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How to use HARO to get your business in the news

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Be your own publicist

Whether you’ve been an entrepreneur for five decades or five weeks, you know the importance of getting the word out about your business. One way to earn credibility and set yourself up as a subject expert is to get featured in the media. If you know how to use HARO (an online service that connects journalists and sources), you’ll be better equipped at getting your business noticed both offline and online.

But, what is HARO and how can it get your business media attention? I’m sharing everything you need to know about HARO below, along with how you can use it in your business practices. Keep reading to learn more.

What is HARO?

HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out. It began as a Facebook group in 2008 to help reporters and journalists gain feedback directly from the public. It later transitioned into a mailing list and was ultimately acquired by Vocus, Inc., which later merged with Cision Inc.

Before HARO was around, businesses often had to pay a publicist or public relations firm thousands of dollars to be featured in a media outlet. They may have also written and sent out their own press releases in hopes of getting lucky enough to get the attention of a journalist.

These days however, getting media attention can be as easy as answering queries sent to your email via HARO. It’s essentially a media and source matchmaking platform, where people can sign up as either journalists or sources.

A business can benefit from both options by strategizing connections accordingly. I’ll explain how to use HARO in more detail below.

How to use HARO as a journalist

When journalists sign up for the platform, they can post queries related to content they are developing. This content can be:

  • Podcast episodes
  • Radio programs
  • Web content
  • Newspaper articles
  • Magazine articles
  • Television programs and more

If you’re learning how to use HARO for the first time, it might help to view a visual breakdown. Here’s a peek at what a blank query looks like from my own account:

How To Use HARO Creating Query

The journalist shares what media outlet the content is for and the outlet’s URL. They can then choose whether to remain anonymous or publicly share where the content will be published.

Next, they will include a short summary of what they are looking for, followed by a more in-depth query. The section beneath the query is reserved for requirements that sources must meet if they hope to be selected as a contributor.

Finally, journalists will fill out the deadline and submit their queries to HARO for approval. If they are approved (and not all of them are), the queries are then sent out to an email list of potential sources.

Typically, HARO will approve or deny the query about one or two business days prior to the deadline. If a journalist has a quick deadline and needs answers the same day, they can click “Urgent” and HARO will post the query on Twitter to get instant responses.

How to use HARO as a source

How To Use HARO Source Sign Up

When a source is exploring how to use Haro for the first time, they’ll begin with the three step sign up form. Here, they can choose the frequency of emails they receive. Emails are sent out Monday through Friday in the morning, afternoon, and evening. They are then broken down into different categories that include subjects like:

  • Business and Finance
  • High Tech
  • Biotech and Healthcare
  • Energy and Green Tech
  • Lifestyle and Fitness
  • Sports
  • Entertainment and Media
  • Public Policy and Government
  • Education
  • General
  • Giftbag
  • Travel
  • UK

The queries in the emails vary greatly depending on what journalists are seeking sources for. Some sample topics might include:

  • How to be successful with cryptocurrency
  • The best holiday gifts for men over 40
  • Tips from relationship counselors on how to find a date using online dating services

I’ve also seen generic queries and ones that are so hyper-specific, I wonder if the journalist was able to even find a source at all! You honestly never know what will pop up as a query. Plus, anyone can sign up and learn how to use HARO for free.

Alternatively, Cision also offers premium subscriptions starting at $19 a month. This paid option gives you additional opportunities to increase your chances at getting featured. But It’s worth noting that a paid subscription doesn’t guarantee you’ll be chosen as a source.

My experience using HARO

As a journalist, I’ve learned how to use HARO for many different types of stories — including this post. Some of the queries I’ve sent out include:

  • Podcast promotion tips
  • Travel agent success ideas
  • Tax deduction advice for small business owners and more

The reason I love HARO so much is because you can be as specific as you’d like with your query. You can then find the exact sources you’re looking for to help enhance your content and add credibility to your posts.

Why I like HARO’s anonymous feature

One you understand how to use HARO a little better, you might decide to utilize their anonymous feature in the settings. I always opt to make the outlet I’m gathering materials for as “anonymous” because I don’t like to share posts until they are live – or at least guaranteed to go live. Sometimes stories get killed midway through production and it can be very frustrating when you get an email from a source wondering what happened to the post.

