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Forums and Social Networks offer Multiple Opportunities for Marketing Purposes

The growth in business and social networking websites, as well as forums, offers multiple opportunities for marketing your website.

Finding forums that cover the topics in which you are an expert or sell products and services is easy, but it is important to observe netiquette and forum rules when posting. Before posting to any forum, you should take some time to check forum guidelines (which can differ between forums), and to get a feel for the community involved.

It is also important not to make commercial postings unless specifically permitted. The line to take in forums is to provide useful and helpful advice, answer questions, and lead people to the information they are seeking. Regular postings can establish you within the community as a source of expertise so it is worth returning to active forums as frequently as you are able.

A direct link to your website can usually be placed within your profile on forums, and this is always worth completing as fully as possible. You can often also include a signature (or sig) and this is an ideal opportunity for a call to action or to promote special offers.

Do not get involved in arguments if you can avoid it, and remember when posting that your posts will most likely be archived and on the Web for years to come.

Forums are also a good place to keep an eye on for comments about your company or products, and sometimes you may find that these are negative rather than positive. When responding to such posts, it is important to not enflame a bad situation yet further, but to provide factual information, or an apology if such is required, and a promise to resolve any situation that may have arisen.

Social networks such as Facebook or Myspace also offer a chance to promote your business and products, either through creating a page or group, posting on to other people’s pages, or advertising. The strategy you adopt with such social networks is dependent on your company, what it sells and your brand. It may be that the business networks such as LinkedIn and Ecademy are more appropriate, but all should be looked at because of the opportunities presented by engaging with consumers and individuals (B2C) and other businesses (B2B).

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