Every ICO or STO Community Manager Needs to Know This

High-profile advertising bans present a unique challenge for ICOs. Now, ICO Community Managers have risen to prominence.

Successful ICOs and STOs require a multi-faceted approach to marketing. High profile advertising bans from Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and MailChimp are squeezing the ICO marketing channels available. However, what the bans mean is that other methods of marketing an ICO or STO will need to get more attention. There are of course many conventional and non-conventional marketing channels that can be utilized, but one particular element is gaining a lot of traction and importance in ICO marketing and STO marketing strategies: the role of an ICO or STO Community Manager.

What is an ICO Community Manager?

If there was just one platform in the world for people to exchange information about upcoming ICOs, STOs, and cryptocurrency news, it would make marketers’ lives a breeze. However, that isn’t the case, and marketers’ lives are not a breeze. While there is no unanimously agreed upon definition of the cryptocurrency community, it can be loosely described as a vast and widespread group of people who connect via different mediums in cyberspace. It is the responsibility of the ICO or STO community manager to engage and optimize the community through the mediums favored by the cryptocurrency community.

The channels that fall under the responsibility of the ICO Manager or STO Manager vary, dependent on the company size, its budget, its overall marketing strategy and the manager themselves. However, an ICO or STO community manager should be looking to establish a presence and the transparency and trust needed for a successful ICO or STO across as many channels as possible.

Crypto Community Channels to Manage

Channels vary in popularity from country to country, but the main channels favored by the crypto community are:

Telegram – Warmly embraced by the cryptocurrency community from its very outset. This platform, in the process of its own ICO, has a “secret chat” facility which allows conversations with end-to-end encryption and other security options. Telegram is an important part of a community manager’s strategy and it is much more direct than other channels and provides the opportunity to pinpoint key messages so that new users are always kept up-to-date.

Reddit – The Reddit crypto community is a hard to win over crowd making Reddit management one of the more challenging aspects of the Community Manager role. Generally, the Reddit community is a knowledgeable and unforgiving group, but gain their trust with transparency and regular engagement, and you have the ability to make an ICO or STO.

Quora – This content-based channel requires the management of good quality content and keeping on top of updated threads. Again, a knowledgeable community and a community that should be catered to.

Facebook – Although ICO advertising was banned from Facebook in January, community building and maintenance through pages and groups are still allowed and popular. Posting and commentating in other crypto groups also gains exposure. Facebook has over 2.2 billion active users and is too big for a community manager to ignore.

Twitter – ICO advertising bans came into effect in March, but Twitter is very popular among the cryptocurrency community. By using hashtags and tweeting three times a day, it is possible to draw attention and convey your ICO message.

LinkedIn – Another of the social media platforms that implemented a ban on ICO advertising this year, but still popular within the crypto community. There are knowledgeable, professional people in crypto and blockchain groups that have tens of thousands of members, all of which can be accessed and engaged with for free.

Steemit – A Reddit style content sharing platform that is becoming more and more popular with the cryptocurrency community. An ICO manager or STO manager will need to post quality content and engage with other users.

BitcoinTalk – Probably the biggest and most important of all the specialized crypto forums. A community manager will need to engage with the forums to promote their ICO or STO project. Regularly updated, it is one of the more labour intensive community channels to optimize, but an excellent channel for coverage.

Medium – Similar to Quora in that it is used for publishing important content that conveys the information and message you want to get across.

The Difference Between an ICO/STO Community Manager and a “Regular” Community Manager

There is some definite blurring in the roles of an ICO or STO community manager. What’s the difference between what a social media manager does versus a community manager, and what’s the difference between an ICO community manager and a “regular” community manager? And is there any difference between an ICO community manager and an STO community manager? Well, a lot depends on ICO/STO management strategy and its intended presence in particular channels, and a lot depends on the actual person.
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When one thinks of a “regular” community manager, someone who posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn springs to mind. Community managers are generally more social media centric with some forum posting. Regular community management is about engagement and being able to convey and respond to messages.

