Social media refers to a medium in which users participate and share. Forums fit this definition spot on, and when you think of social media marketing tactics, you should not forget about forums. Users initiate discussions and generate topics in forums, and other users can comment, expound on a topic or answer questions. You can and should participate in forums as an entrepreneur, to generate for leads and increased web traffic.
How to Use Forums
You have three options for participating in forums as a business owner:
- Facilitate discussions
- Post comments and answer questions
- Own the forum and add it to your website
Each of these does require an investment of your time, and some require more time than others. If you’re short on time, and can barely fit in social media marketing, then you don’t want to facilitate discussions. You would be better off posting comments and answering questions. You also wouldn’t want to add the forum to your website, because there’s a lot of technical work as well monitoring work to ensure the discussions don’t get out of hand.
Which Forums to Choose
There are many forums for different subject matters, but many are not worth your time or effort. Here’s how to narrow down your choices:
- List the forums that your prospective and existing customers visit
- Use websites like Statbrain.com and Alexa.com to find out how many visitors the forum gets on a daily basis
- Visit the forums with more than 1,000 daily unique visitors and check to see whether the discussions are active and current
- Choose to participate in forums that have high daily unique visitors, plus active discussions
Try to visit the forums you choose weekly and make comments. Be sure you include a link back to your website in your signature or as part of your username.
You can hire freelance writers to help you manage your forum participation. Consider that for a long term strategy, if you’re not generating enough money to hire them now.