Breaking the news that a post never went live could be quite disappointing for any sources involved.

I’ve also noticed that disclosing your outlet’s name sometimes skews the responses you get. For example, everyone wants to respond to a query from Forbes, but they may not want to respond to a query from a smaller website.

Note: If you are a journalist representing an online-only or business website, make sure to check out the HARO rules for journalists before getting started — especially if you’re not sure how to use HARO. You don’t want to violate any rules that could deny your query or ban your account.

Keys ways HARO has helped me

I’ve also used HARO as a source for both myself and for clients I ghostwrite for. It’s a fabulous tool for:

  • Getting backlinks to your website
  • Establishing yourself as an expert in your field
  • Contributing to the content that matters to your niche

When the  queries go out in the morning, afternoon, and evening, there could be 50 or more responses per email. Again, queries are all broken down by category, so sources can skip to the subjects they want to contribute to.

I’ve never personally paid for HARO’s premium plans, and don’t know anyone who has either. But if you want to know how to use HARO with additional subscription-based features, here’s a glimpse at what they look like and what they offer:

How To Use HARO Source Subscription Plans

What niches benefit the most from HARO?

I’ve yet to see a niche that wouldn’t benefit from learning how to use HARO. Because of the different categories, and the wide variety of queries created across all of the categories, I would bet that any business could find some kind of query to respond to – even if your business isn’t directly related to a category.

And, if your business doesn’t have anything to contribute the first time, you can always expect a new query within the next day, week or month.

It’s okay to hold out for the best queries you feel are a match.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of HARO, let’s take a closer look at how to use it to get your small business in the news!

How to use HARO to benefit your small business

First, the bad news. Don’t jump into HARO expecting to land a feature in Forbes the first day. While this can certainly happen, it’s highly unlikely. There are many small business owners just like you who know how to use HARO to get media attention.

Perhaps Sharon Geltner, a successful multimedia journalist who’s written for publications like Forbes and the New York Times, says it best:

“I won’t kid you, using HARO means I kiss a lot of frogs before I meet the prince. But it is well worth sorting through amphibians to eventually ascend to national media outlets – which would otherwise be very hard to do.”

With this in mind, here is my best advice on how to use HARO to get in the media:

  1. Have a website up and running. Make sure to have an “about” page available, so journalists can learn more about you.
  2. Sign up for an account as a source on HARO. This will grant you access to media queries you can respond to.
  3. Choose the frequency of emails you would like to receive. Email newsletters are sent out to sources three times a day and can range from 10-100 queries.
  4. Create a plan of attack. Think about what your business is all about, what market you are trying to serve, and which outlets align with your business values.

Editor’s note: If you need help setting up a website, check out GoDaddy’s Website Builder to easily get started with no tech experience necessary.

Pro Tip: Don’t respond to every query!

Instead, choose the ones that most resonate with your ideal audience. Seek out queries that you would be best suited as a source for.

Once you start receiving queries, read them carefully and start responding.

Be prepared to respond quickly!

Some journalists get dozens of pitches and don’t have time to read each one. They may decide to stop accepting pitches after receiving a few decent responses. Pitches that come in too late risk getting buried at the bottom of their priority list.

For example, one of my most recent HARO queries had 56 responses and I was only able to use 11. Though I got a lot of great responses, I went in the order I received them and chose the first 11 that worked for my content. I didn’t even read the rest!

However, that’s not to say you should rush when responding to queries – not by any means. Always give thorough and well thought out responses, but don’t wait several hours to figure out who you want to respond to.

Real world examples of how to use HARO for your business

To help you determine your plan of attack, let’s look at some real world examples of sources that know how to use HARO successfully.

Hugo Guerreiro, The Men Hero

How To Use HARO Hugo Guerreiro

Hugo Guerreiro, founder of lifestyle and men’s fashion blog The Men Hero, says that HARO has been wonderful for building his domain authority with backlinks. He says, “It’s free and takes less time than pitching to other websites to provide you with a link or write a guest post. I have built all my backlinks with HARO, since my answers have been chosen multiple times. I would advise anyone who wants to improve their blog authority to answer HARO questions.”

