One Big Reason You Should Start Using Twitter Before You Crowdfund

Tip of the Week

The announcement came last month that Google and Twitter have partnered up. Twitter has given Google access to its data stream to index tweets, which will allow the search engine to display your tweets in its results in real time. That’s quite a boon for crowdfunders, in my opinion.

This is actually a rekindling of an old relationship between the two behemoths, which expired in 2011.

The effects of the implementation will likely not be in full evidence for up to six month, the time it will take for both companies to figure out how to prep and utilize the data.

During that time Twitter users should be prepping, too, so that your tweets will start showing up in Google’s results pages right away. How do you prove your tweet value to Google? By maximizing engagement, which is the first step in alerting Google that you’re producing high-value tweets. (Spammers need not apply.)

For active Twitter users this means your presence is going to be more felt. For those who wonder why they should be using Twitter, this is a good enough reason to start on the right foot.

Stone Temple Consulting Inc. recently did a study in which they analyzed over 4 million tweets. (I also recommend you read Stone Temple’s analysis on how the new deal will affect SEO.)

For the time-challenged or visually inclined, here’s their four-minute explainer video:

From that study here’s a summary of the factors they find most important:

  1. Inclusion of media (images or video) – also broken out by number of pieces of media
  2. Character count
  3. Inclusion of Hashtags – also broken out by number of hashtags
  4. Hashtag length
  5. Inclusion of Links – also broken out by number of links
  6. The Domain Authority of the shared link
  7. Time of Day
  8. Inclusion of Mentions – also broke out by number of mentions

So if Twitter is not yet a social media platform of choice for you, consider making it a priority within the next six months. If you plan to crowdfund, it might help you amplify your campaign.

 

 

Twitter Facts and Stats to Improve Engagment

Tip of the Week

Looking to improve social engagement on Twitter?If I’ve said it once I’ve said it twice, I love Hubspot, the Internet marketing company. I learn so much from them about inbound marketing. Today the focus is Twitter.

They recently released a free guide in collaboration with Social Bro, the only Twitter marketing platform, called The Science of Success on Twitter.

I also love Twitter so I had to share some of the highlights.

After analyzing 200,000 corporate tweets, they came up with fascinating data. Here are some highlights. You can see the original source here and sign up to get the guide here.

Here are some highlights:

Tweets with URLs in the middle of the tweet are 26% more likely to get RTd than those plat at the beginning or end.

Wow! That stat has lodged in my brain! It’s so simple so commit that one to memory.

Include one hashtag in your tweet and you’re 69% more likely to get a RT than if you include two.

That one needed no confirmation. But it validates my informal policy on the topic: Include more on a regular basis and I will probably unfollow you.

Consider a direct message campaign! They get on average a 300% higher click rate than email campaigns. 

Of course first your tweets have to be engaging enough to have your target return your follow. Read # 8 here to learn how to make that happen.

Maximize Crowdfunding Engagement Using ClickToTweet

You may already be using ClicktoTweet, the fast and easy way to increase social engagement by creating tweetable links your followers and fans can share with one simple click.

Still in beta mode, some bloggers are using it very successfully. But if you’re not already doing so, you should definitely introduce it into the narrative copy of your campaign as well as other crowdfunding communications.

Most people currently use it by generating a link that simply says, “Tweet this,” or “Tweet this quote,” next to an unsightly URL link. Bu that’s not taking advantage of the full power of this nifty service, and as the novelty wears off it may even come across as a tad too demanding to overburdened members of the crowd.

Better to lure your readers to click! With a little creativity you can generate compelling summary sentences or quotable bites that will make tweeting your words irresistible.

To continue reading go to my Tip of the Week on crowdsourcing.org

 

How To Choose Social Media Platforms To Engage Your Crowdfunding Audience

How you choose social media platforms to engage your crowdfunding audience is crucial. Whatever you do don’t try to be active on all of them.  You’ll be a bedraggled shell of a human in your valiant attempt but it won’t get you far because you won’t be engaging, you’ll just skimming the surface and that’s not enough.  So I asked my colleague Lorie Parch, who’s got some great social media strategy chops, to break down the big boys for you so that you may choose wisely.

Facebook

 

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As of May 2013  over 1.1 billion monthly active users are on Facebook. With such vast reach, it’s unlikely that your social media strategy will not include Facebook, and you may want to focus primarily or even solely on Facebook if that’s where your audience hangs out.

Facebook’s mobile users are up hugely, to 751 million, so be sure that the execution of your social strategy for your campaign looks great on mobile devices across all the platforms you’re using as well.

If you haven’t created a brand page before, go to Facebook’s Help section; there’s a section there called “Build Your Facebook Page” and within that there’s another helpful section called “Growing Your Audience” that discusses best practices for posting.

Twitter 

 

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Twitter is a “real-time information network. It has about 550 million users. There’s an art to using those 140 characters wisely, though that’s a class in itself. But there’s no shortage of information about best practices. To get started using Twitter for business check out Twitter’s “basics” section, which covers things like hashtags, establishing your brand personality, how to tweet well, and measuring how well you’re doing on Twitter. The platform also has special information for small organizations and for nonprofits and organizations. Because Twitter has such a large reach, like Facebook it should probably be part of your strategy to gain more followers and increase awareness of and donations to your crowdfunding campaign.

(If you’re wondering if the people you’re trying to reach use the social platforms you’re thinking of targeting, check out this excellent report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, published in February 2013. It has great insights.)

Google+

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Figures vary when it comes to the growth and numbers of users on Google+, which just turned two (it was launched in 2011). In January 2013, Forbes.com reported that Google+ surpassed Twitter as the second-largest social media platform, with 343 million users. That means that, if you believe the people you’re trying to reach are on Google+, you should consider including the platform (as well as YouTube, which Google owns) in your strategy as well.

LinkedIn

Linkedin

With over 225 million users worldwide, LinkedIn is clearly a powerhouse and your strongest networks are likely to be on this site—those that are specialized to your industry or profession. With nearly two-thirds of LinkedIn members located outside the U.S., this platform may be a particular boon to those with a globally-focused campaign.  Given that LinkedIn is a professional networking site, it may be more useful in making your professional network aware of your campaign without explicitly asking for donations.

Pinterest & Instagram

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Though each of these platforms is a powerhouse in its own right, in order to keep this information succinct, we’re lumping them together since they are both highly visual platforms: Pinterest allows you to “pin” and share photos/images on “boards”, while Instagram features photos and now short video.  So if your campaign is very visually driven and/or the audience you’re targeting for finding donors is, you may want to consider one or both of these.

 

Tumblr

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The Pew report found that just 6% of Web users use Tumblr, which was recently bought by Yahoo, so it remains to be seen if the service will change in some way, including being integrated with Yahoo, which has a very large user base. If you’re targeting a very young audience, though, for your campaign, it may be worth trying Tumblr to reach them. According to Pew, 13% of those 18-29 are blogging on Tumblr.”

 Lastly, it’s worth mentioning something pretty obvious but still very important: “Social” isn’t limited to online. So don’t forget to consider and cultivate the opportunities you have to reach out in person, by phone, by text, or by email to people you know in casting the widest net possible.

By Lorie A. Parch a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, and social media strategist. She runs 828 Communications, a small content strategy and creation firm.