The value of community CRM in web3
Nick Vivion // worldli.eth
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Circus
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October 24th, 2022

We all know that relationships are the heart of every vibrant community. So how do community builders manage these core connections in the non-linear world of web3? Welcome to Community CRM.

CRM is the acronym for Customer Relationship Management. And Customer Relationship Management is corporate-speak for technology that helps brands nurture their relationships with current (and potential) customers.

The key to a good customer relationship is communication. Communicating with your customers in a personal, relevant, and timely way is essential to keeping them engaged and ensuring they have a positive experience with your brand.

While traditional CRM systems excel at managing customer data, they fall short when it comes to facilitating two-way communication and understanding which customers are the most engaged. This is where Community CRM comes in.

What is Community CRM?

Nurturing relationships with your most valuable stakeholders differs dramatically when community is at the center of everything.

First and foremost, there’s a fundamental difference when thinking of your community as members and not customers.

Customers have a more linear relationship with the company: they start as strangers, turn into prospects and then become customers. That’s why the funnel has become synonymous with sales in web2: it flows from a large pool of prospects into a smaller group of converted customers.

However, the traditional CRM funnel doesn’t quite work in web3 because community isn’t linear. Each member has their own 360-degree experience and can move in all kinds of different directions.

Web3 community isn’t as linear as web2. So existing CRM technology doesn’t quite match the needs for the always-on, 360 degree experience of building communities in web3.

The nonlinearity of web3 community makes it incredibly difficult to shoehorn into traditional web2 models — and that’s why community CRM is equally important in web3 as it’s proven to be in web2.

How to use Community CRM in web3

At its core, Community CRM is similar in objective to web2 CRM: it’s about staying connected to your customers and prospects in a streamlined way so that your team can be as efficient and impactful as possible.

Community CRM is a community builder’s most powerful tool. Here are five ways that it provides value.

#1: Deepen understanding of your community

There’s incredible value to understanding your community demographics. A Community CRM allows you to take what you already know about community members and augment it with additional empirical data that gives you new insights.

For instance, each member has their own priorities, passions, interests and existing commitments — and the better you can understand these, the better you can serve them.

By aggregating these attributes, you’ll start to learn which types of members are most likely to contribute value to the community. We call these your “community MVPs,” the most valuable players that are the glue that binds and strengthens.

From there, you’ll be able to take what you know about your community’s most valuable members and try to attract new ones with similar profiles.

#2: Retention via recognition

A deeper understanding of your community also accelerates one of the most important aspects of community engagement: recognizing and rewarding those that provide value within the community.

These top contributors are the members that go above and beyond, posting regularly, sparking interesting conversations and generally being supportive across the entire community. But, given the velocity and volume of comments across most communities, it’s not so easy for community builders to fully recognize these contributors.

Your community CRM leaderboard gives you a clear picture of the top contributors in a given period. With that view, you can proactively recognize those people with rewards — and retain them for the long-haul.

After all, there’s a finite number of quality contributors, who are pulled in many directions. Attention and time are scarce, so you have to recognize these “community MVPs”

#3: Identify opportunities for cross-community collabs

Your Community CRM is a valuable resource for segmentation. By creating cohorts that have overlapping affinities, you can easily identify opportunities for cross-community collabs.

With wallet addresses, plus sentiment analysis and the ability to monitor your community’s pulse, it’s much easier to see which other communities your members enjoy. From there, you can use this information to drive outreach for collabs so that you prioritize the communities that are most likely to attract new members.

#4: Know which contributors to recognize, elevate and reward

One of the biggest challenges of building communities is time. Digital nations are borderless and reach across every time zone. That makes it incredibly difficult to stay on top of every moment in your community.

Even with mods spread across the world, there’s only so much time in a day. They can’t realistically stay on top of every thread within every channel of a Discord server.

Your Community CRM’s dashboard is a shortcut to know which contributors should be recognized, elevated and rewarded. This can happen in a few ways:

Shout Outs. This is the most natural first step in recognition, and one that happens most frequently. After all, you can’t see into every corner of your community without some help! With your Community CRM dashboard, you’ll discover new opportunities to shout out your Most Valuable Players, the top contributors that drive engagement day in and day out.

Roles. The most active members of your community have a special affinity for the project. These natural evangelists are often ideal mods. Or, if that role is too much responsibility, even just awarding your MVPs special roles makes a big impact. These types of roles are highly prized by web3 contributors, as roles signal status within a particular community.

Rewards. These are the final step to fully recognizing your community MVPs. Your Community CRM’s data can be segmented according to a variety of factors so that you can make fair allow lists and determine how best to award airdrops, rewards and other perks to your most valuable contributors.

#5: Catch engagement slippage before it leads to churn

Another benefit of a Community CRM leaderboard is that it offers early warning signs of engagement slippage. Think of this as your early warning detection system for losing your community MVPs! The dashboard puts engagement data at your fingertips so you can easily monitor trends over time.

And those trends can be a bit trickier than expected. When a frequent contributor goes dark, it’s easy to notice. There’s a massive gap that’s readily apparent.

But what happens when that engagement slips over time? Would you be able to notice that diminishing voice, amidst the crush of other tasks that community builders must tackle? Likely not. Your Community CRM can help you notice engagement slippage before it leads to churn.

What about B2B CRM in web3?

Up to this point, the vast majority of web3 has primarily been consumer-facing. These are the PFP projects, the art drops, the NFT membership passes.

This is rapidly changing. As the web3 space expands, so does the need for tools, tech, platforms and services to support the burgeoning industry. And that expansion requires CRM in its most traditional sense: a tool that helps track, maintain and nurture business relationships with both existing and potential customers.

Even so, Community CRM is still paramount. It’s more of a mentality shift than anything, as it’s less focused on automating drip campaigns, sending out cold emails or connecting via LinkedIn. Those tactics are still relevant in web3, of course, but must be complemented with a community-centric mindset that reflects web3’s core ethos.

With that in mind, a few ways that Community CRM influences B2B outcomes:

  1. Identify evangelists. Your community has lurkers, neutrals and active contributors. By identifying the most active contributors, based on quality engagement, you can turn those folks into evangelists that add value beyond the confines of your community.

  2. Reward referrals. Your CRM connects you to the people most likely to refer new business to your brand. Whether its inviting prospects into the community, welcoming newly-joined members or actively referring new business, these actions should be rewarded — and your CRM is your dashboard to reward those referrals.

  3. Rapid product feedback. Another major value of active communities for B2B brands is rapid product feedback. A vocal and engaged community provides a shortcut to product development — but only if that feedback is organized and prioritized. A CRM ensures that you’re giving the most weight to community contributors that have the most authority.

Amplifying the value of community

Ultimately, CRM for web3 communities should amplify value for all stakeholders. The value lies not only in assisting the brand builders in strengthening their communities, but also in rewarding the community for contributing to the long-term health of the project.

After all, a community is only as strong as its individual contributors. Without members actively participating, a community loses the connections that make it a community in the first place.

With robust community CRM tools, you’ll be well-positioned to maintain a healthy community that attracts enthusiasm from new members while also rewarding the core contributors instrumental in its success!

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