Jackie Blanchard, Fortress Development Solutions

Jackie Blanchard is a social media marketing specialist for the construction development company, Fortress Development Solutions. She says HARO has been great at getting “niche industry opportunities” and adds that it has also helped her company “get in front of a national audience.”

The more articles we can collaborate in, the more opportunities our potential customers will have to find us. HARO is very user-friendly and we get emails daily with potential opportunities. I scroll through and if we’re a good fit I reach out and share our story.”

Her best advice for sources looking to get selected is to be open. “The more information you share, the more likely you will get chosen for follow-ups.” She also notes that it helps to get email notifications, so you can be among the first to respond. “Always answer all questions and offer your company for future needs.”

Additionally, your response should be thorough, yet straight to the point. I’ve gotten responses that were as short as one sentence and as long as three pages. The three pages were overkill!

Stephen Curry, CocoSign

Stephen Curry is the CEO of the online signature platform, CocoSign. He says that HARO has become the best means of getting his business featured in the media and that it has “proven to be the best backlink generation technique.”

His best advice for sources is to:

Read the requirements that the reporter has given. If you feel that you have a unique point of view and insight on that query, use your best words to describe it as clearly as possible, and you’ll see that query getting accepted in no time. The chances of getting selected as a source get much higher when you provide credible content in less time.”

Related: How to get backlinks to a small business website

Patty Malowney, Badass Web Goddess

How To Use HARO Patty Malowney

Patty Malowney is the social media marketing and SEO expert for Badass Web Goddess. Her best advice on how to use HARO is to:

“Use HARO consistently every day. They send out queries three times a day. Go through every single one of them. If you miss one, you could miss an opportunity. When you find a query that interests you, respond back promptly. Make sure what you write is quote-worthy. Think about whether or not the author can easily use what you say in a quote. If not, condense what you have to say into a bite-size quote.

Don’t get discouraged. You have to send pitches regularly and be patient. Sometimes you won’t hear anything back for a month or longer. If you stick with it, you’ll get better at your pitches and will be selected more often.”

Alex Shute, FaithGiant

Alex Shute, founder and chief editor of the Christian lifestyle website FaithGiant, says, “HARO has been a reliable source of media attention for our website and the best way to utilize HARO is to choose queries that are related to your website’s main topic and interest.”

His best advice for getting selected as a source is to write answers that are “straight to the point yet incorporate your own experiences related to the queries.” He also adds that your goal for answering should be “both helpful and genuine.”

When it comes to the length of your answers, Shute recommends aiming for a happy medium:

It’s all about finding the right balance between one that’s short enough for both the recipient and the would-be readers to not lose interest easily, but also be long enough to be informative, engaging, and compelling. This can be the difference between someone opening it or sending it to the trash. A well-written answer to the HARO query can save the day.”

Remember, the end-game is to offer answers with substance in a timely manner.

Greg Jenkins, Bravo Productions

Greg Jenkins, founder and partner of Bravo Productions, has been using HARO for the last 13 years. He says “it has been a great experience in not only getting our company’s name out to global audiences, [but] it’s also been beneficial in educating consumers and various audience demographics about the profession.”

To highlight his point, Jenkins notes that “topics run the gamut” and can include examples like:

  • Quick party fixes for Health & Fitness Magazine
  • Budget tips for websites like Brides.com
  • Super Bowl party tips for publications like the Atlanta Journal & Constitution
  • Party planning advice for Costco Connection Magazine
  • Security and risk management advice for publications like Smart Meetings

He takes things a step further by sharing any content his company is mentioned in on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more. This helps Jenkins:

  • Build up his social fan base
  • Set himself up as an expert in event planning
  • Increase brand awareness

Knowing how to use HARO helps give your small business the upper hand in marketing and Jenkins reports:

We find using HARO is a means to distinguish our company from the masses and competitors. There are a plethora of event and party planning companies in every city. When included in an article, it’s one way to distinguish our company from those who may not receive the same media exposure.”

