I have been using the commenting system Disqus for a few years now. I absolutely love it – clean interface, great spam blocking, easy to keep up with the conversation (via email alerts), avatar integration, a slick interface. Overall, it’s a killer blog commenting system.
So, why did I just switch to Livefyre?
Jenna Langer (see picture to the right).
At this point, you may be thinking, “Wait. Wait. One person, this Jenna woman, is the reason you are moving from a commenting system that you just gushed about above to … Livefyre? Huh?”
Allow me to explain.
The (Short) Backstory
LiveFyre vs. Disqus. Go!
Within minutes (maybe seconds), the following replies came back (read from bottom to top):
To be clear, Michael does not work for Disqus or Livefyre. He’s actually the Director of Digital Marketing for Honora Pearls. Jenna Langer, on the other hand, does work for Livefyre. In fact, if you read Jenna’s “about”, you’ll learn that she was the “second employee building the Livefyre community from the ground up.” According to the Livefyre Team page, Jenna, “is the perfect example of ‘hire your fans.'” I just love this.
How Jenna Converted Me To A Livefyre Fan and User
Let’s look at the first two replies from Jenna again (above). The first one – to Michael and me – was a clear, direct, yet professional clarification to a misconception about Livefyre’s email notifications. She included a link. She was not pushy. She was not defensive. She was honest. Human. The next comment – albeit a bit more salesy – was also clear, direct, professional, helpful and human.
It’s important to note that Jenna replied within minutes – on a Monday night, after “traditional” business hours. As a former Director of Community, I cannot stress how critical this is. As my friends Amber Naslund and Jay Baer discuss about in their book, The Now Revolution (non-affiliate link), “Business today is about near-instantaneous response.” Being quick matters.
But, Jenna’s prompt response was not what sold me on Livefyre. Don’t get me wrong, it helped nudge me a bit. Instead it was the 10+ minutes of back and forth with Jenna that followed. (Note: The conversation reads from bottom to top).
(click here to enlarge in a new tab/window).
Do you notice anything about this conversation? What stands out to you? Quick! Don’t think. React. What do you see?
(Okay, I’ll tell you.)
The focus of the conversation quickly moved from “the sale” (Livefyre) to a personal, human one. What do I mean? Look at Jenna’s tweet at 7:50PM (2nd from bottom). She linked to a blog post that I wrote recently & told me how much she loved it. Okay, that’s easy if she clicks on my bio, goes to my blog, skims a bit and boom. But…that blog post was not the most recent one. It was a few down on the page. Also, she didn’t just say “great post” but instead added some commentary. Brilliant. Human connection.
As you can see from the rest of the conversation, Jenna and I went back and forth on other personal stuff. I even connected her with the Marketing folks (& my good friends) at Park City Mountain Resort – Eric Hoffman and Krista Parry. Looks like Jenna may be making a “business trip” out to the 801/435 this winter.
5 Takeaways For Social Businesses
A few takeaways for companies as they consider how to best leverage social media to win fans and evangelists and new clients/customers:
- Speed matters: Jenna replied within minutes of my original tweet.
- Human wins: Jenna spoke to me (through Twitter) like a human being.
- Personal connections are important : Jenna did a bit of research on me. Nothing crazy. She went to my blog and read a post that resonated with her. She then replied about why she loved it.
- Connections are critical: The last part of the conversation is equally important. Because Jenna shared with me her love for snowboarding, I immediately thought of my friends Krista and Eric at PCMR. I connected them via Twitter. Krista and Eric (of course) replied back, quickly too. This “pay it forward” connection helps grow the relationship.
- Passion shows: While she never said this outright, I’m pretty sure that Jenna loves Livefrye – the company, the people, the product. Her passion bleeds from her bio, her personal blog, & her tweets.
Livefyre is lucky to have a Head of Community and Operations like Jenna. I’m looking forward to her trip to Salt Lake City this winter to bear hug her in person.
Side note: I just noticed after the install is that most commenters do not have an avatar. I wonder, do they need a Livefyre account in order for their profile picture to display? No gravatar (or other) integration? Am I missing something?
*One more thing: If you are wondering about what next for me career-wise, aka #ProjectAwesome, stay tuned (soon, very soon) for an announcement!*