While there are a plethora of messaging apps and programs available today, many ICO managers are choosing Telegram as the home base for their crypto community. Telegram is a fairly new (2013) messaging app that combines the features of WhatsApp and Snapchat with an open interface that allows a high degree of customization. These features make Telegram perfect for a crypto community, with almost 200 million users worldwide and nearly 350,000 new users signing up to begin using the free app every single day.
Advantages of Using Telegram
For those on your team with development skills, Telegram allows the use of their open source code and API to create third-party messaging apps with customized features such as the ability to use with Linux and other operating systems and to integrate other third-party tools into the app. Using these third-party apps may be attractive to some of your most technologically savvy investors.
Telegram also has security features that other messaging apps lack, so that users can feel comfortable that their personal information won’t be accessed or misused if they join your community. The cryptocurrency community, as a whole, is greatly concerned about security and the safety of their private information, so Telegram’s security should be an attractive feature to them.
Simply signing up for a Telegram account and getting your key players to join it will not necessarily do much for your marketing efforts, however. How you manage your crypto community will make the difference between Telegram being mostly a time-waster or reaching its potential as a tool that can drive new investors to your ICO and generate more interest in what you’re doing.
Building Your Telegram Crypto Community
To build your Telegram community, there are a few essential steps.
- Invite your contacts to invite their contacts. One of Telegram’s basic features allows you to contact anyone with a Telegram account as well as populate your group from your existing contacts. As your group launches, encourage your members to invite anyone from their contacts who they think would be interested in the group. The multiplying effect of this Telegram feature will maximize the size of your group and give you the opportunity to reach more people, many of whom you would not have been able to reach through other messaging apps and platforms without this feature.
- Start a referral program. Asking people to invite others may not be enough of an incentive after an initial flurry of new community members slows down. Instituting a referral program that rewards referrals that join the community may require you to give away a small number of free coins, but can be well worth it as your community grows.
- Conduct an airdrop. Another way to build your Telegram community is through airdrops. Airdrops are a popular way to distribute tokens for new cryptocurrencies by targeting holders of existing currencies or other target groups that have shown interest in cryptocurrencies. Requiring airdrop recipients to join your Telegram group is a good way to build your numbers while also accomplishing the dual goal of distributing your currency more widely among a larger number of users, which gives it more legitimacy and builds value.
- Host smaller giveaways. Even if you don’t want to do an airdrop, which can involve giving away five percent of your tokens or more, you can do periodic smaller giveaways or contests that require contestants to invite others to your community or share your group information with their contacts.
- Use paid advertising. Pay-per-click ads on social media are relatively inexpensive and will greatly expand your reach. Many of these programs even allow you to define your target audience so that you aren’t wasting your limited budget on ads that won’t connect with those interested in cryptocurrencies. Unfortunately, some of the biggest social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) don’t allow ads for ICOs or specific coins on the platform, but ICO entrepreneurs have had success with smaller platforms like Snapchat and Reddit. LinkedIn also allows the ads.
Holding Onto Community Members
It’s not enough to entice members into your Telegram group with promises of free coins or invitations from their mutual friends and contacts. Once you get them into your group, you need to keep them there, and there are many effective ways to retain members without the group taking over your entire life.
- Offer frequent updates about your currency. A Telegram group is a perfect place to make major announcements as you prepare to launch your ICO, and everyone loves to tune in for breaking news on something in which they’re interested. Making your announcements on Telegram first can be an encouragement for community members to stay with the group and continue actively participating.
- Offer useful information not related to your ICO. Information about your ICO may not provide enough value for some group members to remain active, so if you come across a good article about cryptocurrencies or other information you think your group members might find interesting, you can easily share it to the group with Telegram. Linking to blog posts or other content you have generated is another way to keep Telegram members interested in the group and get them to interact with comments and other feedback.
- Respond to comments and questions. Telegram is a perfect venue for comments and questions, and if ICO community managers are responsive, more community members will remain engaged as a part of the group because they know it’s a good way to get answers when they need them. Comments and questions are also an important part of the ongoing group dialogue that makes the Telegram community a valuable place to be.
- Get important feedback. Ongoing feedback can help your sales team hone sales pitches and lead to new ideas that you might never have thought about before. Community members are invested in the success of your coin, which makes them highly motivated to share their expertise and helpful ideas. A major part of an ICO manager’s job should be listening to community members and utilizing their best ideas.
- Respond to customer concerns. Telegram is going to be seen by investors and buyers as a direct route to express concerns and issues that they want to be addressed by someone on the ICO team. Responding to these concerns directly when they are expressed typically helps your team avoid bigger problems down the road and also helps retain investors that you could otherwise lose if they don’t get their concerns answered to their satisfaction.
- Weed out trolls. An unfortunate fact about these relatively open communities like Telegram is that there will be trolls, people who join with no intention of investing in your currency or even participating constructively in the conversation but who want to disrupt it instead. One of the most important jobs of an ICO community manager is to discover these trolls and remove them from the community so that they don’t take away from its value or cause others to leave the group.
Should You Link to Social Media Sites?
One important consideration for your Telegram group is whether to link it to your other social media sites such as Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook. While it can be a momentum builder to push announcements and messages across all your pages and also use them to invite new people to join the Telegram group, it can also be overkill if you know there is considerable overlap between these communities.
One thing you can do to avoid burning people out with the same messages is to tailor your content to each specific site. This takes more effort, but it doesn’t have to be done for each and every message. Just do it enough of the time so that people don’t start to leave your community thinking they can get the same information through a social media channel.
It is both a positive and a negative that most social media pages have a wider exposure than a messaging community. Your social media pages will funnel both serious investors and trolls to your Telegram crypto community, so you need to be ready for both. Overall, though, you should see a net gain for your Telegram group, which makes the effort worthwhile if you have enough management in place to handle the group.
Telegram Groups Make Your ICO More Successful
The bottom line is that Telegram crypto communities benefit your ICO in concrete ways. Regulators, potential investors, and reporters on upcoming cryptocurrencies will be looking at the strength of your Telegram community to predict its success, so you want to make it as large and as good as you possibly can.
With so many new coins being offered, credibility is extremely important, and a sizeable crypto community is one indicator of adequate support for your ICO. Your Telegram crypto community will have a positive impact on your ICO bottom line if you manage it well and take steps to make sure that it grows and remains healthy.
Download our ICO marketing spreadsheet today for more information on running a successful ICO campaign.