His best advice for a source is to, “Be specific in your answers. Vague responses to questions will not help the journalists or the end reader if your input adds little to nothing in the story.”

Jenkins also adds that you’ll want to make sure you edit and utilize spell check for grammar before sending responses to journalists. He suggests keeping an eye out for typos and making yourself available for any follow-up questions.

Linda Pophal, Strategic Communications

Linda Pophal, founder and owner of Strategic Communications, uses HARO as both a source and a journalist. She says the most important thing is to “only respond to pitches that you are truly qualified for.”

Pophal also notes that HARO, in her opinion, has been overrun “by trash responses from people [clearly] seeking only to attain backlinks.” She adds that these responses often use content generation tools to develop their responses, which typically don’t offer any valuable insights to her queries.

“If you don’t have the credentials [or] expertise the reporter is looking for, don’t respond. If you do, and do so repeatedly, you’ll fall off their radar screen and likely be blocked. I have a number of names I’m now familiar with that I now delete responses from without even looking at them because their input has been so irrelevant or off the mark.”

Finally, she acknowledges that journalists are busy and more likely to use “detailed written responses than to take time to interview sources.”

“Providing relevant detailed information can boost the odds that your input will be used. A side benefit is that, since you’ve actually documented your response you’re more likely to be quoted accurately.”

Ryan Stewman, Break Free Academy

How To Use HARO Ryan Stewman

Ryan Stewman, founder of Break Free Academy, reports that the two most important things for him are consistency and delivering value. He says:

 “I’ve been using HARO for three years now. I answer one to two email queries daily. If you add it up, that’s 700 or so opportunities per year to get published from HARO.”

When it comes to getting published, Stewman says his experience as a source is to “give the reporter the information they are looking for.”

“Most people fail to get published because they made their replies about themselves, instead of about the needs of the reporter. The key to getting the most out of HARO is to consistently answer queries daily, and answer them according to what you think the reporter wants information on, not about yourself.”

Key takeaways and next steps

To close things out, I’ve rounded out some final tips to get your business featured in the media using HARO:

  1. Don’t wait. Start learning how to use Haro right away. There are hundreds of opportunities every week, and your business might have the exact insights journalists (like me) are looking for.
  2. Give thorough and valuable responses. Read queries carefully and answer all questions appropriately. If you want to get selected, holding back won’t do you any good.
  3. Answer truthfully and don’t hype yourself up. No one likes to find out their source isn’t as amazing as they claim to be. It’s also a quick way to land yourself on a blacklist for many websites.
  4. Have a bio and headshot ready. Many journalists will want to feature your information alongside your quote or answer to a query.
  5. Don’t forget to include contact information. Add this to your emails in case a journalist wants to follow-up.
  6. Keep pitching via source requests. You never know who is looking for a source, or which pitches will be selected.

What are you waiting for? Sign up for HARO and start working on getting your business in the news today!



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5 Ways to Control Your Inventory So It Doesn’t Control You

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Managing inventory is a task that can make or break your small business. With too much inventory, profits suffer and storerooms overflow. With too little, items get back-ordered, customers get frustrated and business is lost. And striking a balance is hard, especially with disruptions to the global supply chain in the last few years causing delayed deliveries.

While you can’t control the supply chain, you can take steps to prevent common problems like product shortages and excess stock. Here’s how.

1. Stick to the story

Donna Daniel owns and operates three connected small businesses in Claremont, California: The Grove Clothing, The Grove Home and The Outdoor Store, which sell women’s clothing, home goods and unisex adventure-themed gear, respectively. To run all three of her stores, Daniel needs to keep an impressive variety and quantity of inventory in stock — and ensure it moves quickly to make room for seasonal items and new shipments.

To keep her inventory cohesive within each store, she arranges it in themed displays — or what she calls “stories” — which tie together dozens of different items to appeal to a color, season or activity.

“I don’t buy anything outside of the stories,” she says, which helps her collect data on sales and seasonal trends, and keeps her stock to what’s most likely to sell.

