In community management circles, FUD is the acronym for fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
It’s commonly propagated by social media and, more often than not, can quickly get out-of-hand when not handled properly, or with care.
Some examples of FUD which communities tend to jump on include:
– Missed targets or deadlines
– Delays in listing/unlocking of tokens
– Termination of partnerships
– Perceived lack of experience in the founders
– Irregular updates and fake news
FUD can easily cause a listed coin’s price to fall substantially due to the perceived and/or real negativity being circulated. Sometimes, the “bad news” isn’t even real or substantiated, yet these communities and blockchain brands fall prey to bad actors with ulterior motives who are able to manipulate the community’s sentiment.
It’s also typical to see the person spreading FUD is simple repeating said FUD which was told to them by someone else. As a result, it’s challenging to catch the original FUD-mongerer, especially in today’s environment where creating alternate accounts for such nefarious purposes can be done easily and instantaneously.
In our line of business, we’ve seen the not-so-right approach to combating FUD across a number of projects, both large and small.
Project founders and admins who can’t contain their cool fall into the trap which baited them into flying off the handle, and banning members without addressing the crux of the issue. A concerted attack would then use alternate accounts to act like a voice of reason, asking:
“Why did so-and-so get banned for raising legitimate questions?”
Ultimately, this exacerbates the situation, which can eventually erode trust, credibility, and brand excitement among the community as a whole.
So, what can you as a community manager, marketer, or project founder do?
1. Build trust – Be upfront about the progress and potential roadblocks ahead. Justify major decisions made by clearly stating their implications and benefits.
2. Don’t get into petty arguments – Let’s face it, arguments have never won anyone over, especially when trying to convince someone they’re wrong. Stay cool and make use of facts to defray the situation.
3. Notice FUD build-up early, and deal with it accordingly – Having 24-hour coverage over the project’s social media accounts and community channel(s) is a must to prevent the accumulation of FUD during non-coverage hours.
Based in Singapore, Fabian is the Director of Community for BlockGroup.