Once you’ve built an online community, how do you keep them engaged? How do you bring new people in? Markus Latzel tells us how they are doing it at Palomino System Innovations.
“Sometimes the discussions aren’t even entirely positive.”
Markus is CEO of Palomino System Innovations. They have developed the WebPal system, which is “a suite of products designed to centralize control, enhance communication, and facilitate workflow management.”
“Now, in order to bring traffic to that site we need to think about how do we engage the dialog, how do we engage the community?
So, one decision that we made was to not open the blog itself up for discussion but to rather have discussions in forums such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
On the LinkedIn side, there’s a particular phenomenon in that we are now getting direct requests about our services as an immediate result of users, LinkedIn users, seeing the kind of work we are engaged in.
It’s one important part of the marketing, which is aided by building a social community, is the necessity to constantly re-iterate what we’re doing and how we’re doing it, and how well we’re doing it.
It is very difficult for a technology provider – I’m a computer scientist by trade, and so’s pretty much everyone in here – it’s sometimes difficult for us to constantly toot our horn and say how good we are doing. If we have a community talking about it, if we a community that quite clearly engages into the discussion, then that is one way that we can re-iterate the good word without constantly having to do it ourselves.
Sometimes the discussions are not even entirely positive. Sometimes the discussions are on – Hey, guys, you know, we found a bug here, when are you going to fix that? But then it always ends on a good note, we can always say well, just so you know, it actually is already fixed. As soon as you log in next time you’ll find that this issue has been addressed.
Seeing that kind of discussion online already is a good sign for us and any LinkedIn user or Facebook user or anybody connected to the social networks out there will use that as an initial reference about how well we’re doing before they decide to contact us.
So, bottom line is, now more than ever, initial phone conversations start with I heard about you guys on LinkedIn.”