She keeps most of her inventory on the shop floor, with stock in each store’s backroom and larger items in a nearby storage unit. In the backrooms and warehouse, she stores items according to product type and size — not by story — so employees can easily restock displays and substitute a similar item if necessary.

2. Double down on your reliable inventory

“Just-in-time inventory is much more difficult to do today,” says Mark Baxa, president and CEO of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, a global trade association for supply chain professionals. Baxa adds that since the supply chain is less stable than it was pre-pandemic, businesses may need to lean on their most reliable products and vendors.

Courtney Cowan, owner and founder of Los Angeles bakery Milk Jar Cookies, keeps supply needs and consumer demand stable with a very consistent product line. Her 16-flavor menu has “changed very little” in the bakery’s nine-year history, though she leaves room for a rare seasonal standout to join the rotation. Since her store pre-mixes and preserves dough in a deep freezer, she can ensure that her bestsellers are always in stock.

Though some businesses may prefer a bit more variety, in uncertain times — over-ordering on go-to products with a dependable profit margin can help fill the gaps and keep sales steady.

3. Keep products moving

Longtime retailers know that while running out of inventory is bad, having too much can be worse. “Too much backstock eats up all your capital,” Daniel says. She prevents this from happening by planning ahead and using sales sections to make room for new merchandise.

Daniel reorders seasonal inventory as far as a year ahead by using recent sales reports as a baseline. But with this commitment to hundreds of new products arriving every month, she makes sure that items don’t sit on shelves for more than a few weeks.

“I do not like merchandise hanging around,” she says, explaining that if an item isn’t clearing out quickly enough, she’ll move it to the sales rack and discount it until it’s gone.

Though selling an item for a fraction of its original price may seem painful, it may be worth doing to keep inventory moving and keep customers coming back for new products.

4. Get to know your supply chain

Especially in periods of supply chain disruption, getting to know your vendors can make a big difference in your day-to-day operations. “Hold your supplier base accountable,” Baxa says. He suggests finding the “shortest path” possible, including finding local and sustainable suppliers, to help ensure consistent, reliable supply.

Daniel follows the same principle, sourcing her inventory from mostly local vendors so she can pick up items instead of shipping. She weighs several factors, including production time, available quantity and shelf life to figure out how much to order and how often.

Cowan’s inventory is perishable, so she needs her wholesale ingredients to arrive on a tight schedule. Her bakery receives truck deliveries directly from the restaurant supplier Sysco and wholesale store Costco, which keeps her supply chain close to home.

“We keep it as centralized as possible,” Cowan says. For special ingredients like nuts and candy, she places advance orders with small online vendors.

Clear communication with vendors can help business owners figure out limitations, plan ahead and mitigate risk.

5. Use a point-of-sale system with inventory management tools

For the past five years, Daniel has been using Lightspeed, a POS system with standout inventory management tools. The software can track her inventory across all three of her stores, and it generates reports that help her analyze seasonal sales data and follow her businesses’ growth.

This data is essential for her to plan reorder points and determine which items will reliably sell. Especially with a small staff and multiple locations, an all-in-one POS system can help minimize costs and labor.

Best POS for inventory management

Lightspeed Retail POS

Cost: Software $69 per month (billed annually) and up. Hardware quote-based.

Lightspeed’s retail point-of-sale system is built for inventory management. It can keep detailed records of your products across multiple locations and set automatic reorder points, so you don’t run out. The software also offers employee and customer relationship management tools, as well as advanced analytics features on its higher-priced plans.

You have the option to use a third-party payment processor, or Lightspeed’s in-house processor with per-transaction fees at 2.6% plus 10 cents for swipe, dip and contactless payments and 2.6% plus 30 cents for keyed-in transactions.

Square for Retail

Cost: Software free and up. Hardware from free card reader to $799 terminal and up.

Square’s retail-specific POS software offers inventory management tools and multi-location capabilities as well. The free version has a variety of other useful features including reporting tools, customer and employee management. Email marketing, loyalty programs and payroll are available with a higher-priced plan or as a paid add-on.

