What is Anchor.fm? + How to Use it Strategically for Business [DOWNLOAD]
Oh yes, I hear the groans already, “Not ANOTHER social media network!”, but before you dismiss Anchor.fm, I have some important information that you won’t want to miss. I was one of the early adopters of Anchor after featuring it on Periscope because I was intrigued by this idea of “radio by the people”, or crowdsourced podcasting. Anchor is a free iPhone app that allows users to create short audio clips where listeners can like, reply and share. Founders, Mike and Nir explain their concept behind Anchor:
“We think that radio should be multi-directional, instead of a one-way conversation. So, we built Anchor to solve these problems and enable anyone with a smartphone to easily record and publish 2-minute audio clips, sort of like bite-sized podcasts. Best of all, audio in Anchor is interactive — so anyone can respond with their actual voice, like a real conversation. This sparks an immediate group discussion that anyone can join.” [via ProductHunt]
I believe that if people can’t physically see you or hear you, it’s very hard for someone to create deep connection and trust with their audience. For many who are too scared to jump on Periscope, or are feeling the disconnect with their live broadcasting audience, Anchor may be the platform for you.
The first thing you should know is you don’t have to have an Anchor account to listen to waves. Anyone can listen online, either from the app or by the link that is shared online. If enabled, your waves can even be tweeted to Twitter, extending your reach.
The basic principle of Anchor is to record an initial audio “wave” from the app that is less than 2-minutes long. Listeners can like or reply to your wave with their own wave. The best waves usually consist of:
- Thought-provoking thoughts and ideas
- Open-ended questions to your audience (including questions of the day or #QoTD)
- Trending or live content
How to Record a Wave
If you can operate a simple voice recorder, then you can create what is called an Anchor “Wave”. From the main screen, you’ll see a big red record button. To record, either hold your phone up to your ear as if you’re talking on the phone or press and hold the record button.
Naming Your Wave
After you’ve finished recording your wave, you can go ahead and give it a name. Naming your wave is crucial to getting more replies from listeners. Consider using questions and emojis to grab the user’s attention when they’re scrolling through their feed of new waves.
Your wave names must be within 140 characters to allow for tweeting to Twitter (which is highly recommended to increase your reach). You can also include hashtags and a URL in your wave title. If you would like to tag someone you can mention them with a @right in the caption!
You can also name your wave replies. Once published, click the three dot button in the top right corner of your wave and click “Edit Caption”. By editing your reply caption, you may see more people reply directly to you.
How to Reply to a Wave
The best part about Anchor is having your voice heard – literally. You can not only record your own waves, but also reply to the waves of others, including replies. To reply to a wave, hit the reply button on the right side of the play button on any wave and record as normal. The user that you replied to will receive a notification of your reply on Anchor and even on Twitter.
How to Follow People
Following people on Anchor is super simple, either by searching for their name by pressing the magnifying glass at the bottom of your screen, or by pressing the add button at the top left corner from your home screen. From here, you can choose to follow recommended people, your email contacts or people you’re following on Twitter. (I particularly love the “Follow Everyone” feature for Twitter, helping me to grow my Anchor following quickly.)
How to Share Your Waves
You can share a wave (either your own or the wave from someone else) by clicking the share button at the top right corner of their wave. To share, you’ll have two options: 1) Share on Anchor, allowing you to share with specific people or 2) Share elsewhere. When you share elsewhere, you’ll be presented with your iOS share screen, allowing you to share the wave link anywhere you like (social media, bookmarking sites, email, etc). This is a fantastic feature and one that will help your waves to be heard around the world!
If you want to share a profile from the app (not just waves), tap the gear on any profile to grab and share its public URL. This is a great way to get the word out about your own waves, or recommend the people you enjoy listening to!
If you hear a wave you love, you can “echo” it to your followers so they can listen too! To echo a wave, tap the share button and select “Echo to your followers”.
Anchor lets you export your waves as podcasts, so you can upload them online (or iTunes) as a more traditional format. With a quick tap you are able to export the audio of any conversation you’ve started on Anchor. This is great to use within a podcast but it also makes it easy to create one as well. This is an awesome way to bring more attention to you (and what you have to say).
Any wave you share to Twitter will be embedded as an audio card. These Twitter audio cards can be played with a quick tap from any Twitter timeline. Anchor is an awesome way to put your voice to your Tweets. Just record a wave in Anchor and click the Twitter sharing option before publishing to make your own.
How to Listen to Waves
There is a little unknown secret to be able to listen to waves exactly the way you want to. You can switch between listening to Anchor as the telephone or by using your speaker. To switch between the two, click the speaker icon in the top right corner of your screen and make your choice. Your preference will be saved, so you can listen faster and easier! A great thing to note is that, if there are irrelevant waves in your conversations, you are able to hide them so listeners get the best conversation.
You can pick your audio speed, which lets you squeeze in more waves in a shorter amount of time! That being said sometimes waves are long and it becomes hard to listen to the whole thing at once. Use “listened states” to keep track of where you left off. This lets you know what you’ve already heard, so you can revisit waves at any time.
Here’s the beautiful thing – people don’t have to be on Anchor to listen to your waves. They can listen either from downloading the app and listening in or by clicking a wave link anywhere that it’s shared online. Below is an example of a wave that is viewed from a desktop browser. A listener can tune-in and start from the beginning, listening to all replies one after the next, just like a traditional podcast. They can also share the clip or the entire conversation from this screen.
For a listener to tune into your Anchor elsewhere than the app, you can share the link that’s produced after publishing your wave. You should also consider using your Anchor link in other social media posts, emails, or even texting it to a friend!
Viewing Trending Content
One of the best ways to be heard on Anchor is to ride the “Wave” and discuss trending content. From the search window, you’ll be able to see all trending content. To include your own waves, simply use the hashtag in your title or reply to a wave of another user.
One more tip on trending content – remember, you do have the option to tweet your waves, increasing your reach. Consider using trending hashtags on Twitter, too. You could gain a great number of listeners and followers because of it.
If you are still looking for other content to listen to, try the recommended waves. Find these right on your home stream based on your listening habits. All you have to do is toggle from “following”, to “recommended”.
How to Use Anchor Strategically for Your Business [DOWNLOAD]
So, I bet you’re wondering how you can use Anchor to your advantage to benefit your business. There are so many uses for business owners who need to get the word out about their product or service – you just have to think strategically about it. Anchor provides the amazing opportunity to gain the undivided attention of your listeners as well as gain feedback in return. Download my eBook below to learn more.
How Some Ways “Wavers” are Using Anchor
My Thoughts on Anchor
I have to admit – I’ve had my hesitations with Anchor, simply because visual content like Facebook video, Instagram and Periscope is booming. However, podcasting is also taking the world by storm (my mornings aren’t complete without my favorite podcasts). Will responsive podcasting become the next big thing and bring back the social in social media? I really love the less superficial idea of this network, sparking real conversations and ideas. I think of it like interactive TED talks, connecting the world on a more intellectual level.
What do you think? Will Anchor stick around? Let me know in the comments below.