Colin JG Miles is the Chief Commercial Officer and Co-CEO of Zilliqa, which has introduced a blockchain for a social media product called SocialPay. There are two problems that Zilliqa and SocialPay are solving together: blockchain and social media. Zilliqa was born in the National University of Singapore three to four years ago as a white paper trying to solve one of the biggest problems in the blockchain, which were the bottlenecks that were created on both Bitcoin and Ethereum due to slow processing. The logic of sharding, which is splitting up transactions across multiple nodes, was put forward academically and then brought into the real world as an exploratory startup. It raised a large amount of money on a token-generating event, which funded the buildout of the company and the technology to its mature state now, whereby they can bring all these applications onto the blockchain and know that it can process thousands and thousands of transactions per second.
How Zilliqa works
Zilliqa makes use of what the blockchain does really well, which is incentivizing good behavior. They use $ZIL, which is Zilliqa’s token, to give people rewards for promoting content, branded information, or a CSR campaign which they’ve done with the Red Cross to drive interactions on Twitter. They have other channels as well, but Twitter is the first point of call, because they’ve found a great response from it as a community. In using SocialPay and rewarding people for promoting hashtags, particularly, they’ve driven phenomenal engagement. Their numbers are off the charts. It’s a simple process, but it works brilliantly, so they’re very excited to see the impact on social media marketing.
To be able to use Zilliqa, people will need to first have a crypto wallet, of which Zilliqa has several key partners: Atomic, Trust, Moonlet, ZeroPay, or Zeeves, which is their play on the butler name, and all these wallets can receive $ZIL. If you go to the SocialPay landing page, click once, twice, three times, add your wallet and your Twitter account, as soon as you send a tweet, retweet a tweet, or click their automated templated tweet which makes it really easy, you are given, say, 30 $ZIL for doing that. In terms of the value of $ZIL, 1 ZIL is equivalent to roughly $0.02. It depends on the day, and it’s been as high as $0.03 in past months. It’s worth having, especially for those in Southeast Asia, as it’s a really decent incentive to get $0.15 or $0.20 or even higher for promoting something. And of course, if you hold it, the value can go up, so there’s no downside to it.
The key part for them is to push it out in a viral way to socially engage as many people as humanly possible. They started as a proof of concept with their own Zilliqa hashtag and their own branding campaign, and it was quite a shocking number for them. Colin says they hit as many as 45 million social media engagements in the Twitter community in a span of three days. This was measured by LunarCRUSH, which is a free service you can use to measure and monitor all of your activity. It’s a brilliant company that works tirelessly to monitor the crypto community. And when they saw those numbers, they were absolutely astonished, because the cost of $ZIL to make that campaign work was in the low thousands, so they were able to get a monumental number of engagements for a really small fee. It was then that they discovered that Zilliqa was going to be a powerful tool. They applied this same method to a CSR COVID heroes campaign with the Singapore Red Cross to help drive donations to their fundraising campaign. They used the #CovidHeroes hashtag, and anyone who retweeted that got paid in $ZIL for doing so. They made a corporate donation to the Red Cross as such, and so it was a win-win for the community and for the Red Cross. That campaign got as high as 15 million engagements. It was only 24 hours, but again, it worked tremendously well numbers-wise.
The third campaign they ran was completely unbelievable for them in terms of its impact on the social dominance ranking, which LunarCRUSH also provides. They hit 80% dominance on Twitter for their #ZIL3 hashtag. This was in honor of Zilliqa‘s third anniversary, which they celebrated with a virtual event and promoted using SocialPay, and it absolutely smashed the numbers to an incredible level.
What to expect from Zilliqa in their pilot phase
It will soon be possible for companies to use Zilliqa to promote their products and get people to come back to their website or landing page. For this, they are currently in the first phase of development. This is their proof of concept, and it has shown to be incredibly successful. What’s being built now is what they call SocialPay 2.0, which should allow individual companies to self-serve. It will give businesses the ability to create their own campaigns through a web portal, issue their own hashtags, and then drive traffic under their own brand name. They believe this is the best way to scale. After that, they can go slightly more neutral. Retail outlets will be able to offer vouchers and coupons for those who wish to claim them either online or in-store where permissible, and that enables a different level of engagement, because the crypto part may still be a little bit rarefied for mass adoption, so this allows them to cover both bases. They can offer $ZIL as an incentive, or companies could offer their own loyalty points or miles, whatever it is you want to drive transactions with.
