Forums are online communities where people with the same interest gather and share their ideas. It is similar to a small village where people know each other and new neighbours keep coming. For a business woman who is serious about making her online campaign work, online forums can be a good place to start introducing products or services. At the same time, forums put businesses in a strategic marketing position as they can also drive visitors to your site.
If you are a business woman who does not see the advantages of online forums, here are some tips to better understand the value. These tips will help you learn how to make online forums work, how to make a good business impression, and how to effectively promote your business to a wider audience.
Lively forum group. Not all forums will benefit your business so it’s highly recommended to do some research. Successful forum marketing often starts by searching for forums with the highest numbers of members; say from 3,000 members and above. Avoid forums with lots of spam, but do make a list of those forums that produce a lot of daily posts; that means people are actively participating. So, researching and joining lively forums is a good place to start.
Rules of the game. Every forum has its set of rules, and observes a certain culture. So, it is best to be observant first, as with any social media platform, and read the user agreement guidelines. Members have their own ways of dealing with posting, chatting and even with treating newbies and old members. Be attentive.
Friend or foe. Most business women who succeed with online marketing reveal that a solid profile, a good-sounding username and professional pictures often create a good impression among members. How often have you been drawn to someone’s photo or a company’s logo and made a comment or felt a sort of connection? On the contrary having weird sounding names might put you more on the side of the spammers, also making your religious or political affiliation visible could produce negative feelings with some members.
Action over words. Hard selling and being verbal about one’s business is a blunder in forum marketing. Instead, wait until someone needs help and use that as an opportunity to help by providing a solution to that person’s problem. Just like a real community, forums observe some form of social standings. People will not believe you until they learn your expertise and until you contribute something to the community. In forum marketing, you are not a business person but an expert who happens to run a business.
Sending out the right messages. Online, people look at the way you communicate. An exclamation mark can create a misunderstanding if used the wrong way. So, it’s best to review messages before you hit enter. Successful forum marketing often begins with an introductory post that includes your expertise and your purpose of joining. Posting regularly and encouraging healthy discussions is a good follow up once you have joined and it keeps the community alive. In time, your expertise will be known and your business will get a better standing.
Lastly, the success of forum marketing depends largely on how much time and effort you put forth in your virtual village. There are hundreds of ways to position yourself as an expert, drive traffic to your website and attract your ideal audience. For now, this is a good start to entice and attract your audience through forum marketing. If you need support with online marketing, SEO or social media management, team MACSWomen is here to offer you the support you need to give your business the consistent, effective positioning it deserves. Click here to get information on our affordable social media marketing package. After all, life in the virtual and the real world is about making things work for the better and we are here to help you do just that!