Forum Marketing for Offline Businesses

by admin on November 29, 2012

A social media outlet that people often overlook is the forum. While sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and LinkedIn get a lot of attention when we are focusing on social media, many people forget about the importance of forums when it comes to building a reputation for your business online.

The great thing about a forum is that it’s an easy place to establish a reputation of expertise. What you should absolutely not do is join a forum and start spamming it with ads for your business. This will only annoy the other users, and could possibly end up getting your account deleted by the moderators of the forum.

Forum Marketing

The best way to use a forum is to join one that is specifically related to your field and and start offering advice. For example, if you own a car dealership, you should look for forums for car enthusiasts that pertain to the kinds of autos you sell. Then, you add the URL of your website or social media profile in the “signature” area of your forum profile and start answering questions. Giving out advice for free sounds like it might not be the best way to end up producing revenue, but once you establish yourself as an expert on the forums, other members will naturally be interested in learning more about your products and services. After all, if you’re so helpful on the forum, you might have something useful to offer in the realm of sales, as well.

Another way to drum up trust is to create your own forum. Of course, you’ll need to go through proper advertising channels in order to attract users, but as a start, you can announce your new forum on your Twitter feed and Facebook profile. If you can get a lively forum going that links to your business website, it’s a great way to get traffic as well as a lot of quality leads. A successful forum might even go viral and bring you thousands of hits per day.

Establishing an excellent reputation in your industry is extremely beneficial to any small business. And since it’s likely that you’re competing with a national chain of some sort no matter what niche you’re in, your bread and butter is the personal touch that you can add to your customers’ experience. When you’re marketing your offline business online, a great way to show that you actually do possess knowledge and skills in your field is by engaging people on forums. This way, you start building relationships of trust with prospective customers, and eventually turn them into buyers.

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