Part of their pilot phase includes working out what the attack vectors are when it comes to possibly getting hijacked. Bots were definitely an issue, which they realized early on. People were trying to create false accounts to get the number of likes needed, so they set the first number of likes at five, then they’ve tried to increase it up to 30 likes in line with their event on the 30th of July. After that, they brought about it down again to make it slightly easier. For Colin and his team, it’s something which they’re finding to be an iterative process. They also reset the conditions that Twitter accounts had to be more than a month old. You couldn’t create an account on the same day and claim. So, they’ve been toggling quite a lot to avoid bot interactions. They added Captchas on the web pages to stop bots signing up too. Clearly, they have a lot of mitigation in place to protect the process, the brand, and the spend.
Hashtags are not limited only to Twitter, so Colin says there is a long strategic pathway for the SocialPay disruptive marketing logic. They already have an integration with Telegram, which apparently is huge for crypto communities. They have a bot called Zeeves that enables Zilliqa to reward people with $ZIL if they answer quiz questions on AMAs, which are abundant in Telegram crypto communities. They have a partner as well who’s integrating the reward system into Twitch, and they’re working very aggressively with a company based in London to do YouTube, which to Colin is a huge potential upside for the SocialPay logic to reward people for doing good things on YouTube. For those creating content, they need a huge boost and a lot of help to get people to promote the content enough to get into the YouTube algorithms to get a sizable audience, and it’s not easy if you’re just starting from scratch. So, how do you get that audience? Zilliqa is one great way to do it.
Zilliqa can be used on any platform anywhere in the world
When it comes to the content or the payload itself, it could be hosted anywhere. It could be a podcast link which they would then install into a Twitter or Telegram campaign, then they would tell people to listen to this podcast, and then do an API integration. Specifically, they can confirm that someone did listen to the podcast and then send them maybe an even bigger reward. The interesting part is watching the shear crush that takes place when the campaign goes live and how many people try and create wallets to receive the $ZIL. Colin says 4,000 wallets were created in three hours for a campaign that was run initially. Now, they have gone up to 10,000 wallets. The objective is to reach 100,000 wallets for that one campaign. So for them, the number of wallets created increased. They went from around 100,000 to 200,000 wallets in a very short period of time of running these campaigns. This proves that if the incentive is there, people will do it.
For brands or charities, it can be looked at as a CSR component. Zilliqa is happy to give back in that sense. If there is the opportunity to drive donations, that’s even better. That could potentially be a sponsored campaign, whereby a lead sponsor for a global United Nations campaign could actually cover the cost. It would be something similar to the One Love campaign with the rerelease of Bob Marley’s song for UNICEF. So, there are many ways to work with sponsors and to provide this technology to underpin a much bigger social impact.
For them, the way to get adoption is to simplify it as much as possible and not mention jargon, technology, or any of the issues which people perceive as complicated in the blockchain environment. If they say, very simply, that you can run your hashtag campaign, you can issue tokens or coupons just through this web interface in three easy clicks, and it’s as easy as AdWords or Facebook campaigns, then they’ve got something unique. People don’t have to know what’s going on behind the scenes with the technology at all. They just want to see and manage the results, and this can be done in real time, which is exciting. You can see the spikes going up dramatically on your engagement, and then you can see what the end result is: performance marketing, how many people were converted to buy a product, promote a service, or increase brand impact. There are so many ways to cut it, but their goal is to make self-service simple.
If you are interested in learning more, you can email Colin at email@example.com. He says he’s always open to people looking to explore the possibility of working with them and running social campaigns here, there, and everywhere. At Zilliqa, they are using Bitcoin to reward people that retweet content with hashtags, and they are paying those people using Bitcoin via the blockchain technologies. If you want to amplify your hashtags, I highly suggest you get in touch with Colin. You can also check out their website to learn more about how to drive engagement using Zilliqa.
Cover Photo from Cult Today