Are Forums & Message Boards dead? Hardly! In fact according to Charlene Li's Groundswell, it's the 2nd most popular thing people are doing in social media (next to watching videos).
Companies and their marketers need to be weary though entering into these unique areas of communication with their potential audiences, there are rules to be obeyed and honesty of who you are to be pronounced. These three tips should help you start to build a solid strategy for working in forums and message boards.
Full transcript after the jump....
Forums & Message Boards Online Marketing Strategies Video Transcript
Hi and welcome back to Tuesday's Tips in Online Marketing. I'm Li Evans of KeyRelevance and Search Marketing Gurus.This week we're going to talk about Forums & Message Boards. What exactly can you do to make a successful marketing effort in forums and message boards?
Read The Forum or Message Board Rules First!
The first thing your want to take a look at when you are going to step into this realm is that you want to make sure you "Read The Rules!" And I can't say that clear enough, Read The Rules! A lot of different forums have a lot of different norms, different rules of the road that you really need to take a look at. It might even be good to sit back and lurk a little and figure out how the community interacts with each other. What's considered acceptable, what's not considered acceptable, before you start trapsing in with both guns loaded and going into a forum and start putting things down. You want to make sure that you do read the rules because if you break them, they can kick you out. So that's the first and foremost thing you need to do whenever you are planning a strategy that involves forums and message boards.
Be Humble - Ask Questions First
The second thing you want to take a look at is "Asking Questions First." In a prior episode of Tuesday's Tips in Online Marketing, I had said that forums and message boards, as well as blogs, are not a soapbox. They are engaging in conversations. You want to make sure that you don't go in there as a "know it all" and start spouting off all this information that you "know this" and you "know that". It will only get you bad will in the community and people will think that you are trying to be a "know it all" before you are actually showing some humbleness and asking questions first and building the relationships you need to build in these actual forums and message boards.
Be Honest & Transparent - Be Upfront About Who You Are
The third tip is "Be Transparent". If you are with a company make sure you put that information in your profile, put it in your signature, that people know where you are from and who you work for. IF they find out you are masquerading around as somebody else, and you really do work for this company, they will out you, they won't trust you, and you've just broken all trust in those relationships that you've just recently built up. So those are three tips in working with marketing strategies within forums and message boards.
Again, Read the Rules, Ask Questions and Be Transparent.
Those are your three tips for Forums & Message Boards for Tuesday's Tips in Online Marketing. I'm Li Evans of KeyRelevance and SearchMarketingGurus. As always you can find a transcript of this video at SearchMarketingGurus.com. We'll see you next week with another Tuesday's Tips.