How Partnering with Lens Protocol Enabled Us to Exceed Expectations for Our Launch in the Web3 Community.

The Making of The Smurfs’ Society - Episode II: Reflecting on the foundational collaboration between Lens Protocol and The Smurfs’ Society

It’s a big deal to decide on your go-to-market strategy, especially how and when you’re going to launch your product. Like in any other project, we at The Smurfs’ Society wanted to start driving momentum and traction at the launch of our project but also wanted to be able to handle "hiccups" and growing pains at a more manageable scale.

Because the long-term vision of The Smurfs’ Society leverages collective intelligence and the potential of collaborative action, it was part of our plan to build a core community of like-minded problem solvers capable of working together to achieve goals. We had decided early on to launch a thorough gamification phase before the release of our NFT collection to gather this community. So creating a fully on-chain gamification tool focused on collaboration was always our moonshot. But we had to find a launchpad for our rocket.

How to reach a crowd of crypto natives, Web3 builders, and NFT collectors while keeping the growth under control

Our game plan was to start our project with a highly engaged community that was at the forefront of the Web3 industry. NFT communities, investors, wallets, metaverses, the possibilities were wide. But out of the many potential partners, one immediately stood out: the Lens Protocol community.

Lens Protocol is a composable and decentralized social graph initiated by The Aave Companies. Lens is a key driver of the Web3 social movement - centered on the idea that users should own the content they create and their relationships with their followers. Decentralization is at the core of Lens Protocol’s ethos - users in traditional social media have a limited understanding of the data they create. Lens solves this for users by providing a profile NFT (on the Polygon blockchain) that the user self-custodies, along with all their follower relationships and publications. Developers building social products are able to leverage this open social graph to build their own products and applications without the burden of needing to build their own social network from scratch, allowing them to focus on developing and improving the product itself. Simply put, Lens benefits both users and the builders of the social media applications they use.

Prior to the protocol’s closed-beta launch in May ‘22, the Lens team released the now famous open letter speaking about “the last social media handle you’ll ever need” that users were invited to sign on-chain.… Since it launched, Lens has gathered an active community of over 100,000 profiles of crypto-natives, Web3 builders, and a diverse array of creators and artists. Over 100 applications have already been built on Lens by independent developers, including Web3 versions of Web2 apps like Lenster, Lenstube, and Lensta and mobile apps like Orb and Phaver.

For the Smurfs’ Society, this was a perfect alignment of values, audience, and product that could only lead to a great collaboration.

The ‘Lens Quest,’ or how to dedicate your most ambitious project to your most relevant partner

As soon as we decided on Lens as our launchpad, our team set to work crafting the right way to introduce The Smurfs’ Society to the Lens community. We created an intricate digital scavenger hunt designed specifically to leverage the collective intelligence of the community.

We spent over 400 hours producing the pitch, the riddles, the copywriting, the art, and all the supporting content of this quest. It was a labor of love, to say the least, and taught us a lot about the unique culture of the Lens community in the process.

Lens’s origin announcement has been turned into an NFT and collected by over 21,000 users
Lens’s origin announcement has been turned into an NFT and collected by over 21,000 users

Our efforts didn’t go unnoticed, as the community matched our level of enthusiasm and then some! The very first Smurfs’ Society announcement posted on Lens about the Smurfs’ Society campaign was collected 21,000 times (users are able to collect posts as NFTs - in this case for free - on Lens)!

One of the most active Web3 communities globally to work with

Over the course of the two-week quest, thousands of “Lens frens” from around the globe worked 24/7 searching for clues to solve the quest and earn the ability to claim a Smurf Statuette NFT by deciphering encrypted hints, and finding hidden messages in posts from Smurfs’ profiles on Lens. We regularly posted answers and communicated with users about their progress, generating thousands of likes and collects, and hundreds of comments. It was incredible to see engagement on the Smurfs’ Society Lens profile outpace that of our other social media profiles.

Examples of quest-related posts that drove double-digit engagement rates
Examples of quest-related posts that drove double-digit engagement rates

In just ten days, nearly 15,000 unique Lens users followed our Lens profile, and 10,000 wallets from around the world connected to our platform to receive their Smurf Statuette, the NFT that enables them to play on our App. Currently, our community represents an extremely diverse group coming from over 100 countries.

Evolution of @thesmurfssociety Lens followers
Evolution of @thesmurfssociety Lens followers

By the end of the Lens quest, interest in the game had grown so much that one of the top trending questions in our Discord community was, “How can I get a Lens profile?” This was the moment we confirmed our belief that releasing a creative on-chain quest with an equally creative community, the Lens community, would be the right path to take in launching the Smurfs’ Society. Not only were we able to test and learn about our own approach to our kick-off with a community that is eager to experiment and learn, but we also were able to grow our following and reach new users.

Our main takeaways

At the time of this writing, we are the 14th most followed profile on Lens with over 20k followers, about 1 in 5 of the Lens user base.

But beyond simple numbers, choosing Lens over other social media platforms or Web3 stakeholders was also a statement. In the context of a bear market, and with many prestigious traditional brands entering the space in the hopes of making easy money, it was a way to send a strong signal to our community, to show that we share common values, and to start building respect and trust with them. We put a huge effort into taking the thoughtful approach of developing something authentic, creative, and social hoping it would resonate - and our community on Lens saw that.

We're working on pushing the limits of PFP collections and changing how people interact with NFTs. Equipped with such an iconic IP, a seasoned team, and a grand vision, our priority has been to ground ourselves firmly with a partner who is at the forefront of the industry, shares our passion for Web3, and is committed to embarking our community on an ambitious, long term journey. We are excited to continue using Lens to grow and develop the Smurfs’ Society community and explore the potential of Web3 social media.

If you would like to learn more about the Smurfs’ Society, consider following us on Lens and checking out our website to snap up your own Smurf Statuette.

Jerem Febvre, Co-founder

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