How to make a great first impression when engaging online

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Taking part in the conversation is important for keeping the word of mouth going. Engaging for the first time can be intimidating, but it gets easier as you go. Here are a few ways you can make a great first impression with your customers, fans, and even your critics online:

1. Let everyone know who you are
2. Offer to help
3. Contribute something great

1. Let everyone know who you are

Pretending to be someone or something you’re not is not only wrong — it’s illegal. It’s also a terrible first impression. You can be completely transparent with this simple phrase: “I work for _____, and this is my personal opinion.” Why would you bother trying to hide your identity? Your honesty and your affiliation will give you more credibility, not less.

2. Offer to help

It’s never fun to show up to a conversation to find everyone complaining about you. But it happens — and it’s a great opportunity to make a fantastic first impression by offering to fix the problem. If it’s broken, do everything you can to fix it. Everyone will be thrilled to see someone responding and making an honest effort to make it right.

3. Contribute something great

Great tips, advice, and support are always welcome. Here is where you can let your expertise, skills, and experience shine. Offer tips (not sales pitches), give advice, or point them to other helpful sources. After a while, all of your great contributions will build trust, and you won’t be a stranger for long.

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