Though its inventory management isn’t quite as deep as Lightspeed’s, Square’s user-friendly interface and accessible pricing make it a great choice for most retail businesses. Payment processing fees vary per plan, but with the free retail plan, costs are 2.6% plus 10 cents per in-person transaction, 2.9% plus 30 cents per online transaction and 3.5% plus 15 cents per keyed transaction.

Shopify POS

Cost: Software $29 to $299 and up. Hardware $49 and up.

Shopify’s point-of-sale system is geared for businesses that primarily sell online. The software tracks inventory, hides out-of-stock products on your website and offers basic inventory analysis. It also facilitates drop-shipping, curbside pickup and local delivery options, plus access to vendors and third-party applications.

Shopify helps businesses manage inventory across online and in-store locations. Its Pro version can create purchase orders, run inventory counts, perform advanced inventory analysis and generate low-stock reports. However, it’s not ideal for a business that only sells in store. Payment processing varies by plan, with in-person fees starting at 2.4% with Shopify POS Lite.

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14 community management tips for meaningful connections with customers

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Community building blocks

The idea for sharing community management tips came to me about a year ago. That’s when I synced up with the GoDaddy Community team to host a webinar for small business owners. As hundreds of attendees rolled into the Zoom, I had a realization: “GoDaddy has a strong community.”

Behind every good brand and business, there’s a solid community of supporters, stakeholders, and sometimes, even haters.

But building a community and maintaining connections is one of the most misunderstood and least talked about topics within the small business world. For a business with fewer than five employees and a handful of customers, community building might seem like just another marketing tactic that is just out of reach.

To help small businesses build and manage an online community, I asked other business owners and marketers what community management tips they had for creating meaningful connections with customers.

14 community management tips to create meaningful customer connections

Given that creating and maintaining a strong community can help retain and attract customers, consider following these 14 community management tips:

  1. Be quick to address negative experiences
  2. Filter out spam
  3. Showcase success
  4. Send a postcard
  5. Get your customers involved in important decisions
  6. Bring Up topics that encourage engagement
  7. Provide talking points and engage with your community
  8. Engage regularly
  9. Be the face of your brand
  10. Choose a channel that works
  11. Create content that addresses customers’ specific needs
  12. Consider a brand ambassador program
  13. Reward loyalty
  14. Recognize the importance of inclusivity

Read on to learn more.

1. Be quick to address negative experiences

A bad customer experience can quickly escalate to a brand reputation crisis, and the company’s response must be fast to revert the situation.

Monitoring social channel mentions is an easy way to keep an eye on conversations surrounding your brand and detect potential concerns.

Once a customer posts a comment that threatens your brand reputation, listen, honestly apologize and be willing to solve the issue in the best possible way. Your unsatisfied customer will feel appreciated and perhaps even become a brand advocate.

-Rebeca Sena, GetSpace.digital

2. Filter out spam

The most important thing you should be doing in regards to community management is interacting with your community, and you cannot do that properly if you have to work through a bunch of spam. There are many programs out there, even some within the different social media sites, that can filter out spam in your comments and messages so you can focus on addressing your community. Plus, getting rid of the spam and moderating harmful comments creates a better space for your community to contact you through.

-Jacob Dayan, Community Tax

3. Showcase success

Develop case studies from your successful community members. This is a practical way of propagating the core values of your online community and encouraging new users to join your community.

The more these members contribute to the community, the more impact these case studies have. You can start by creating basic reports to identify the members who are actively contributing high-quality content, assisting other members, and elevating the community.

-Hasan Farahani, Yocale

4. Send a postcard

postcard with other travel items

Many of my customers spend $15–$20K on medical care in Latin America. I send my customers handwritten postcards to remind them of their journey, thank them for their business, and to stay engaged while they recover from procedures like dental implants or plastic surgery.

The cost in time and money is very low, but a human touch in the healthcare space is increasingly rare.

-Wesley Jacobs, Apollo Medical Travel

5. Get your customers involved in important decisions

Taking the time to follow up with your most active customers and getting their insights on important decisions makes them feel like their opinions are truly valued and cared for.

In the long run, this forges a strong connection between you and your audience that relies on more than simply a transaction.

An added benefit of doing this is that you may even get some eye-opening suggestions and creative ideas that could end up benefiting your business.

