How to Incentivize Your Crypto Communityby Sebastian Schuhl
As we have discussed in a handful of previous posts already, generating an audience around your crypto idea is crucial for your idea’s success. Naturally, the larger the community, the more hype will disseminate around on the Internet. But single-faceted marketing plans only go so far. By aligning incentives within your group you can turn users into owners and entice people to go beyond making a simple five-star review on ICOBench.
In the following post, we’ll dive into the types of incentives your membership might react to, how these incentives either augment or degrade the quality of your community, as well as provide some real-world examples to get you started.
Tokenized Posting and Bounties
Paying members within Telegram, Discord, or Slack in native tokens to post about your project is the most straightforward way to leverage the power of your community. Even journalists have unfortunately accepted payments for writing positive reviews on media sites. This could be a tweet, a blog post, or even a large review on Reddit. It’s all up for grabs, as long as it reflects well on the startup.
It’s also big business and, thus, has its pitfalls.
Leaving your entire community management sector to the whims of the market is risky. If a bounty hungry journalist, advisor, or subreddit admin appears to be over-selling your project, it’s going to become very obvious. And while some have managed a career out of this exact practice, the vast majority of posts and comments in this regard will come across as disingenuous. Observers are already pretty aware of paid tweets and followers, so this strategy doesn’t really hold its weight beyond the first few stages of your venture (if at all).
More importantly, when people realize that the vast majority of content spread around the Internet was generated by paid community members, any gains you enjoyed earlier will be swiftly wiped away. Slow, genuine growth is worth far more than any paid-for-review on an ICO rating site. In the world of tokenomics, you’re fortunately not limited to this simple model.
Another possibility is to hire highly-active members of your community. Like so many fast-growing communities in the crypto space, eventually, the task for curating the conversation becomes too overwhelming for just one community manager. By starting small and then onboarding vocal members, you can check a plethora of community building boxes.
In the first, you have more hands on deck to block spam, generate ideas, and report malicious behavior. Hiring a member to help give back to the community they established also builds trust. Second, establishing this kind of relationship, one that fosters dialogue instead of a monologue, will inspire other members to increase their participation.
These are two of the simplest ways to generate momentum in your community. Paying community members in your native token to spread the word through different social media channels is helpful, but not in the long term. By creating a market around content, rather than the idea behind your project, puts the horse before the carrot. Remember, it is the vision of the enterprise that matters most.
Secondly, hiring additional help to organize how the community is growing will give you valuable insight into how community members first see what you and your team are doing. The community-member-turned-colleague will have the opportunity to get a first-hand look behind the scenes work, and you’ll get the opportunity to learn more about why they were interested in your project in the first place.
These two techniques are helpful but have their limits. Building on these tools is where quality community managers, marketers, and founders are turning projects into movements.
Users Are Owners
Quick-flip day traders are inherent in every community. They’re the ones constantly asking when the token will be listed on a major exchange, and are usually the first to leave as soon as this listing is achieved. It’s totally understandable, whether you like it or not.
But imagine retaining this demographic and then turning them into hodlers or users. Imagine turning them into co-owners of the network.
Convincing members of your community that your tokens have a greater value than any amount of fiat is the most powerful idea you can pursue. Bitcoin has made this point time and time again. At market crash, whether in 2013 or 2018, Twitter flared up with users writing that they’ll keep buying all the way down to $1. The same goes for Ethereum; despite ETH cratering from $1,500 to less than a $100, there were still developers and fanatics building fantastic products, tools, and resources with the technology.
How can you get members of your community to commit to your vision and build robust iterations of your technology even when the price of the token is taking a nose dive?
There’s no one answer to this question, but if it isn’t already clear, you can’t just hire more community members to work with you. Nor should you be shelling out any more tokens for positive reviews and commentary. Instead, you need to think about the fundamental value and vision that your project is looking to actualize.
Take Bomb Token, the world’s first self-destructing cryptocurrency, as an example. Each time a Bomb Token holder decides to make a transaction using Bomb Token, one percent of the transaction is destroyed. Over time, and as more and more tokens are destroyed, the value of a single token slowly increases. In the same way that Monero is taking on the privacy space, Bitcoin Cash capitalizing on transaction speed, Bomb Token is looking to become the deflationary cryptocurrency.
What started out as a simple experiment that took deflationary principles to their extreme, has now gained serious traction. The idea, coupled with an activist ethos and Austrian economics, has also given the project a broad spectrum of content around which they can generate conversations.
Naturally, they have the advantage of creating a token predisposed for hoarding rather than spending, but the talking points between community members are far different from those between gold bugs.
The marketing copy has defined Bomb Token as a social experiment, and each member of the team has positioned themselves at the front line of the experimentation alongside all the other community members. Their Telegram channel is a vibrant mix of puzzles to earn BOMB, game theory discussions, economics read-throughs, as well as general announcements about the project. It’s lively, positive, and all centered around the project.
Thinking Outside the Box
On the spectrum of interesting ideas, Bomb Token is definitely one of the more eclectic in the crypto space. Likely, your idea doesn’t look anything like this one. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t valuable points to take home.
The primary objective of community management is to convince members, old and incoming, that they are as important to the project as everyone else on staff. With incentives, either monetary or otherwise, you can convince them of this.
A heavy dose of creativity, as well as deep considerations about the ethos of your idea, can help you think beyond paid reviews and Reddit commentary. Tinkering with these incentives is where the magic happens.