Community is the heart of Web3. Projects working in the field tend to place all their bets on the community, but sometimes things don’t go according to plan.
Product delay is one of the biggest issues of aspiring projects, and it usually leads to audience loss and inability to attract new users.
This case is about how to keep the community engaged when the project cannot launch on time.
In 2021, a metaverse project reached out to the BDC Consulting team, aiming to increase organic sales of their token, and we suggested growing local communities. At that moment, the platform had a relatively passive English-speaking community of holders and bots.
Our initial plan was to develop local communities, namely in Latin America, China, Korea, France, Turkey, India, and the Middle East, on Telegram, backed up by the global audience on Twitter. The work with Chinese community was carried out in WeChat and BiliBili.
After a year of steady community building, unexpected events happened one after another. We faced several metaverse event cancellations, followed by the unforeseen team split up. On top of that, the crypto market crashed, and the project’s token suffered a dramatic price drop.
Consequently, we had to rethink our strategy and focus on retention.
We began formulating hypotheses based on user feedback, market tendencies, and product features while tracking the engagement rate to see which ideas work.
Engagement rate became our reference point, indicating which ideas are worth pursuing. We measured the engagement rate in Telegram chats according to the following formula:
Number of chat messages / Number of posts during given period / Number of followers * 100
To evaluate our results, we used the engagement benchmarks based on the standard crypto community performance. The negative dynamics motivated us to implement new tools and activities, ensuring holders keep holding their tokens.
Diversity is an excellent source of inspiration. We tracked the users' mood in local chats on a monthly basis, taking notes on their fears, complaints, pain points, expectations, motivators, and improvement proposals. Then, we adjusted our activities based on this feedback and regional characteristics.
Here are a couple of examples.
The Great Firewall, local social media domination, and a language barrier turn China into a very secluded market segment. To ensure we can efficiently reach the users, we created communities in WeChat and BiliBili.
Later, we introduced engaging activities aligned with national holidays and themed the rewards as Hong Bao, a traditional Chinese gift of money presented in red envelopes. After collecting the feedback and realizing how huge is the meme trend in China, we ran more contests, involving meme and sticker creation.
Arab and Turkish communities stood out because of their passion and fiery mentality. These traits called for delicate communication. Apart from stricter moderation and regular cleanups of emotional comments, we began rewarding positively interacting users and grew brand ambassadors within the community.
After testing different contests, we also acted on a community request to let several people earn smaller prizes, rather than keep one winner who gets everything.
Staking was one of the most popular requests expressed by all the local communities. Besides, it also benefits the projects since the funds are locked for longer time spans.
Keeping that in mind, we launched a staking campaign, offering 40% APR on KuCoin. A week after the campaign’s kick-off, the level of engagement doubled, and the community stated to actively predict the future token rate and ask technical questions.
Since users had no chance to experience the metaverse fully, we figured that the contests should become more product-oriented to raise brand awareness.
We gradually replaced standard contest tasks, like creating a meme about the project, with product-based content. For instance, the users were offered to find a cool metaverse location and take a selfie there. Additionally, we hosted streaming episodes showcasing the interfaces.
Crypto enthusiasts link major collaborations, news, and updates with money. Publicity inspires confidence that the project is alive and thriving. Instead of paying for promotional materials, we decided to offer interesting news hooks aiming to get published for free.
Collaborations with world-class artists and announcements of upcoming metaverse music events paved the way into tier-1 and tier-2 media, including Forbes, Financial Times, USA Today, VentureBeat, DJ Mag, and many others.
As the project team did not share any regular updates, the users were getting evidently overwhelmed. Every local community expressed concerns about the lack of clarity in the platform’s development and demanded a roadmap.
To prevent the exodus, we convinced the team to design a marketing roadmap. This type of roadmap allows tech companies to display their activities regardless of the product development issues. Eventually, we helped the project develop and publish it.
The goal of our educational content was to give a glimpse of what the players will be able to do once the product is live. Apart from video teasers and streaming sessions, we kept publishing written content.
While creating tutorials and explainers, we concluded that a short post uncovering specific functionality is significantly more effective than an article. Publishing 400-character materials several times per week is what one needs to keep the audience focused.
We gathered community feedback on influencers they follow and allocated more funds for such promotions. The entire audience gain during the market downfall, approximately 10,000 new users who stayed, was the result of collaboration with recommended bloggers.
Within six months, the total size of the community grew by 10,000 users (from 50,000 to 60,000 in total on Telegram and Twitter), and engagement increased from 5% to 10%. It is worth noting that the growth rate does not include user churn that exceeded these figures – that’s why our 10,000-user gain was a great achievement.
Not only did we keep the community together when the product failed the deadlines, but we also managed to attract over 3,000 holders.