-Harry Morton, Lower Street 

6. Bring up topics that encourage engagement

Meaningful connections need to originate from a common source that offers a moment of relatability, which can further build brand trust. Social platforms offer numerous opportunities for these types of exchanges. When managing your social community, bring up topics that encourage engagement so you can connect on a level that goes beyond the basic company/customer relationship. In doing so, the consumer will feel more at ease to comment, ask questions and even provide more detailed feedback.

-Lindsay McCormick, Bite 

7. Provide talking points and engage with your community

It’s important to recognize that community management is an ongoing responsibility. If you want to see your community thrive, you must create opportunities for customers to voice their opinion, communicate with other community members and provide you with feedback. Finding success is contingent on your ability to encourage participation from users, so you must provide talking points and give them plenty of avenues to stay involved.

If you leave your community dormant without your administrative oversight, engagement will start to dwindle as fewer users initiate conversations and take part.

Communities rarely function autonomously, so be sure to play an active role as you connect with and safeguard your community.

This gives you a chance to speak with your customers on a personal level, helping you learn about their likes, dislikes, objections and pain points directly—all of which are crucial in building meaningful connections with customers.

-Mike Grossman, GoodHire

8. Engage regularly

The best community management tip is to engage regularly and don’t neglect questions or threads you didn’t start—even better if they aren’t getting a lot of feedback. If you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to regularly interact with your customers, make sure you’re commenting often and have a badge next to your name letting them know you’re a moderator or part of the company. That will really cement that feeling of connection and letting members feel heard. Plus, we’ve found that a community manager can really breathe life into a topic by offering input and pushing it to the front of that community for more engagement.

-Sylvia Kang, Mira

9. Be the face of your brand

Revealing the human side of your brand is without a shadow of a doubt an efficient strategy to boost your customers’ connection. It conveys transparency and accountability, building a stronger human bond. Consumers tend to trust people more than a company, and showcasing real people will make you and your brand easier to remember and trust.

-Chiara Sternardi, Passport-photo.online

10. Choose a channel that works

social media apps on iphone

The best way to build an authentic community is to have everyone communicate using the same social media platform. Make that a crucial part of your strategy.

If it’s a professional audience that you’re going after, choose LinkedIn. If it’s a broader audience, use Facebook or Instagram. If it’s a young audience, try Snapchat or WhatsApp. If it’s a politically charged audience, maybe try Twitter.

YouTube is a great way to encourage people to watch videos that provide clear instructions on how a product or service works.

Users flock to YouTube for instructions on everything from how to change batteries on a device to playing scales on a guitar. The comment section can be useful for feedback purposes, and it also can be a way for customers to communicate with one another.

-Joel Jackson, Lifeforce

11. Create content that addresses customers’ specific needs

By creating audience and buyer personas based on different client categories, content marketers can create social content that speaks to people rather than just industries. Learn where your customers hang out online using your social media demographics. Then, narrow those results using audience research to help you define a specific audience and channel. You can then customize communications by researching the LinkedIn profiles of potential customers. Doing so will allow you to identify different stakeholders within the organization and determine their pain points. You can then create better content that addresses their challenges. But it’s all about finding an interesting angle for each segment.

Content that is too broad won’t result in authentic engagement with your followers.

Social media posts that offer helpful information are guaranteed to stand out in your clients’ feeds, resulting in more likes, shares and leads.

-Daniel Tejada, Straight Up Growth

12. Consider a brand ambassador program

A great way to create authentic connections with customers is with an acquisition and advocacy program like a brand ambassador program. For example, if a user can get five people to sign up for a service or product, they become an ambassador.

These brand ambassadors can help your business acquire new users. You can reward them with swag and access to special products or services … maybe even a special event!

-Jennifer Pieniazek, Resume Now

13. Reward loyalty

You can create meaningful connections by rewarding loyal customers to show how much you appreciate them. Just like any relationship, whether it’s personal or professional, people appreciate rewards. Show your customers that they matter and are top of mind in your decision-making. That’s how you create a stronger, more loyal customer base—one that will continue to pay attention for new initiatives and future rewards.

