7 Traits of a Highly Successful Forum Marketer
If you’re looking to advance your online presence through the use of forum postings there are strategies that will work to your advantage and others that will simply place you in a pit where members cast disparaging glances while wishing you and your offspring ‘the worst of times’.
If you’ve visited a forum in the past you likely stumbled across posts that say something that seems like a cordial greeting. This is followed up by a link that may or may not be applicable to the subject being discussed. Both forum owners as well as user commonly view this practice as spam.
This is sort of a rubber stamp approach to forum marketing. You simply find a topic that generally fits your business objectives and you post virtually identical information in all posts. In a best-case scenario you are simply ignored. Worst case? Banned from the forum.
Most forum owners are happy to have individuals with a tie to business involved in their forum. These individuals can bring a wealth of experience and tips that can benefit the entire community. This can only happen when the business owner who posts really understands and respects the forum.
An ideal business forum post demonstrates the following…
They know the rules. They don’t try to bend the rules by posting content that is not allowed either in the post itself or in their signature line.
They have observed the forum and have an understanding of what is expected. Beyond the rules there will be individual personalities to deal with. A good forum poster will seek to learn something about the regular posters and have an understanding of the forum dynamics.
They need to become a community member. This means that the poster is introduced and posts more than a simple introduction followed by marketing type posts. When the other members come to know them they can extend trust in their abilities.
They will need to start conversations. Don’t just respond with a generic tag line. You should actually start conversations and then keep up with the conversation.
They will need to be community members for more than a day. Many business owners will find multiple forums where they will sign up, post links and then leave the site with no intent of ever coming back. This will not work for online marketing strategies involving forums.
They offer their expertise. Information will be passed along that provides a genuine benefit to forum members. This should be details that you are an expert in, but is offered with no expectation simply because you are a member of the community.
They are completely human. Your forum posts should exhibit some of your most basic human characteristics. This should include humor and empathy. When you are perceived as a regular guy you will likely be accepted to a greater degree.
Forums can be a great place for a business owner to recruit great word of mouth advertising. It is common to see forum posters with a following. These men and women will find other forum members encouraging new members to seek you out when you may have missed a post that fits your expertise. Therein lies the synergy created in one small corner of cyberspace.
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