Discussion Forums have always been a great way of promoting a website and interacting with people. It becomes way easier for you to promote a website, business and or getting traffic to your website especially, when you become a good level participating member in the forums.
So, this post is specially about promoting your business through discussion forums, what should be the right strategy for participation on forums and how to search for the relevant forums.
I have not seen many people discussing the idea of branding through discussion forums. After working extensively on forums, while doing Social Media campaigns, prompted me to write something on Marketing via Discussion Forums.
I must say that discussion forums could be the right solution for your business if you are looking for long term goals rather than craving for quick lead generation. If you have a motto of earning money through quick social media than I must say dude, you are at the wrong place.
Discussion forums are the platforms, where your customers are taking about your product and service may be in favour or against. It is a place where people are looking for the exact and genuine information about a specific product and service from the people who have already used it.
Now, I think many of you have got an idea how useful these forums are from business as well as customer point of view. If we talk about business, this is a platform for tracking all the conversation happening around the world related to your product or your customers.
You can get most out of these forums by participation from your end without directly promoting your business. You should follow all the rules and regulations of the particular forums and should stay away from spamming. Spamming cannot bring any prosperity to your business rather than destroying your online reputation.
The right strategy for participation should be, providing help and suggestions to other members in the forum, ask people to rate your services and products and requesting them for their kind suggestion in enhancing your offerings.
You should maintain Google Alerts or Google Reader to track all the conversation happening around your area of interest, product or service. A list of relevant forums should be maintained, where participation could be done on regular basis. It is not a difficult task to find relevant forums on specific item, as there are large numbers of forums on a specific category. Sometimes you may get confused by big forums involving different categories. These forums certainly have lot of members and participation also happens at higher level. Your job is to create a space for yourself and your brand in these forums under a specific category.
The addition to Discussion forums are Q & A sites like Yahoo Answers, LinkedIn Answers, Answerbag, Wiki Answers and many more. These are some of the best Q and A sites where you’ll be able to find anything on a particular topic being answered genuinely. These sites aimed at providing help to guys seeking suggestions and advice for the product or services being used earlier by people over the internet. A business can take the opportunity of lead generation through offering suggestions and advice on the query being asked. Sites like Yahoo Answers also provides you with score and best answers tag to make you popular among the people answering to the queries. Your answers wull then have edge over other’s and would be ranked much higher anything you suggest..
Participating on forums become much easier and fun, when you start sharing links related to different contests, case studies, events and seminars etc. These are the content which brings traffic and leads to your business rather than leaving a link to your website homepage. It may bring traffic to your site but the bounce rate will be the challenge which you have to face with. Keep in mind don’t always link your post to your website or blog, it’s spamming.
However, you can try advertising under the classified or promotion/advertisement category provided in the list. Don’t flood each column with your content unnecessary o’wise your online reputation will get into danger.
I have tried to keep this post as short and simple as possible and would have also raised few more ideas in your mind. So, please come up with your suggestions which I’d love to hear.