the number of likes and follows, but the most important button in social media is the share button. The more your content is shared, the more eyes see it.
Creating a Content Strategy
The true value in a content marketing strategy is to provide high-quality relevant and shareable content on a consistent basis. This is no easy task and will require first organization of content production. This means using a content calendar to organize the workflow of research, writing, and commenting on other peoples blogs and social media sites. Social media can and will consume your time if you don’t have a plan and stick to it. I set aside time daily to engage my social media and comment as much as I can on the information that is of the highest value to me. This is done on a timed basis and when the time is up it is up. I set aside time for research and writing all of this is in the calendar and allows me to provide high-quality content on a consistent basis while building relationships.
Listening to Your Community
There are so many brands that implement 21st Century digital communication tools using 20th Century strategies and tactics. Social media is a dialogue one-to-one and one-to-many, so if I am always blasting out my message I am not listening to what is being said about the industry, my brand, and what problems need to be solved by the people that are willing to invest their precious time with me and by blog. If your blog solves the issues that the community is having people will invest in and share your content.
Engagement is about gaining a level of emotional buy-in from the community that will create a willingness to invest time in your community. One of the best ways to get a person to truly invest in what you are offering is to provide them with something of value in exchange for their buy-in. Hubspot is a perfect example of providing a high-quality information in the form of ebooks in exchange for information. Engagement is a two-way street as well. I remember when I began reading Crowd Clan’s blog I found the information to be high-quality and consistent, so not only would I comment on their post but I would share this information with my network.