I'm thrilled! I've just signed up for Anchor.fm, a new app that allows you to easily broadcast short audio clips to a global audience straight from your smartphone.
The sign up process is very simple. As soon as you download the app, which at the moment is only available to iOS devices, you get audio instructions to get your profile up and running.
You can connect it to Twitter, import the list of your Twitter contacts into Anchor.fm and record your first wave – that's how Anchor calls its audio clips.
The concept is simple: record your thoughts, advice, questions (your recordings can be up to two minutes), broadcast them and start networking and engaging with other members of the #AnchorCommunity.
Other Anchor.fm users can like your waves by clicking the heart icon and reply, with a recording of their own, by clicking on the reply icon.
Recording a wave is incredibly simple. Click on the big red button and start recording. If you're happy with how it sounds, you can publish it with just one swipe.
After that, your audio will appear on your page and you'll also have the option to share it on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, share it by email or embed it in a blog post.
A feature I really like is the ability to record a “welcome message” for people who check your profile. Anybody can hear yours by clicking on the green icon on your profile image, on the top left corner.
Curious about how my first wave sounds like? I've just posted it and got some engagement within minutes:
Whenever someone interacts with you, follows you or replies to you wave, you'll get a notification. In case you turn your notifications off (you can decide that once signing up for Anchor.fm), you can still access your activity feed by clicking on the bars icon next to the red recording button.
By clicking on the house icon, you'll see the activity of those you're following, while the magnifying glass takes you into the search section of Anchor.fm. You can browse popular topics and hashtags and look for new people to follow on Anchor.
In a way, anchor is to audio what Vine – and its 6-second videos – is to video.
[bctt tweet=”I'm learning about @anchor and #engagement through audio”]
#AskGaryVee and Ask Pat: Engagement and Community-Building on Steroids
So, why using Anchor if there are podcasts?
Having a podcast is an excellent way to position yourself as an expert, build an audience and connect with its members on a more personal level than with written text. By using audio, people can actually hear your voice, get an idea of your mood based on your tone and connect on a human level.
In fact, while you may be a great writer, it's harder to build a human connection with your community by exclusively using written text.
Perhaps you'd like to leverage audio, but don't want to commit and produce a whole podcast. That's where Anchor.fm comes into play.
Before we look at how you can leverage Anchor, let's look at two entrepreneurs who are really taking community-building and engagement to the next level.
Pat Flynn, the host of the Smart Passive Income Podcast, has been doing very well in connecting with his audience through audio. His second show, Ask Pat, gives people the opportunity to submit an audio question using a tool called SpeakPipe.
SpeakPipe is a service that allows you to receive audio messages from members of your community directly on your site.
One of the reasons behind Ask Pat‘s popularity, and why, since its launch, there's been a proliferation podcasters following Pat's steps with their own Ask (Host Name) podcast, is that the listener gets to interact with Pat.
By submitting your audio recording, you get the chance – if your question is selected – to have Pat actually acknowledging and addressing you on the show.
Somebody else who's doing an incredible job at building community and engaging the people following him is Gary Vaynerchuk.
With his #AskGaryVee Show, he discusses several topics related to entrepreneurship and online marketing. But, most importantly, Gary answers questions submitted by his audience.
[bctt tweet=”.@PatFlynn's #AskPat and @garyvee's #AskGaryVee = #engagement on steroids ⤴”]
Whether it's with a tweet or a short video, entrepreneur, marketers, bloggers, podcasters and wanterepreneurs alike get the chance to be featured and have Gary Vee reply to their question on the show.
Getting a reply on the #AskGaryVee Show often leads to audience members writing about it in a tweet, on Facebook or even writing an entire blog post.
Even industry leaders such as Sue B. Zimmerman and Convince and Convert president and New York Times best-selling author Jay Baer happily shared the fact that their question was answered by Gary Vaynerchuk.
Both #AskGaryVee and Ask Pat build audience engagement by using user-generated content (the questions submitted by the listeners/viewers).
A lesson we can learn from them – in addition to all the value bombs they both drop episode after episode – is that making some time available for those who follow you and answering questions can go a long way.
How to Use Anchor.fm for Engagement and Community-Building
How do you feel when somebody leaves a comment on one of your blog posts, complimenting you for your top-notch content?
What if you add the audio to all this? What if you could actually hear the voice of the people who follow you, their excitement.
And what if you'd have the opportunity to easily interact with your audience with nothing but your voice and smartphone? That's where I see the power of Anchor.fm, an excellent way to build a community and engage with its members through audio.
The question here is how can you leverage Anchor? One thing is to look at how the entrepreneurs, marketers and other experts you follow are using it. I'll be able to share more tips as I learn more about Anchor.fm and its community.
For now, here are some of my suggestions for creating engaging waves:
- give a shout out to some of your fans
- do a mini Q&A by asking a question and then interacting with the replies other Anchor users leave
- share a motivational quote that particularly inspires you
- share your thoughts on a blog post you have just read or podcast episode you've recently listened to
- share a review of a book you've read and would like to recommend to your community
- create a sort of show, where each wave your record discusses something you're passionate about, you teach to others, etc.
[bctt tweet=”Learning how to use @anchor to build and engage my #community through audio ⚓”] What are your thoughts on Anchor.fm and using audio to build and engage your community?
Leave a comment below and make sure to let me know your Anchor name, so that I can connect with you!