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Don't Forget About Forums!

June 07, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 413

Forums are everywhere and are great for people to ask questions and discuss services and products. Some businesses interpret a forum into their website whilst others use a forum as their website.

Forums and message boards are still as important as these are the places people go to if they have a question. You can use your expertise to answer these questions or join in on a discussion or debate about a topic which will draw more respect and attention to you and your business.

There aren't that many online marketing companies who will provide a social media strategy that includes forum use so here is an idea as to what you can do as a business to start participating with the online community:

1. Find the right forums for you

There are so many forums out there that if you try and participate in even half of them, then this could take up way too much of your time. Instead find the right ones for you where you can truly show off your expertise and services/products.

How about asking your co-workers, suppliers and clients where they spend their time online and where they would go to get a question answered or to get information on a topic as you can use this research to give you an idea of what you are looking for.

Construct a list of around 6-9 forums that you feel best suit your business and expertise by looking for forums that have a large number of members, try to avoid forums that have quite a lot of spam and definitely avoid forums that are run by your direct competitors.

2. Start setting up your accounts

People who visit forums respect the answers and views of members who have been registered to the forum for a long period of time, these members are in fact given a start rating or a title once they have either posted a certain number of posts or have been registered with the forum for a period of time. So don't dawdle, get your account set up and start posting (but don't spam) as soon as possible so you reach that high status.

Forum marketing is a long-term strategy so don't start setting up profiles and posting for a month and then stop, keep on top of it and view at as your own marketing channel.

3. Make sure you read the guidelines

As with most things when registering, you will be asked to agree to the terms and conditions, make sure you read these as you do not want to be suspended or banned from a forum for posting a link in a post that you should have known otherwise if you had read the guidelines. All forums have their own different rules so please make sure you read each of their guidelines and don't just read one and think that counts for all.

4. Choose a clever and relevant username and avatar

One of the first things people see will be your avatar (a small picture that represents you... not a character from the movie!) and username so think about what you choose. Pick a username that is relevant to your business but is also easy to remember and pronounce, do not choose a username that has deliberate misspellings or involves numbers if you can.

Your avatar will be attached to each and every one of your posts and clearly visible to other members. Try going for a professional headshot of yourself looking cheerful as this can make the best avatar.

5. Create a profile that will impress and engage

This is where you can describe your expertise and experience so make the most of it and make sure people will read it. I would add a couple of hobbies or something personal like your favourite football club so that it doesn't turn out to be a sales pitch which can put members off from reading it.

Provide contact information like an email address so that people who interested in your business can contact you for more information. To avoid spam and identity thieves avoid using information that you don't want to be made public such as your mobile telephone number.

Remember forums are great places to ask questions and receive very helpful answers and are a big platform for brands.

Begin your internet marketing strategies now and see what we can do for you...

Source: EzineArticles
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