How To Use Forums To Increase The Reach And Impact Of Your Business
As a business owner, participating on online forums is a great way to spread the word about your business. Forums are packed with prospective customers and insightful information that can potentially bring growth and breathe life into your website and business.
It is especially helpful for people who are still unsure about what areas of their business to focus on and what products and services are worth offering online. It’s a place where people freely post their views, ask questions, answer them and share ideas.
So for online business owners just starting out, what exactly are forums and how can they help you with your business reach and impact?
Basically, a forum is any online community that allows people to have open discussions about any number of topics. Forums, also commonly called bulletin boards, discussion areas or message boards, can be used to:
- Post questions and subsequently get insightful answers
- Establish yourself as a leading field expert when you reply posted questions and share your expert opinion
- Drive your business reach
Online forums come in various forms but at the core, they are all based on the same basic principle: to provide an area for free discussion and interaction between forum members. By participating in the online forums related to your market, you can:
- Establish meaningful connections with other industry experts and people in general
- Learn about new marketing techniques and industry trends
- Share your marketing message in a low-pressure way
Every single day, new forums are created. Already there are thousands of them out there, many of which may be directly related to your line of business. Find a forum that’s relevant to you with members in your target market. For the first few days, just observe how things are done. Get a feel of the forum and how the moderators operate. It should give you a pretty good idea of the amount of traffic the forum receives and how you should best represent your business. After you feel comfortable enough, get participating!
The Top 5 Ways Online Forums can Help Your Business Growth
1. Excellent Online Exposure
If you become an active member of a forum, you will find that forums are excellent for spreading word-of-mouth whether it’s about your business or a new product you are launching. It is a very effective and easy way to drive targeted traffic. Note that any forum worth investing your time into is very likely heavily moderated. If you come across as being too promotional or a spammer, you will most likely get banned. The primary purpose of a forum is to allow people who share something in common to connect. Follow the rules and keep your nose clean!
2. Relevant Traffic
As mentioned above, online forums are pretty effective tools for driving targeted traffic to your site or blog. This not only increases your business reach but also its impact. To keep the traffic targeted, make sure you focus on forums relevant to your line of work. There is a forum on almost every niche.
By being an active member of a forum relevant to your business you can slowly build links that point back to your website or blog putting you in a better position to figure in the major search engines. Just pick the right forum, have a link in your signature (if it is not against the forum rules) and make regular posts. While your signature link may only count for the value of a single link, it’s still worthwhile having that link.
4. Knowledge and Wisdom
Online forums are packed with useful information. They are places where people post questions and get answers. They are jam-packed with ideas, industry insights and valuable knowledge. All this knowledge is out there for free. All you need to do is be part of the online community.
5. Builds Your Credibility
By sharing your industry knowledge on the message boards, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field. If you provide sound advice, the members of the forum will look up to you and with time, you will develop a following.
Also, if you hop on any forum, you will notice that there are “respected” or “reputable” members that everyone else seems to like. They tend to have a high post count. When you are an active member of a forum, it builds your credibility, and people tend to take you more seriously.