Jan 2023#Cases#DeFi#community

How we reduced negativity and increased ER in a community — without extra budget or project news

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Andrei Karatkevich

Consultant, Community


5 min

An efficient contest mechanics and engaging with active community members allowed us to give a positive shake-up to a community. We even received 100+ free monthly posts about the company and its products. Here are some tips for working with a community with a low ER and few organic users. 

The challenger: reduce negativity and boost community engagement without active marketing

In this case study, BDC Consulting’s client was a B2B ecosystem specializing in cryptocurrency payments. The company recently entered the B2C market, issuing its own token and conducting an IDO. The BDC team successfully created hype around the IDO and built an active community.

However, some technical issues on the IDO platforms followed, and due to certain legal considerations the marketing campaign for the token had to be halted. Moreover, the bulk of the company’s business still revolved around B2B products, which were difficult for the IDO participants to understand. The result was a strong outflow of organic users, a low engagement rate (ER), and around 15% negative messages in the chat. 

Our task was to improve the ER in Telegram and Twitter; remove negativity; and make the company more recognizable in social networks. The mission was made challenging by the fact that there were few loyal organic followers, and the campaign’s budget was limited to the community managers’ salary plus a small sum for weekly contests. 

And yet, three months later, the share of negative messages dropped almost to zero, and the ER spiked from 5% to 8%. Moreover, loyal community members would make over 100   posts about the project per month — for free.

How we did it

1. Internal reordering and reorganization

For starters, we updated all the documentation for the community managers (FAQs, rules), optimized the interactions in the internal chats, etc. 

We also conducted a poll among the employees and community managers in order to understand how to improve the community management processes — and worked on getting better feedback from the client. 

2. Working with the negativity using the „insertion“ strategy

By that time we already had the statistics supplied by the community managers at the end of each shift. 15% of these reports noted the community mood as „negative“, while most were neutral. There were few positive reports, and that positivity came from a handful of users. 

The latest stats show 48 positive reports, 4 neutral, and zero negative. A striking difference, right?

The insertion strategy

This strategy for managing negativity implies that a community manager or another employee uses a secondary account to „insert“ themselves into a negative discussion, providing arguments in favor of the project. At this point organic loyal users often join the conversation, making it even more positive. 

When users post negative comments, the community manager shouldn’t argue with them. It’s better to provide rational positive arguments — and real organic users will be likely to join in. In a harmonious community, there is no place for battles between the community manager and negative users; a good way to manage negativity should combine quality arguments by the admin and support from other members.

In order to use the insertion strategy effectively, a community manager needs to have several additional accounts and a good understanding of the organic audience (ideally a spreadsheet with a list of active users).

3. A contest for active users with obligatory posts about the project

The community already had a weekly active user contest with a single simple rule and a 25 USDT prize. However, this wasn’t enough to achieve the campaign’s goal: increase the ER in Telegram and Twitter and make the project more recognizable in various social networks. We decided to use a holistic approach and took the following steps. 

1) Changed the tone of voice from a more business-like and formal to a more friendly and easy-going.

2) Created a spreadsheet with brief portraits of the most active users: when they had joined the community, what they usually posted about and how often, etc. This is a very useful tool even for communities with a good ER, as it reveals the users who should be primarily engaged in the conversation. We would tag these active users when making news announcements; engaging them in challenges; shared memes, etc. In the near future, we plan to publish a whole article on how to work with such active followers.  

An example of a challenge

3) Changed the weekly contest rules. Now in order to win a user had to:

  • publish at least 1 or 2 posts a week about the project or the token in various socials;
  • post the links to these publications in the main chat;
  • actively comment and like the project’s tweets;
  • remain active in the local community.

The active users met the new rules with enthusiasm, since by that point we had a real friendly community in the making. After a couple of months, we could see real competition for the prize: users would tag influencers in their posts, shoot video reviews, create memes, etc. 

A sample spreadsheet with publications by active users

Final results

  • The ER grew from 5% to 8% in 3 months. In local chats, the engagement rate sometimes reached 15%.
  • The negativity rate fell from 15% to virtually zero. The latest community sentiment stats show 48 positive reports, 4 neutral, and 0 negative.
  • 100+ free posts about the company and its products each month — without any extra budget. 

Conclusions and insights

1) First you need to optimize the internal processes, working together with community managers. This can take a month.

2) When working on reducing negativity, try the insertion strategy — it works especially well if organic friendly users join in.

3) By using a contest with obligatory publications about the project and engaging the most active users in it, we got a good ER plus hundreds of mentions and posts in socials — all for free. 

We are currently working on new contests and community engagement strategies. We will definitely share the results in our upcoming case studies. Stay tuned to BDC Consulting’s updates!


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