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9 Kickstarter Social Media Marketing Tips From Guy Kawasaki

Published by Salvador Briggman. Find him on Twitter.

guy-kawasakiLast night, possibly because I have no life and am obsessed with crowdfunding, I watched an hour and forty-five minute youtube video on “How to Use Social Media as an Evangelist for Your Business” by Guy Kawasaki at the MIT Enterprise Forum San Diego.

Guy Kawasaki is a famous author, entrepreneur, and venture capitalist. He’s written some awesome books like The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything and Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions

If you have two hours to kill, I’d highly recommend checking this video out. What are some take-aways?

1. It is a 9-12 month process to build up followers for your Kickstarter Campaign.

Usually, I advise people to begin social media 3-6 months before you launch your Kickstarter campaign. Guy advices even longer!

“You cannot start this too soon.” – Guy Kawasaki.

2. Understand the difference between Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+

Facebook is about the people you already know. It is about staying in touch with pre-existing relationships. These are the people you went to high school or college with, or friends you have made from working.

Twitter is for perceptions, news, or daily observations. It’s a great way to read micro-bursts of news.

Google+ is for passions. Unlike Facebook, many Google+ users will use the service to form new friendships, connections, or relationships instead of keeping in touch with their pre-exising relationships. This is usually done through Google+ communities, which are interest-centered.

Pinterest is all about primping and pinning pictures – things that are cool, cute, or beautiful. Many people use Pinterest as a wish-list or planning service, where they pick out clothes they want to buy or the type of home they want to own in the future.

LinkedIn is about pimping yourself out. It is for finding a new job, forming professional connections, doing business development or sales, staying up to date on what people on your industry are doing, and staying up to date on industry-relevant news via the newsfeed and LinkedIn Groups.

Personally, I think that LinkedIn groups are one of the most underrated and most overlooked features of LinkedIn. I’ve formed a lot of great connections from engaging in LinkedIn Groups (engaging- not link spamming), and it’s neat to see people that are invested in the community and want to have conversations about trends.

3. Create a Great Profile

A social media profile is meant to develop rapport with potential followers. You want people to make a quick judgement that you are competent, sane, engaged, likable, and trustworthy. Unfortunately, when people are making a split-second decision as to whether or not to follow you, looks count.

For your profile to be optimized, make sure you’ve followed the following steps:

– Upload a high quality image of your smiling face for your avatar.

– Include a background image that highlights your passion or reveals something more about you (quotes, images featuring passions, etc).

– Fill out all of the required fields for your profile.

If you want to show people that you are clueless about social media, go with the default images.

4. Be a great curator

As a blogger, let me tell you that it’s harder than you think to generate high quality content on a consistent basis. Most companies can’t afford the time to consistently do content marketing (which they should), or don’t have the budget to hire content creators. One way to make up for this is to become a great content curator.

Be the first person to find the great content and share it with your audience. It shows that you understand your company’s sector and are in-tune with the shifts happening in the industry. You can find great content by setting up Google Alerts or creating an Alltop account.

Don’t be afraid to share the most popular stories. It’s a great way to expose your network to viral content that they may not know about and it is bound to get retweets and likes. You can find popular stories by looking at what is trending on twitter or what is hot on google+ or facebook.

5. Don’t self-promote more than you should

If you are using social media for a business end and want to self-promote new products and services, Kawasaki recommends self-promoting 1 out of every 20 messages. The other 19 messages should be content that is curated for your audience or customers.

For example, if you run an airline, instead of constantly promoting new fares or routes, talk about events that are happening around the world. People don’t go on airlines for the experience. There is a destination in mind.

This holds true for posting on Forums, Google Groups, LinkedIn Groups, and when commenting on blogs. Out of 20 times, always seek to add value 19 of the times and self-promote once.

6. Make sure your posts are noticeable and be authentic

Always include a video or image in your social media post. Not only does it direct people’s attention to your post, but it also quickly informs them what your post is about (before they even read the headline). Scannability is paramount in a information-cluttered world.

In addition, you MUST consistently respond to comments on your posting, otherwise you look like you are just pushing or promoting and don’t care what people actually think. This applies to blogs, forum postings, and social media postings.

7. Repeat your posts?

Guy Kawasaki emphasizes that you should repeat your social media posts every 8 hours (specifically twitter). It obviously depends on how many people your followers follow, but it’s easy for your posts to get lost in the stream of tweets or status updates. This is the reason that CNN frequently re-runs stories, to make sure they catch people who weren’t watching the first time.

“I repeat my tweets every 8 hours. The first one gets 600 clicks, the second one gets 600 clicks, the third one gets 600 clicks, and the fourth one gets 600 clicks. The number of clicks doesn’t drop off.”

8. Don’t think you have time for this?

“When I hear people say they  don’t have time to build a marketing platform for their company using social media, I hear an entrepreneur saying I don’t have time for marketing. That means that you are an engineer who thinks that you will build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. Most of the time this is wrong.

This is not about social media. This is marketing. If you don’t have time to do this, you better have enough money to run a superbowl commercial. How are you going to reach these people with the million dollars of seed capital that you have? The only way I see that an entrepreneur can get the word out without a large budget is social media and the only way to do this is to build a platform in advance. This arguably is a lesson on how to do marketing with no money.” (paraphrased – but pretty much accurate)

9. What are some resources I can use to automate social media and share things more easily?

Get a Crash Course in Internet Marketing With These Resources

Marketing your Kickstarter Campaign Using Twitter

6 Tools to Automate Twitter and Social Marketing For Your Kickstarter Campaign

Questions? Thoughts? Disagree?

Leave a comment below!


