Participating in forums is an amazing and highly efficient way of online marketing, when it is done the right way.
The appeal of forums is that they are basically the most targeted place you can imagine that gathers product-specific customers and that really sounds like a dream when it comes to finding your target audience. However, do not jump into it without careful consideration, because these forums can easily ban you and that means one step ahead and three backwards.
We have gathered some of the most important things to consider when thinking about dealing with forums, so here they are:
- Finding forums should be pretty easy, you simply google it and there you have it. Type in your field followed by the word “forum” or “message board” and voila.
- For the love of God, do not spam. The same way you get annoyed when you receive information that you haven’t asked for, is exactly the way you can be annoying by shoving down your information that they didn’t need on someone’s throat. Show respect for these communities and have respect for your store and brand as well, will spamming be worth the bad reputation? Didn’t think so.
- Joining a forum starts with signing up, instead of a random picture, upload a photo of yourself to build the initial trust and you are good to go. Neglect links that promote your business for now. Spend some time reading through the talks and comments and try to get a taste of what they like and dislike, what is considered spamming and the style they use to conversate. Pay close attention as these are the people that are very likely to becoming your buyers soon.
- Shift your focus from self-promotion to helping mode. Answer the questions of people that you have the answer to and just try to be an all-around helping person who they can count on, this gives you great credibility and trust and you will slowly become a well-respected member of the forum.
- In time, after building a real connection, you can update the bio section and include your link or even get the permission to have a signature that will direct towards your business. Take baby steps and get in contact with the moderators of the forum and ask them to post about your Shoptsie shop and to advertise your products and if they see you are committed and are genuinely in it to help and answer a necessity rather than promote yourself, they will go for it. So remember, work before glory.