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Social Media Lessons Learned from Kickstarter

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Social Media Lessons Learned from Kickstarter

Zach Braff got a lot of attention for his recent Kickstarter campaign to make a "Garden State" sequel.

Has your Facebook or Google+ page stalled because of lackluster engagement? As an SEO analyst and social media expert at OpticsPlanet.com, I’d love to tell you that posting 5 percent more often or with a perfect balance of photos and videos would do the trick, but it’s not as simple as that. You need excitement. You need buzz.

This is where you can learn a lesson from Kickstarter.

Kickstarter has been in the news a lot lately for helping filmmakers fund their projects outside the studio system. Writers and artists around the world have been using it for the same reason for a couple years now, and it inspired aspects of my social media strategy.

Kickstarter taught me three things that I keep in mind when I start my day on Facebook, Twitter and Google+:

Passion. Most people won’t open their wallets on a whim. They want passion. This doesn’t necessarily mean their passion. I love listening to my most passionate friends, even if I could care less about what they're being passionate about. I’ll nod off during a conversation about tennis nine times out of 10, but when a tennis-enthusiast friend talks about a new serving trick they’ve learned, I’m all ears. Suddenly, I want to support tennis. I may not play, but if you love it your passion will infect me. Find ways your passion applies to your customers and you’ll see them flock to your Facebook page each and every day. This is both a more likely path to success and an easier one.

Honesty. One consistent feature of most Kickstarter campaigns is transparency. Give running updates on how things are going. Be real. When I check the number of entries for a giveaway promoted on Facebook I’ll let people know how it’s going. You don’t have to give exact numbers, but when you reach milestones let them know and show how excited you are about it!

Expectations. Kickstarter forces you to set a budget. While a campaign may exceed this budget (in some cases wildly exceed it) it’s good to have a goal in mind. Kickstarter goals are purely monetary, and your social media goals should be more complex. Still, never just start out blindly. Set your goals and pursue them to see if you’re succeeding.

Spend a few minutes every day getting into the mindset that you’re building something exciting, new and inclusive of others. This Kickstarter approach to social media will turn lackluster engagement around and make your page one to see.

Brian Coughlin is an SEO analyst for OpticsPlanet.com, the leading Internet retailer for technical and high performance gear. His passion for social media engagement and search engine dominance helped OpticsPlanet rank in 2012 on the Social Media Top 300 by Internet Retailer.

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