ICO or STO Community management, on the other hand, requires a much more hands-on approach to community management, and demonstrate a far higher level of expertise and knowledge than “regular” community management, especially for an STO where the community manager may be expected to field more questions about regulations.

The elite community management required in ICO or STO community management needs a willingness and an ability to engage across many platforms throughout the whole ICO process 24/7, across different time zones.

The ICO or STO community manager has two very clear tasks which a regular community manager probably doesn’t have: Pre-ICO/STO and Post-ICO/STO. Pre-ICO/STO, the community manager has the responsibility of building trust, gaining exposure, and cementing brand identity. How the information is conveyed and how communities are engaged can make or break an ICO or STO before its launch. Post-ICO/STO is just as important for an community manager, as they have the responsibility to maintain and moderate social media channels, follow up on the shares and comments, and answer all the questions or queries community members may have.

In the immediacy of an ICO or STO crowdsale, too often a post-ICO/STO strategy is put to one side. The ICO or community manager is vital for keeping engagement levels up and keeping the community informed. Keeping the community engaged is crucial for any next phase of growth in the ICO/STO campaign or blockchain-related project.
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Qualities Needed for an ICO or STO Community Manager

Now, no one is saying that ICO or STO Community Managers need to have super-human powers, but there are certain qualities needed to be a successful Community Manager.

Dedicated – Community Management requires a 24/7 committed approach.

Knowledgeable – This is not a position where you can bluff your way through. You will be expected to be the ‘face’ of the ICO/STO and know everything about the company behind the ICO/STO, including the technical aspects. A strong knowledge of blockchain technology and the crypto world is essential for an ICO community manager or STO community manager to build trust within the crypto community. Try and bluff your way through, and you will get found out very quickly, especially on Reddit.

Patient – An ICO or STO community manager will have to deal with all types of community members and potential investors, some more knowledgeable than others. Also, the community manager will have to answer the same few questions repeatedly on a daily basis - “How much do I get?” and “When are the bounties distributed?” are two of the most common questions an ICO/STO manager will have to answer… a lot! Patience is important.

Communicative – The ability to communicate is essential to the role of ICO or STO community manager. Different messages will have to be conveyed to different groups in different styles, so the ability to get the ICO's or STO's message across to the right people in the right way is a big responsibility of the ICO manager or STO manager.

Flexible - Most ICO or STO community managers are forced to wear many hats. Facebook group posting one minute, then posting 1000 word articles on Quora the next minute, requires a degree of flexibility.

Alert – Crypto ICO and STO news comes in thick and fast and it is the job of the ICO or STO community manager to stay on top of the news and crypto events and react accordingly.

Experienced - The key to successfully running a community is being part of the community itself. The ICO manager or STO manager must know the nuances of important channels like Reddit and BitcoinTalk and ideally be experienced members themselves, to be able to fully optimize valuable the resources.
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STO and ICO Community Managers Playing a Bigger Role

In the fast-growing world of ICO consulting and STO consulting which has sprang up alongside the equally booming STO and ICO crowdfunding industry, more importance is being placed on the role of the ICO Community Manager or STO Community Manager. Simply put, the community manager can make the difference between a successful ICO or STO and a failed ICO or STO and there isn’t an ICO PR agency worth its salt that doesn’t realize that.

There is no definitive role description for an STO or ICO community manager, their tasks and responsibilities vary from person to person and company to company. However, the function and purpose do not differ and the person who sits in the role or roles of ICO community managers and STO community managers will have the biggest impact of all. Get the right person who has the attributes listed above and provide them with the right tools, budget and backing and they can go a long way to help an ICO or STO enjoy long-term success. As the advertising bans intensify and the coin launch calendar becomes busier, the community manager will have more responsibility and more power to make or break an ICO or STO. Therefore, it is essential the right person(s) fill the roll with the right backing given to carry out a defined and widespread STO or ICO community management strategy.

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