01 Sep Online Forums: Get Readers Talking
Back in the early days of the Internet, user groups were all the rage. Then social networking began and forums like Yahoo Groups seemed to take a backseat to these slick new sites like Facebook and MySpace. In reality, there are literally hundreds of thousands of member forums and they are a great way to create buzz and interact with customers and members.
If you have a niche web site, adding forums where users can discuss various aspects of your topic or product is a great way to build community and relationships. You need to be an active moderator, especially in the beginning, to make members feel heard and responded to. Posting a question that just lingers in cyberspace is not encouraging. Make forum rules really clear and mandate respectfulness. People who “flame” (short for inflame or agitate) others should be barred from the site immediately, as should people who just post spam.
New marketing trends all point to building relationships with your customers and readers. Adding a forum feature to your site is a great way to develop a community and loyal following, giving your readers a voice in how you do business. If you need help adding this feature to your existing site or in developing a membership site with forums from scratch, please let us know.