I recently noticed an open discussion on the popular LifeHacker site around bookmarking in Chrome. My startup is in this space so I dived right into the conversation. I wrote one long reply to the posted question and two other replies to other comments. Over the next 24 hours over 130 visitors were referred to my landing page. I was able to add another 35 individuals to my invite list and even two emailed me directly asking to become early testers of our product.
We can all learn four important lessons from this story:
1. Be active where your market is active
In order to drive a higher conversion rate on your site, it is important to bring the right type of traffic. Becoming active in communities and on sites where your target market live is a great way to drive traffic from individuals which are actually interested in your product or service.
2. Know your stuff
Anybody can write comments in a blog post or in a forum thread, but not everything posted is helpful or adds to the discussion. Make sure you know your stuff so that when you are commenting you are giving back and not simply spamming. It’s all about creating value.
3. Give to receive
One of the best ways to drive traffic and increase conversions is by giving back to the community by being active in discussions, providing great new content and developing useful tools for free use. Other online publishers will take your great “gifts” and write about them which in turn will help you get your name out there.
4. Focus on what works a.k.a the 80 — 20 rule
Pay attention to the different tactics you are using to drive traffic to your site and their overall effectiveness. Each week, log into your Google Analytics account and look at the traffic sources distribution of your traffic and shift your focus to the sources which are bringing the majority of the traffic.
The results from posting these three comments blew me away and I will become much more engaged in conversations around this space. I would love to read any similar experiences you may have had with creating value from being engaged in online communities in the comment section below.