What benefits do ICOs gain if they create a large and active online community?
Every project has 3 main components: Team, Whitepaper, and Community. Having a strong team and whitepaper is a given, so let’s talk about the community. A large and active community is a very important part of every crypto project. It’s one of the first criteria that investors/funds take into account during the consideration process. The larger the community is, the better the chances of attracting more attention to your crypto project. Working as we do with the main exchanges, we understand better than anyone that one of their unofficial requirements is a strong development team and an active community. It’s not easy to get people together who truly believe in your project, especially in a sphere where a lot of ICOs are created day by day. However, if you can build a strong community, it will always be there to support you no matter what the state of your project is. That is why it is really important to respect, care for, and love your community. From that moment on, your project and community are a single whole.
In your experience, what are some of the best practices for engaging with your online community?
Oh, my favorite question. The best practice is to be transparent and honest with your community. This is the one and only way to build a reliable support base that will stand by your project during the whole process of its existence. There are always good and bad days inside every crypto project and there could be unmet deadlines and failures. But if you are honest with the people around you, they will always have your back.
My experience has shown me that you shouldn’t even try to hide something from your community. To do so creates a serious risk of losing all the support and enthusiasm that you have so painstakingly built. If your community sees that you are not a reliable person, their emotional divestment will be immediate, and their financial divestment will follow very shortly. It’s a pity that it took me a few months to realize this, but experience is often bitter.
The second suggestion is to allow people to be part of your project. The main idea of the blockchain is to be decentralized, and if you allow your community to work together with you on your project, they will never leave you. Permit them to help you develop your project ecosystem and allow them to be involved in some part of the decision-making process. The core team is for writing code, but the community is for development and longevity of the rest of your project.
The third suggestion I have to offer is to have high-quality support. Don’t forget that first of all your project is technology-based. That’s why it’s very important to have a few people on your team who will be able to communicate with users 24/7. Any technical failures or bad news could appear at any time of the day (usually, they take place at night). There should always be a person who will be able to take care of that and perform rapid-response duty for your community because this group of people comprises your investors and more importantly your users.
What are some of the most useful instruments that community managers have in their toolbox?
To have really good ICO community management you need to be able to use a lot of channels, such as Telegram, Bitcointalk, Discord, and Reddit.
As for me, Telegram is my favorite one. There’s the option to communicate with users directly (this type of communication should be very important to every community manager), and if you prefer to discuss issues privately, you can send direct messages, thereby avoiding any unnecessary sharing of information. We have also created a lot of language-specific chats around the main channel of our community. This is very useful because you are able to access your entire multilingual community in one simple and easy-to-access place. Bots that will help you with moderation and notifications are also a pleasant bonus. If you have a gambling or gaming project, you can use Discord to attract members to your community. It’s widely used in America, and is a great alternative to Slack.
The second one is Bitcointalk. The most indispensible outlet I would recommend for each and every project is a dedicated thread on Bitcointalk. It’s like your project begins not from an idea, but from discussions on Bitcointalk. It’s essential for your reputation, and many exchanges will request the link to your Bitcointalk thread in their application form. This is one of the major instruments used to attract new blood, not to mention investors, to you community, so there should always be active communication there.
Recently, I have heard that Reddit has declined in popularity; I do not think that this is true. The cryptocurrency community of your subreddit is one of the strongest communities in the world, especially for North American, European, and South American countries. It’s an amazing place for spreading thoughts and information. A lot of news originates from Reddit posts. It is essential to have your own subreddit to give your community a chance to speak publicly. Moreover, Reddit is a major destination point for many American users. They are more likely to join you on Reddit than on Telegram.
What are some of the main challenges of community management for blockchain projects and how can you overcome them?
I guess the biggest and most persistent challenge is haters. There will always be a lot of haters around your project, and the key thing is to learn to love them. This was vital to the success of one of my projects. Remember that haters are some of the most interested users in your project. They will study any and all information about you and will follow your every step to notify you (and all communities around you) about your failures. So, they are the people who help you to stay “in shape”.
The job of a community manager is highly demanding. How do you cope with the stress and what do you do to avoid burnout?
I’m not the best example in the world of a good stress manager. I always take seriously what happens with my community and yes, sometimes I feel stressed or sometimes even depressed, especially when we miss any deadlines or there appear to be some technical issues. I always worry about how my community will be perceived by some news source. But I can suggest some ordinary things that relax me when I’m dealing with this kind of stress, like long walks with my dog and yoga classes.