-Alyssa Berman-Waugh, Level Home, Inc.

14. Recognize the importance of inclusivity

To create meaningful connections with customers, recognize and accept diversities within your community. Each of your customers will differ in terms of their culture, orientation, ability and life experience. It’s imperative that you celebrate these differences and welcome input from individuals of all walks of life as you advocate for equity and inclusivity. This will develop your community’s reputation and attract diverse groups in greater numbers.

Communities that cater to just one group of people almost always become echo chambers, creating a suboptimal environment for connections to form and important discussions to take place.

By listening, asking questions, and welcoming input from diverse groups of individuals, you’ll cement your community as a welcoming place for diversity and insight to flourish.

In doing so, your ability to build a rapport and create meaningful, lasting connections with your customers will blossom.

-Patrick Casey, Felix

The community management tips used in this article were gathered using Terkel.
Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at terkel.io to answer questions and get published.



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Growing a Business

How Online Presence Makes Your Business More Trustworthy

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Have you ever made a dining decision based on a review you saw on the internet? You may have picked a product because it seemed “more trustworthy” online. It’s also a deal breaker if it isn’t handled correctly.

Customers are more inclined to believe in your company if it presents itself well on the internet. Whether a startup or a large corporation, your online appearance and behaviour matter to your consumers if you own an offline or online company.

Online presence

Why Should Your Business Go Online?

In addition to being available for your consumers, here are other reasons to consider your online presence.

It Improves Your Company’s Accessibility

When you don’t sell anything online, a solid online presence can help you make more money from the internet if you aren’t engaged on social media.

Before making a purchase, most consumers do internet research to learn more about the company and the goods. Being at the right place at the right time is simply good business.

It Takes Care of Your Marketing and Branding

An internet presence provides a steady supply of customers for your company. Customer feedback and social media participation may help boost purchases. It’s easier for consumers to identify your online presence with a website or social media account.

It May Boosts Your Company’s Credibility

Having an online presence is essential for your organisation to be taken seriously. A startup might have difficulty being accepted as a legitimate organisation in its early stages. It’s essential to have a strong internet presence before people take you seriously. It’s easier to get quick loans at gdayloans.com.au to expand your company.

It Aids in the Comprehension of Your Target Market

When you have an online presence, you can engage with your audience in a two-way conversation to get valuable feedback or evaluations. In addition, it helps you learn more about your prospective consumers and the things they’re looking for. If a restaurant uses polls on its Facebook page, it may determine which specials and goods are most popular with its patrons.

Businesswoman building an online presence

How Can You Evaluate and Enhance Your Company’s Web Presence?

Analysing your online reputation simply means monitoring what others say about you online. Then you make it work for you.

You can monitor and enhance your company’s online appearance by following these three steps.:

Monitor Mentions of Your Business

Monitoring your company’s internet mentions can help you track what’s being said about you and mitigate unfavourable publicity. This can also help you identify communication gaps.

Google Alerts can help you track online references of your company. Set up notifications for your business/product name and relevant keywords, and you’ll be alerted promptly whenever you’re mentioned anyplace online.

Analyse Your Website Traffic

The source of your traffic (and how much) might assist you in evaluating your internet presence. It may be necessary to expand your internet activities beyond your website. For example, low social media traffic might imply a poor social presence.

Tracking your website’s traffic with Google Analytics might reveal secret traffic sources that your Google search may have overlooked. It will also help you find unnoticed remarks or backlinks.

Assess Your Social Media Engagement

Your social media presence affects your online reputation as well. Active consumers on your social media platforms help build trust and confidence.

Consider checking a company’s and a competitor’s Facebook accounts. You may observe that one firm interacts with clients while the other has a few likes but no comments. Which do you prefer?

Social media presence for startup

Bottom Line

An active social media presence gives the impression of reliability while also conveying a sense of humanity and authenticity. Your audience will be more engaged as your social media presence improves.

To keep up with your target audience, you need to be one step ahead of them online. The first step is to become well-versed in everything your consumers discover about your company through the internet. Your internet presence must be understood, monitored, and improved to reach this goal.

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