Although a messaging app at its core, Telegram has become a favourite marketing tool for ICO creators. The app that allows both private and group messaging, allows startups and ICO teams to build vibrant and dynamic project communities that can later be turned into potential investors.

In March 2018, the channel declared an active monthly user base of a whopping 200 million, indicating its rapidly growing popularity. This is a commendable achievement, given the fact that the channel doesn’t rely on advertisements and doesn’t have any shareholders.

So, what has made this app so popular with the crypto community?

Why is Telegram So Popular?

Firstly, the channel doesn’t deal with marketers, miners or government agencies. It places emphasis on people and people alone. It supports extremely large group chats, a free user-generated sticker platform and unlimited broadcast channels. The messaging service is faster than Viber, FB Messenger and some even say faster than WhatsApp. The app is also cloud-based, allowing users to access the channel from multiple devices, ad free, without data limits or subscription charges.

ICO teams have used these features and Telegram’s Telebots to help build and populate ICO communities. The bots add unique functionality to the app, through which ICO creators can better understand their communities.

These communities are essential to the success of ICO projects. The teams consist of talented people and hacks, without whom the ICO market wouldn’t be a multi-billion dollar goldmine. Telegram also fills the void created by channels like Facebook, Google and Twitter, which have banned all ICO ads on their platforms.

The channel helps with real-time interaction between brands and followers, and can host up to 100,000 members at any one time. The perception of success is attached to these numbers. Projects that have a huge follower base are considered successful and the rest are duds. Marketers even buy channel members from service providers to increase their following. Be careful, however, since there are times when these providers turn out to be spammers, providing services at discount prices.

While it is important to keep track of the membership volume metrics, it is equally necessary to look for members who will be loyal and add value, using their knowledge to steer group conversations.

Quality vs. Quantity

Did you know that 99% of all ICOs use Telegram and that the strength of ICO communities can be ascertained from the size of these Telegram groups?

While the number of Telegram followers is now a key metric for ICO success, user engagement and community management skills are also vital here. If conversations are becoming steadily more interesting, it means that people are excited about your project. Tracking the number of new messages sent is a good way to estimate the engagement levels. Add in analytics to the bot channels to get daily reports on message volume. If new member engagement is declining, it is a signal that the content is lacking in some respect.

So essentially, it is not just about having a million members in your group. If there are no interesting group chats or no comments to the articles posted, you community is either disinterested or dead. And, that isn’t going to help your ICO at all.

Engagement quality is as important as engagement volume. The mood of the larger community or even the tone of individual conversations should be put under sentiment analysis. This helps in identifying trends and opportunities, so that the right content can be offered at the right time. Negative chatter has to be taken out of the equation here. This can be done by monitoring keywords through an analytics bot.

How Many Telegram Users Do You Need?

Coming back to the main question, the number of members in your community should be a figure that you can manage efficiently. While you cannot stop people from joining, it is necessary that you keep a check on fake members, spammers and spoofers. ICO teams have previously faced these issues in running Slack channels, which made them switch to Telegram in the first place.

An ICO has an average member count of 13,077, and nearly 85% of all ICOs have less than 20,000 members on Telegram. You can use these figures to track your member retention rate or create your own number that you think is suitable for your project.