In the hectic world of social marketing, people often forget the humble message board. Contrary to popular belief, this early form of social media is still relevant to your brand, and can become a great way to build brand power. Marketing on forums can enhance your social profile, and today, I’m going to show you how.
Why Bother With Forums?
Forums are extremely niche specific, and they attract a lot of experts and community members that are looking for niche solutions. In marketing terms, they’re made up of people that are great for networking and B2B partnerships, and potential customers that you can add to your expanding customer list.
How To Leverage The Awesome Power of Forums
The key to marketing on forums, is to find a few good ones that have a high response rate and a large community of people that would be interested in your niche business. Remember, forums are still social media platforms, so do as little ‘direct selling’ as possible. You’ll want to source some good ones, register and introduce yourself.
The next step is to add your forum signature to your account. Place your URL, and social media icons or addresses here. Sometimes you can do this immediately, other times, you’ll have to comment a few times first before you’re allowed a signature.
ALERT! Try to avoid forums that contain a lot of spam. Getting 100 responses means nothing if they’re not real people. You’re looking for eyes and interaction here.
Give your business or yourself a good solid profile. Fill in all of the areas, and take advantage of any spaces where you can add in your social details or URL.
Once you become a regular user, you’ll be able to add in URL’s, images and more. NEVER plug your own products here, unless someone asks. Forum communities can be hostile when you appear to be a spammer.
Spend time on each forum finding people that need help. Answer their questions, to prove to your new community that you’re an expert and have valuable insight in your niche. Soon, you’ll get a lot of friends chatting to you all the time! Better yet, the more you help, the more people will click through to your website, blog and social pages to find out who you are.
From there, they’ve already entered your social sales funnel – and will become new clients!
Forum Goals To Remember
• You want to meet people in your niche, other experts and pros
• You want to attract new clients to your brand with expert commentary
• You want to feed as much traffic as you can, from the forum to your other pages
• You DON’T want to start arguments with other people, ignore trolls
• Don’t be afraid to make friends, and gain allies
• Use your running incentives to impress your community, give them free stuff
If you invest some quality time in these close-knit communities, you’ll get more traffic, sales, business alliances and friends in your niche. As you know – this is at the heart of all social marketing. Keep at it!
Which forums do you love the most and why? Share your insight with me and your SMM community.