The need to belong has been with the human race since the very beginning. We formed tribes, settlements, cities, built impressive machines, technology and while doing so, we shared it all with our community – humans. Communities continue thriving to this day with the digital communities having immense power. Such masses of people are powerful enough to start movements, such as #MeToo, make or break a business (United Airlines scandal) or even overthrow a government (Euromaidan in Ukraine).
As much as in the real world, the influence of the communities in the cryptoworld is undeniable. With more and more people joining every day, crypto companies are paying a lot of attention to what their community is telling them. Therefore, a lot of work has to be put into nourishing a crypto community to make it a successful business asset rather than a headache.
THE RISE OF COMMUNITY
A standard crypto community would most likely form around the company within their official channels such as Telegram, Reddit, Bitcointalk and others. The purpose of these communities is to engage in conversations about the company, their products (most likely coins) and address questions or issues. It has been proven time and time again that having an active community helps growing the business.
Any company entering the crypto world hopes to build a community even before it starts actively transacting. The reason for that is simple – if you get people talking about you, most likely you will see yourself hyped. Hype in this business means a lot as it increases the chance of attracting potential investors. Having a strong following makes you stand out and makes people believe you are credible and serious to do business with.
Another important aspect of having a strong community is that active members will be spreading the word about your brand and what you stand for. The cryptoworld is full of different size companies, so a strong brand gives your community something to rally behind. Special attention is particularly required to the ones that are investing for the first time. Since most people don’t like to research, they will likely trust their money with a strong brand.
Having your brand name being mentioned out there will lead to your company being more noticed not only among the crypto enthusiasts, but also among other businesses. Forming influential connections just like in reality is very valuable and it can lead to profitable partnerships.
One of the most exciting parts is that you have an opportunity to meet a lot of interesting people who share the exact same passion for the cryptoworld as you do. Through communities it is not impossible to find future business partners, employees or even friends.
Your community is also likely to be very multinational. Studies show that the vast majority of cryptocurrency users in 2016 were based in Asia-Pacific (38%), followed by Europe (28%) and North America (17%). This also means that not all your community members will speak the same language and will likely prefer to communicate in their own. Asia-Pacific market continues to rise. Japan has been steadily increasing the trading volume for Bitcoin and in the month of June, 2018 was responsible for over 60% of all transactions worldwide.
THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY MANAGERS
To satisfy your community, you have to put in work. The so called Community Managers (CMs) are responsible for all major social media channels as well as message boards and will be the key link between you and the community. They should be ready to act as sort of a helpdesk for inquiries and engage with the audience at the same time continuing the conversations going among the members. A charming and knowledgeable CM will both attract and retain the followers. Some of the largest crypto companies may have over 30 CMs working to improve the company’s relationship with the community and increase loyalty.
As with most job responsibilities, a CM has to fit the role. Above all, you need to attract a social media expert to utilize the channels for maximum attention. Even better if the potential CM has a large following of their own. The next natural trait should be strong communication skills. A successful CM needs to be able to be a versatile writer and have good story-telling skills to draw the audience in. Emotional intelligence is also of high significance. The CM needs to know that people tend to say things which may be rude, but that is not personal. Even if it is, the CM always needs to keep their composure.
However, not all is about social skills. CM has to have at least an understanding about analytics to be able to read the data that is returned to them. This way, they will know what works and what doesn’t. They have to have measurable goals to be able to reach/exceed them.
The CM is most likely the first contact your potential customer will have interaction with, so they need to understand they are the face of the company and act as such. Passion for the brand will go a long way which can easily carry through to your customer.
As the cryptoworld is all digital, it is prone to the usual dangers the Internet has to offer. Same with communities, you will never exactly know who is hiding behind the username or even behind the company. We have reviewed the potential scams that may happen within the community, but there are additional dangers that the communities or the companies may face.
If you haven‘t heard about FOMO or FUD before then your research hasn‘t been very successful. FOMO stands for “fear of missing out” and for coin or ICO that’s normally a good situation. Driven by FOMO, people tend to rush into buying coins not necessarily researching much about it, but out of sheer hope that their investment is going to be profitable.
FUD, on the other hand, is much more dangerous to the companies. Standing for “fear, uncertainty, doubt”, it creates a negative aura among the community members and possible investors that perhaps your coin or ICO is not good enough and investment should be restrained from.
FUD may happen naturally, once the initial enthusiasm fades, but in most situations it’s sparked by someone within the community or an influencer to get the price of coin down in the hopes of buying it for a cheaper price. Once FUD is in full swing, it is very difficult to regain your community’s trust.
Huffington Post has matched the two phenomena and called it a “FOMO-FUD” cycle. If the price is skyrocketing then it’s bound to fall sooner or later. It was noted that “spreaders of FOMO and FUD are engaged in psychological and information warfare as they compete for the attention of the curious investor”.
Your CMs are most likely to be the first ones to notice the start of FUD, so they need to be focused and attentive not only to the conversations happening within your official channels, but also behind the scenes, in the forums, blogs, news websites, etc. Basically, it’s essential to monitor everything with your name on it and react to it as quickly as possible so that your business continues to be successful and your community is satisfied.
A lot of potential lies with the crypto communities. What was once a very unexplored territory is now an extremely lively mass of people with money in their pockets looking to increase their wealth. There is no accurate number of people currently involved with crypto market, but Bitcoin’s wallet alone has close to 2,5 million users, which is similar to the size of Qatar’s population.
Given that the number of crypto enthusiasts continues rising, more and more will be joining looking for investment opportunities and perhaps it will be your company. Being able to manage your community is one of the keys of success. People are unpredictable, so you have to be adaptable as in the digital world anything may change in the blink of an eye.
Competition is not napping either, which should surely keep you on your toes. It will be more and more difficult to get traffic and cost-effective advertising so the importance of organic community will increase even more.
Nurturing your community and engaging it to grow brand awareness will be your key to success.