As a startup founder using social media, I’m always thinking of new ways to engage my fans.
I'm also a bitcoin enthusiast, so I thought: “what better way to combine both of these passions than having a social media bitcoin giveaway on Twitter?”
However, this experiment wasn’t only about social media engagement, as it proved that bitcoin enthusiasts and non-users both see value in the currency.
The engagement I saw in these experiments is important for several reasons. Namely, for bitcoin to achieve longterm success, “normal” people outside of enthusiasts like myself need to see value in digital currency as something they can use to buy or exchange with.
The Kierkegaard experiment
My first experiment was built to include bitcoin's USD value into my giveaway tweet.
Who wouldn’t take a lucky guess at my favourite philosopher to earn a quick $5? Eventually someone answered Kierkegaard correctly. Realistically, it was only a matter of time after the process of elimination.
Most people have never heard of Kierkegaard, but a follower named Jesse guessed correctly and won the prize. I instantly transferred her $5 in bitcoin.
What was even more interesting was the fact that Jesse had not been involved in bitcoin before this contest. Jesse had to create a Coinbase account before she could accept the transaction, and is now an official bitcoiner.
Thus, Jesse saw enough value in bitcoin to take the time to engage in my giveaway and create a wallet after winning.
@torbahax LLoyd Christmas? He's mine.
— Julie Nilsson Smith (@julnilsmith) November 30, 2013
@torbahax Charles Peirce?
— Jordan Hudgens (@jordanhudgens) November 30, 2013
— Thomas Dehod (@thomasdehod) November 30, 2013
.@torbahax Cool. Thanks for the Bitcoin :) – Received it successfully.
12 hours later, I decided to run another test – this time stating the value of the prize in BTC, not USD.
I was shocked to not only see engagement from bitcoin enthusiasts, but also from bitcoin newcomers like Jesse too. The interesting part about this test is that 0.000877 BTC was worth only $1 at the time of the experiment.
Most of us don’t bother to pick up a penny on the ground as we walk down the street, but plenty of people were more than willing to invent some amazing bitcoin brand names for $1.
Ironically, more people submitted bitcoin startup brands for a fraction of 1 BTC than the amount of people who were willing to take a random guess at my favourite philosopher for $5.
@torbahax LOTC, One coin to rule them all!
— Stijn Pielage (@Aplus212) November 30, 2013
— Neeraj Thakur (@NeerajT4) November 30, 2013
@torbahax bittercoin - bar that only accepts bitcoin.
— Carlos Cardona (@cgcardona) November 30, 2013
— Christopher Elston (@CElston) November 30, 2013
Social media engagement is about surprise and delight.
Completing a transaction is instant, magical, and surprising. It’s also something that you need to experience for yourself to truly appreciate.
This experiment proved to me that the market is starting to see value in bitcoin. Regardless of whether consumers were new to bitcoin, or were enthusiasts like me – they engaged.
Twitter image via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.