Part of our pre-Kickstarter marketing strategy is to build a following by earning the right to communicate with your future customers on multiple platforms. We leverage email marketing and Facebook groups through Facebook ads for this. If you want an in-depth guide on Facebook ads that grow a community, check out this article.
Here, I’m going to show you a step-by-step guide on how to set up a Facebook Group that organically builds an email list and gets people pumped about your upcoming Kickstarter.
The following guide will help you set up a Facebook Group on a desktop computer with the latest Facebook interface.
Creating The Group
[Who this group is for and what they can expect if they join. Include some keywords for search engines here.]
We encourage you to:
➤ Get Advice!
➤ Ask Questions.
➤ Share Your Insights!
➤ Connect With Other Fans.
To care for everyone in our community, we ask that you:
📢 Add Value To This Group.
📢 Don’t Spam (Stay On Topic [list topic here]).
📢Read And Respect Our Group Rules.
[Insert your advertising policy. Example: You can advertise your services or products if they are relevant and provide real value for our community. Please limit these posts and give more than you take. This mentality is more effective in marketing anyway.]
[Link your website]
[Who you are / What your company’s goals are]
3. Under Customise Group, claim your URL. This helps with SEO and gives your group a professional vibe.
4. In the Manage Membership section, I suggest only allowing profiles to join the group. This will encourage and grow a community of people, not build a platform for businesses.
Change “Who can approve members requests” to “Only admins and moderators”.
5. In Manage Discussion, leave “who can post” to “anyone in the group” and “Approve all member posts” to “off”. This will be explained later.
6. Finally, in Advanced Settings, link your business page and add any recommended groups that you manage.
In setting your group to Private, an administrator or moderator will have to approve members. Before someone can join your group, you can ask them some questions to weed out spammers, and more importantly, capture an email!
Your first question should be about your game to make sure that the person joining is interested or has at least played your game. When approving members, you will want to take note of when they created their Facebook profile. If their account is a few days old, you should deny access as this is most likely a spammer. I would also avoid adding profile names without English characters.
The second question you ask should allow the joining member to leave their email for game updates. Ask something like this:
“Would you like to receive game updates via email? If so, leave your email or type no.”
Finally, set up automatic member approvals and check “completed all membership questions”. This means if someone answers all your questions, you automatically add them to the group.
This is helpful if you have moderators who can also approve people but don’t have access to your email distributor.By adding members they could lose emails submitted via this system. However, when someone is automatically approved, you will be notified and can add their emails manually to your email list by navigating to “automatic member approvals” under “Admin tools”.
Your banner image will also be your group thumbnail when people discover you on Facebook search. For this reason, I would not recommend including text in your image. Showcase some of the best game art you have with an image size of 1260×634.
There is an art and subtilty to Facebook Group moderation. Being too heavy-handed will make people feel unwelcome, or worse, censored. Be too light-handed, and you risk your group becoming a spammer’s dream come true that will kill engagement and eventually end your group.
I recommend writing a simple list of rules that are clear and concise. Some groups have no rules, and others have pages upon pages that can stifle the welcoming vibe you want to be communicating. When writing them, seek to get across the attitude or culture of the group. Let your group’s personality shine through in the group rules. A good example of clear and concise rules that communicate a group’s vibe is the Kickstarter Board Games group run by the Tabletop Backer Party.
People are going to want to advertise or self-promote in your group. The key is to turn these people into your partners. You can allow them to promote their wares if their posts are on-topic and increase engagement in your group overall. This will ultimately serve you as people will come to your group not only to know about your Kickstarter but also join a vibrant community where they can discover similar exciting things. Even if external links temporarily take members out of your group, they will come back to your group as the melting pot for that kind of content.
I recommend linking our podcast on self-promotion to give people some guidelines when promoting their wares in your group.
The key to creating a community is in allowing people to have conversations or have the feeling of being able to voice their views. This is why I strongly suggest that you do not moderate all posts. You will want to keep the Golden Rule in mind when building a community of loyal followers:
“Do unto others as you would have them do to you”.
Before making any administrative decisions, try to put yourself in someone’s shoes and think “how would I like to be treated in this case?”.
If you and your friends can post freely and advertise, why can’t everyone else? Would you like your post deleted without an admin first privately contacting you? How would you feel if you were publically called out and muted? Would you appreciate comments been turned off on this post? A poor admin move could forever destroy a sense of loyalty in a follower and their entire network, so be careful.
The key to creating engaging posts is to know your community. What makes them tick? If you know this inside and out, you can better serve them with your posts. You might need to start by posting a lot of questions so you can get a vibe for your group and who’s in it. Make your questions open-ended to start a conversation in the comments. Here are some examples:
One way to get your posts to stand out is to use large title text in a post. Use this for game updates so your community will recognise these kinds of post.
To do this, open a word processor. Type out your text and format it to Times New Roman, Bold, 18px. When you copy and paste this text into Facebook, your type will be large and bold. Alternatively, you can use a website like yaytext.com
If you have followed this guide, then you have a Facebook Group that is now ready for massive growth! By leveraging Facebook ads, email marketing and your Facebook Group, you can create a full circle of automated marketing and email capture in what we like to call The Virtuous Circle.
By attracting people with your ads on Facebook, they join your mailing list. Through Mail Chimp, you send them an automatic email welcoming them to your email list and directing them to join your Facebook Group.
If your group is found organically on Facebook, then you can add them to your mailing list with your Group Questions.
This way, both your mailing list and the Facebook Group will grow over time, building more and more hype around your Kickstarter launch.
In the comments below, let everyone know if you’ve ever left a Facebook Group because of an admin. This way, other people can avoid similar mistakes when building their Facebook communities!
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