How not to grow your Discord when you are funded – part 2 of Circle labs case study

How not to grow your Discord when you are funded – part 2 of Circle labs case study

Part 1:How to get 20k users with a $0 marketing budget

TL;DR: Circle Lab's success in community building on Discord showcases key strategies like hiring from within, valuing team feedback, effectively using polls, rewarding users, and managing engagement systems. Balancing incentives and preventing spam are crucial for creating a genuine, active community. These approaches underline the importance of thoughtful, member-focused community management for sustainable growth.

Welcome back to the second part of our enlightening series on Circle Labs exceptional journey in community building. In the first part, we unveiled the initial strategies that propelled their Discord community to impressive heights, focusing on their innovative use of AI bots, tailored events, direct communication, adaptable user interface, and the smart leveraging of user-generated content. As we continue, we'll delve deeper into more advanced tactics that Circle Lab employed to not only grow their community but also to maintain its vibrancy and engagement.

Strategy 6: Hire from within

Hiring from within your community is a strategic move that can significantly enhance your team's effectiveness and deepen community engagement. The performance of your team is directly linked to the number of super fans you can cultivate. Initially, you might find it necessary to hire your first moderators from external sources, like our marketplace. However, as your community grows, turning to your most active and passionate members for these roles is a wise choice. These "true believers" not only bring a deep understanding of your community's culture and values but also act as powerful advocates for your brand, fostering a more authentic and connected environment. This approach not only strengthens team dynamics but also reinforces the sense of belonging and loyalty among your members.

Strategy 7: Be nice to your team

Being supportive and considerate towards your team, especially your moderators, is crucial for maintaining a healthy and productive community environment. When promoting or demoting moderators, it’s essential to provide clear and constructive feedback. This practice not only helps them understand their performance but also shows that you value their contribution and growth. Our extensive writings on handling moderators emphasize treating them as an integral part of your team. By investing in their long-term development, you not only enhance their skills but also build a stronger, more committed team that's aligned with your community's vision and values.

Caring for your moderators goes beyond mere administrative decisions; it involves nurturing a relationship based on respect and mutual growth. Regular check-ins, offering training opportunities, and acknowledging their efforts can significantly boost their morale and dedication. Remember, a motivated and well-supported moderation team is instrumental in fostering a positive community atmosphere. Their well-being directly impacts the overall health of your community, so prioritizing their development and satisfaction is not just beneficial but necessary for the sustained success and harmony of your community.

Strategy 8: Get user feedback

Utilizing polling features on Discord is an invaluable tool for startups, particularly in gathering user feedback. This approach, also widely adopted by web3 communities, offers a direct and interactive way to gauge the opinions and preferences of your community members. Polling can be as straightforward as using Discord's built-in reaction features, allowing members to vote with a simple emoji click. This method is not only user-friendly but also encourages higher participation due to its ease and accessibility. Gathering feedback through polls helps in making informed decisions, understanding user needs, and fostering a sense of inclusivity, as members feel their opinions are valued and heard.

For more detailed feedback, integrating tools like Google Forms can be highly effective. This allows for more comprehensive responses and the ability to collect a wider range of data. By conducting regular polls and surveys, you gain valuable insights into the community's sentiments, preferences, and expectations. This feedback is crucial for startups looking to refine their offerings and tailor their strategies to better meet user needs. Moreover, actively seeking and acting on community feedback demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement and user satisfaction, which can significantly enhance trust and loyalty within your community.

Strategy 9: Actually act on their feedback

Acting on user feedback is a key aspect of community management, but it's important to balance it with deliberate planning. While you can't implement every suggestion, dedicating specific development sprints to act on user feedback can have a significant impact. For example, Circle Lab actively sought their community's opinion on whether to allow bots to initiate direct messages to users. After receiving positive feedback, they worked on integrating this feature, demonstrating their responsiveness to user needs. This approach not only enhances the product based on actual user preferences but also makes the community members feel valued and heard. It's a strategic way of showing that their input directly influences the development process, fostering a deeper sense of connection and investment in the product.

Strategy 10: Reward users properly

Rewarding users appropriately is vital in maintaining an engaged and loyal community, especially in larger servers where personal recognition can make a significant difference. While offering incentives like Discord Nitro is common, it's not always necessary for larger communities. Often, members are more motivated by opportunities to stand out and be recognized within the group. Providing special roles or unique display names in Discord can be a powerful way to acknowledge and reward active or helpful members. These kinds of rewards carry a sense of prestige and exclusivity, making members feel valued and special. In a Discord society, where roles and visual distinctions are highly regarded, such personalized rewards can greatly enhance member satisfaction and foster a sense of belonging and achievement within the community.

Another innovative strategy for engaging users is to offer them the opportunity to showcase their own communities within your larger server, but only after they've completed specific tasks. For instance, users could be rewarded for actions like retweeting your content, installing your bots in other servers, or creating posts on TikTok. This approach not only incentivizes active participation in promotional activities but also fosters a reciprocal relationship between the server and its members. In the case of Circle Lab, they implemented this by setting up dedicated channels where users' bots can interact publicly. This method not only rewards users for their contributions but also enriches the overall content of the server, creating a more dynamic and interactive community environment.

Bonus: Don’t rewards users with $$

Incorporating an XP level system can be a highly effective engagement tool in Discord communities, as Circle Lab discovered. They incentivized virtually every user action – chatting, attending events, and more – with XP points, which could be exchanged for rewards like Discord Nitro and other monetary incentives. However, this approach led to an unexpected challenge: a surge in spam, as Discord is known for its bot activity. This was particularly pronounced in web3 communities, where an estimated 95% of users are bots, compared to significantly lower numbers in web2. The key takeaway here is to be cautious about overly incentivizing actions with monetary rewards, as this can lead to low-quality, non-converting activities without careful design and moderation.

In conclusion, Circle Lab's journey illustrates that building a thriving Discord community requires a blend of innovative strategies, careful moderation, and genuine engagement with members. From rewarding users meaningfully to managing XP systems, each step needs thoughtful implementation to foster a vibrant, spam-free environment where real connections and interactions thrive, driving sustainable growth.