Using On Line Message Boards And Forums Eight Marketing Tips

Forums and on line message boards offer a spectacular opportunity to not only find new customers but also to engage with the customers you already have.  These internet platforms should be taken seriously, however.  Make the wrong mistake, and your brand will suffer.  But if used wisely, you will acquire knowledge and generate leads in a way that is unique to the message board platform. 

Marketers of all sorts are looking to further develop their involvement in social media networking.  A large percentage has already identified the internet forums and message boards as a way to gain access to more customers.  Twenty percent of Americans discuss and recommend products and services on an internet forum. 

These platforms have a life all of their own, predating the modern social networks by several years.  Millions of these sites exist, dealing with virtually every subject imaginable.  Their users tend to be passionate and opinionated. Some can be quite influential, pointing visitors to the products or services they perceive as the best.  Marketers who are aware of these sites are becoming increasingly interested in what those sites can do to grow an existing business.  If you are unfamiliar, then tread carefully at first.  Forums and boards have evolved into an internet subculture with their own rules and etiquette.  Learn these first, or risk being seen as more of an intruder than an actual contributor to the discussions.

Here is a list of 8 things to consider before posting your first board message.

  • Begin by registering Part of the registration process is an initial post in a welcoming sub-forum.  Be honest when introducing yourself and your business, and ask what you can and cannot do to advertise yourself on the forum. 
  • Dont start with your marketing message too quickly You will like be banned for this.  The last thing you want to do is to have your product being denigrated on a site with a high search engine ranking.
  • Contact the site administrator Do this at the outset.  Send a private message, explain your product or service, and ask if there is a way that you can become a paying sponsor of the site. 
  • Do not pretend to be someone you are not The contributors to these sites can smell a pretender from far away.  Dont do it.  You will be discovered and become a pariah in the community. 
  • Ask about advertising on the site - Some boards and forums welcome advertising dollars in the way of paid banner advertising and sponsored posts at the top of the forums.  The sponsored posts end up as sticky threads pinned to the top of eleven sub-forums for maximum visibility. 
  • Don't be pushy or spammy If every board message mentions your product or service, even when not relevant, then you will get banned.  This is a big etiquette violation in any on line forum or message board community. Some topics are informational while others are more for communication or entertainment.  Make sure your messages are tailored accordingly.
  • Be a valued contributor Ask questions, reply to questions, and communicate with other members.  More opportunities await you if you are a regular contributor.
  • Respond to all complaints and criticism Dont let anything go, but dont get personal.  If you have an issue with a message, attack the content not the contributor.

Message boards and forums are archived and are searchable ad infinitum.  Your posts will be forever accessible. So be careful with what you decide to post.  Valuable messages will reap rewards well into the future.  The opposite is true as well.

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