DeFi Summer is over. But DeFi x NFT crossover season has just begun.
Many NFT communities are bursting at the seams right now, with hundreds of new users joining daily and NFT drops crashing websites. And with these projects now allowing staking and other DeFi options, this extreme growth will only accelerate as we head into another crypto bull run.
This growth is a good thing. It’s great to see so many people, whether they are crypto folks or not, wanting to get involved to invest and trade NFTs. But with this level of growth comes the need for a very focused community management strategy.
Good Community Management isn’t complicated — it just takes a bit of time, patience, and purposeful planning. The principles are relatively the same as for any other online community; they just need to be adjusted for the uncharted waters of NFT land.
So as a seasoned strategy and community marketing expert, here are my recommendations for any DeFixNFT community just finding its legs:
- Know Your Goals
Might seem obvious, but I’ve seen so many brands and businesses launch new channels without a clear idea of what they want to achieve on that channel. Then months later, they’ve got a beast on their hands and have the unenviable task of giving that beast direction. Not fun.
Setting goals might seem painful, but it can also be simple. The key is to keep it basic. Some examples of good community goals could be:
- Grow users and educate them
- Promote our Protocol to more developers
- Raise liquidity/acquire coin stakers
The ideal here is to sit down with your internal team and seek that alignment on what these goals should be (and for how long they should be your goals).
2. Make It Easy For The Newbs…ALWAYS
Educating new users is vital. And it must never ever stop. Like ever.
I see many DeFi companies totally underestimate the need for basic education about how to use their DApp, how to get started, where to start, etc.
These companies typically focus on education at launch, but quickly get away from it once they’ve hit their first few major growth milestones. They typically fall back on user-made education content (like YouTube videos and unofficial guides), but that’s not always what a newbie is seeking.
New users yearn for direction. Nothing is worse than entering a Discord, seeing that there are 5000+ users, not knowing how or where to start, and being too intimidated to ask.
My suggestion: Give your new community users a very basic (but fulfilling) first task or path when they join. Have them play a game, post a meme for social tokens, go read a specific guide, or post a sentence in a channel. Anything! And make sure these directions are pinned on the first channel they will see, or that the mods are instructed to properly intake all new users.
3. Cover Your Community 24/7
No brainer. DeFi trades 24/7, NFTs do as well (obviously), and users will be too. Providing around the clock coverage can be as simple as taping a few community members as unofficial mods and asking them to keep an eye out after hours. Even better if you can reward them with a social token.
4. Leverage Analytics
Every social tool in the universe has access to analytics (yes, even Discord and Telegram). Growing your community starts in an excel sheet of raw data, or at the very least a fancy dashboard.
Community analytics are mostly helpful to take a bird’s eye view. Its often easy to get lost in the weeds of a community and stay overly focused on specific discussions — so analytics take us back from that, and remind us how far we’ve come and how things currently are.
5. Show The Leadership
Everyone appreciates hard working and positive-minded mods. But no DeFi or NFT community is complete without a strong presence from leadership.
Many people love DeFi because its trying to create new versions of financial systems that do away with the negative aspects of the old ones. And one of those negatives is a lack of transparency from the top down.
The strongest communities will benefit from a visible leadership presence, whether its the CEO, Lead Dev, Founder, or even Marketing Lead. New and existing users will take on a much more positive tone when there is clear and visible accountability within the organization.
Do not negate the importance of this.
6. Give Them A Reason To Come Back
The DeFi and NFT space is addictive for most. Tokenized rewards, flash challenges, community events, relentless volatility — its a drug. And we are all on it, for better or for worse.
The strongest and most purposeful communities know how to walk the line between strong user engagement and value driven content. They know how to bring users back every single day to see what’s new, what’s happening, and what’s available.
This can take the shape of:
- Exciting, educational, and rewarding community events
- Random surprise & delights (i.e. airdrops)
- Calls for very simple and fun UGC (memes)
- Calls for more complex UGC (ideas/suggestions from community members)
- Live panels/discussions on the future of the project.
7. Give Them A Reason To Share
What do people love most about your community, and why?
The answer here will be the key to spreading awareness, as your community can harness that viral tangibility and export it via the users.
Of course, asking people to shill your project to their friends and other communities is not always the most savoury proposition (especially if they have a personal referral code, which makes it look even more contrived). But many people out there are happy to hear about new projects, so temper your assumed shame.
My suggestion: find an organic and comfortable method for your community to share their enthusiasm with others (in a way that they get rewarded), and make sure you have internal alignment before deploying.
8. Leave No Question Unanswered
Similar to point #3 about the 24/7coverage, this one is equally as vital. Many Twitter, Telegram, and even Discord channels will often miss a question or important comment amidst a flurry of activity.
This simply can’t happen.
Community Managers need to develop a system where all queries are tracked and answered (or at least seen and considered). Otherwise they risk losing new users before they even get started, or worse: looking like they don’t even care to begin with!
There are many more best practices here, but these are most glaring ones missing and/or overlooked in many DeFi x NFT communities right now.
As the space grows, all those involved must continue to contribute to a healthy and thriving ecosystem or face alienating many of the new adopters we so highly covet!