NFTs like most blockchain projects thrive on various factors, with a prominent one among them being community. If you are familiar with the space, you would agree that there are perhaps very few blockchain projects without a community forum.
The reason for this is the fact that many experts now consider community building as a major prerequisite for scaling up in the oversaturated decentralized economy.
Before we proceed, it is important to note that this article is the third part of our 3-part series on how to kickstart your journey into the NFT space.
That said, if you feel lost as a beginner, we would advise you to read our first and the second article, which explain the fundamentals of NFTs: what they are, their underlying technology, how they work, practical ways to mint them, and ultimately, how to make profit while at it.
So what does community building mean in an NFT project, and what role does it really play?
The Role of Community Building in an NFT Project
To begin with, community building in the crypto or NFT space is not any different than in other business fields or walks of life.
According to various definitions, community building is essentially a way of building relationships by establishing a meaningful connection as well as a system of exchange among people. It is further described as the crucial process that fosters connections amongst people and creates infrastructure for these connections to happen.
Community building plays a couple of important roles in NFT projects, in addition to being a yardstick for measuring long-term client loyalty. Notably, and most importantly, community forums give community members a sense of belonging.
When you consider how saturated and competitive the crypto landscape is, you tend to appreciate how important it is to feel a sense of belonging in a relatively new enterprise. Sometimes, this is all the push that a potential investor needs to partake in a project.
Another key role of community building is that it serves as a primary marketing resource for an NFT project. We indicated in our previous post on How to Mint an NFT (hyperlink to article 2) that community forums for NFT initiatives do not only provide a platform for like-minded people to meet, but also aid in promotion and marketing.
In addition, a community forum for NFT projects serves as a primary source for first-hand information about an ongoing project. Members of the closed group get unlimited access to the project’s news, updates, press releases, and other related information that is vital to the progress of the project and members alike. That said, what are the requirements for building a community forum for an NFT project?
Requirements for Building a Community Forum for an NFT Project
- Community-Centric Platform/Forum: The first thing to do when building a community forum is to choose a suitable channel that essentially doubles as the medium of communication. There are several channels that are instrumental in community-building, and some of them include Discord, Reddit, Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, and so on.
Interestingly, while each platform aids in community-building, they have different attributes. For instance, although Discord used to be gaming-oriented, it has now become a destination for the majority of NFT projects out there.
The reason for that can be attributed to many factors including the fact that Discord, unlike other platforms, is highly customizable, and chat-friendly. Notably, it is easier to classify conversation within a single channel; as such, you can decide to create a sub-channel for general information, another for chats, a question of the day, updates, DIY, and so on.
Telegram and Twitter are other great options when setting up a community forum. However, instead of sticking to one, most NFT projects host their community members across the various platforms.
- Community Manager: The next requirement when setting up a community forum is the availability of a community manager whose primary role is to act as a liaison between the founders and administrative stakeholders/moderators of a project.
In addition to organizing the activities and dissemination of information to community members, the manager is also responsible for collecting feedback from the community.
Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the community manager to process feedback, and organize the data in a comprehensive manner such that it can be used in making informed decisions.
- Technical Assistants: Just like in any organization, you need more than a manager to get things done efficiently. In the same vein, there are other technical roles that must be filled when building up a community forum. For instance, there is a need for a graphics designer, content creator/marketer, and social media manager, to mention a few.
While some of these roles are paid, it is sometimes open for volunteers. By getting people to fill these technical roles, the work of a community manager becomes decongested, and such a person is able to act in full capacity given that each technical assistant plays their roles efficiently.
- Governance: For most blockchain projects, governance plays a vital role in that it defines the rules that govern the mode of participation in the project. In the case of community building, setting up a governance model ensures that the community is constantly in order.
In addition, people who are able to meet a specific preset condition get to participate in governance activities such as voting for or against updates/upgrades to be implemented, as well as participating in decision-making processes. That said, how can NFT creators leverage community building as a marketing/awareness tool?
Leveraging Community Building as a Marketing/Awareness Tool
Among several benefits of community-building for NFT projects are that it plays a vital role in the marketing of the project. As previously mentioned, an NFT project’s community forum is the first resource for marketing. Thus, it is very important to start building a community while the project is still in its infancy stage.
According to Urban Magazine, a website that specializes in NFT content, “it is critical to start NFT community building before launching a project.” The source explained that a robust community not only lays the foundations for a successful NFT project but may also draw attention to the project itself.
By the time a project is completed, the community members automatically become the first set of potential customers, and play an active role in promoting the project, especially to potential investors outside of the community.
More so, considering that NFTs, unlike most cryptocurrencies, do not have any utility benefits, it is therefore highly essential to build a community or service around them. The reason for this is that most investors will not buy an NFT because it looks aesthetically appealing; instead, they will choose to invest in an NFT project for any of the following reasons;
- Because the project has a solid team and an active community backing it up
- Because the project has a clear roadmap and has successfully set out a long-term goal to be achieved
- Because the project is built around a sustainable service, and so on.
- Lastly, it is marketable.
Furthermore, depending on the channel that is chosen for community building, gaining awareness becomes relatively easy. For instance, when you build a community on Twitter, it is easy to reach out to the over 290 million worldwide users present on the platform without any restriction. As such, leveraging the community in this context is as good as leveraging social media to market/expose the NFT project.
However, while many people can easily stumble on a community based on Twitter, other platforms like Telegram, Reddit, and Discord, require people to join via links or special invitation, which makes the growth relatively slow. It is also the reason why it is good for NFT project creators to extend their community building across multiple channels.
In conclusion, community building for NFT projects shouldn’t always be about advertising or promotion; rather, it should be focused on providing real value to members. In other words, building a value-oriented community is more sustainable than building a profit-oriented community.