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  • Tiffany Fowell

    #2 is interesting and #3 is SO TRUE. I can’t believe how many people upload small, pixelated photos onto their platforms. It’s about creating a clean, buttoned-up image, and it’s crucial to not skip out on this. Thanks for the article. Very insightful.

    • CrowdCrux

      Glad it was useful 🙂

  • James Wissel

    I think #8 sums up being in business today nicely. This is about marketing. Marketing has always been important, but today everyone must market and do it well.

  • James Wissel

    First I read your post, then I watched Guy’s video – all 1:45:25 of it. I did in in several sittings. Guess what? I’m reading your post and watching the video again – they’re that good!

    • CrowdCrux

      Hey James – Forgot to reply to this comment. How are you? Haven’t seen you around the forum in a while. What’s new? I love his video also!

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  • Excellent Video and great post hope it helps I am currently in the start of an indiegogo campaign and any suggestions or guidance would be great! http://www.igg.me/at/smartreentry stop by and let me know what you think
    thanks everyone
    Jess Taylor

    • CrowdCrux

      Glad the post is helpful! I would begin to think about what types of organizations and communities would be vested in the success of the campaign. Are there any advocacy groups centered on ex-offenders transitioning back into society?

  • TagTalk

    Need to watch this video and do some deep thinking on #1. I feel like just this one alone can be elaborated into a full-length article! Because you can’t be doing this same thing in 9-12 month, and there must be some order or plan.

    I really like #2,4,6, very useful! I think I read from CrowdCrux once that “self-promoting should be 90% of time giving back to the community and 10% talking about yourself.” But Guy has a stricter 1:19 rule in #5. All-in-all, it just shows that creating valuable content could not be stressed enough.

    Rachel Huang

    • CrowdCrux

      I agree – I like to advise creators to not think of it so much as building up a following for their campaign, but for their actual product or business. This way, getting started so early makes sense. You can then use the audience as a springboard when your campaign comes off.

      The self-promotion piece also probably depends on the demographics of your audience and how large it is. If your audience is following you on twitter and check twitter maybe once a day but don’t follow many people, you don’t want to flood their stream with your messages every 5 minutes.

      If you’re a news website, and most of your followers are following lots of people, you are probably tweeting multiple times an hour because your news update will be easily lost in their stream.

  • MrQuick Trick

    Do you have people who disengage if you post too much?

    • CrowdCrux

      I do have people who stop following me, but it’s far less than the number of new follows. I also think it’s more related to the relevance of the content than the frequency (at least on twitter). It’s kind of natural/bound to happen if the content you provide is no more relevant to them. It’s a good reason to mix up the types of content you provide to your audience.

  • Wayne Salazar

    This is a great summary of key advice. I’ve read some of these points in various other articles on this blog and elsewhere and it’s apparent that they can’t be repeated enough. It’s also apparent that I have work to do! Thanks.

    • CrowdCrux

      You’re welcome 🙂

  • bruce

    Do you have any figuers on conversion rates. Let’s say I have a kickstarter product for knitting, I go to pinterest, I build up an awesome resource for knitting advice and I start commenting on pins of people that show knitting advice, telling them that I am preparing a kickstarter campaign. 🙂
    Thanks

    • CrowdCrux

      Conversion rates are going to vary by project category, social network, and product, so it’s difficult to give you an accurate number. I would experiment and use google analytics to track the traffic to your website to measure the effectiveness of the marketing.

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  • hisbabygirl

    Really wish I had known this sooner, hopefully I can still get the funding for my kickstarter
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/213833134/rock-a-billy-roasters

    • CrowdCrux

      We were trying to reach you sooner (haha)! Hope your project is successful!

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    • CrowdCrux

      Thanks for sharing! Do you have any questions I can help answer about the article?

      • Lee McMullan

        This was a fantastic article that helped our campaign. We are trying to explore out of the box ideas for marketing our campaign such as getting our video viral on youtube, partnering with existing companies, etc. All of your articles are awesome and we are big fans!

  • Abi Morrish

    These are great! If anyone has any other advise for our kickstarter Give the Hour it would be massively appreciated! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1628483622/give-the-hour-because-doing-a-little-means-a-lot

    • CrowdCrux

      Glad the article is helpful! Good luck with the project!

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  • Serge

    Hello, and thank you for a great article. Now I know what mistakes I made, but it’s a little too late to fix some of them. I should have done more research before I launched. Hiring a PR firm in a couple of days. It’s a ton of money ($9,000), but I hope it’ll pay off. Here’s my project::

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/593083671/tubshroomtm-worlds-best-minimalist-strainer-hair-c?ref=category

    • Tiger Roots

      Serge, Looking back, do you think it was worth it? (I saw your campaign was well overfunded.) Congrats. But 9K seems very much to me.

      • Serge

        The PR firm hasn’t done anything. Anything! It was a huge waist. Our campaign did pretty well though. We still have 5 days left and looks like we’ll go over $50,000 search for TubShroom on Kickstarter to see our campaign.

        I would not recommend hiring a PR firm unless they guarantee results, which they can’t. Good luck.

  • The Smartridge

    Hi thanks for your sharing, I’ve subscribed your email. I’ve started social media marketing , but the result isn’t so good. I got some new thoughts after read your article, hope it will better. We plan to launch the campaign in 2 months time, thanks!

  • Celia Lee

    I’m learning a lot here. Hope to launch a campaign for a makerspace I am volunteering for, but this is relevant information for a start-up I’m engaged with as well.

  • John Salerno

    This is a great article! Any idea for my newly launched Kickstarter campaign? https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cybergoal/roll-a-goal-kick-strategic-soccer-board-game-with

  • melina2158

    Nice Article Salvador, I will use these tips to my next campaign