Internet forum, also called message board, is a good way to promote your service or product by having ongoing discussions with multiple users over time. Online discussion forums are powerful tools to expand your network if you follow the rules and use the right techniques.
7 Keys to Successfully Use Internet Forums to Rank High on Google
1. Choose your Expertise
Once you are a member of a message board, you can participate in many online conversations as you please. But do you have interest in talking about everything? It is better to define the lines of discussion directly related to your field and participate in conversations concerning them. Don’t fool yourself thinking you have something to say on every topic. Some members on the forums are experts; they will immediately determine if you know what you are talking or not.
Therefore, avoid irrelevant comments or posts just to throw a link with no intention to bring valuable participation. To remain a worthy member of any internet forum; you must choose your field and talk about it. If you do, you’re more likely to be seen as a professional that other members can have confidence in case in the future you have a product or service to offer.
2. Avoid Spamming
On all forums, intrusions that are related to advertising are often frowned upon, and therefore immediately deleted. Moreover, they are not productive: the spam is deleted and you lose your credibility. Worse, when too systematic, some administrations can permanent exclude your account or block your IP. You cannot win by spamming.
By joining a forum, it is highly not recommended to immediately begin making sale announcements or marketing to your website. Instead, introduce yourself and always try to stay on a strictly personal level for some time. You are there to make acquaintance first, and then promotion of your business if necessary. Make relationships first, and later people will be more receptive to what you have to offer.
Do not try to directly sell your products or services.
3. Bring Useful information
The simplest way to bring useful contribution is to meet the demands of users for which your expertise makes you comfortable to talk about. You can also suggest topics for discussion or questions; the point is to share useful information with other members. After doing so professionally for a while, you can refer them to your product or service that is closely relevant to the discussion.
When you become a useful established member, not only you can sometimes talk about your website or service relevant to the topic, other members will do the same thing for you. For example, a member presents a serious programming problem with his website; you can refer him to one of your article that shows him how to solve the issue. You can also refer a member to breaking news published on your blog that is being discussed on the message board.
4. Care about the Others
Selfishness does not work in life in general; there is no exception on Internet forums. The worst thing to do is to post only messages about you and do not respond to other posts. Forums are places of exchange. There is nothing wrong to place your own messages, but you also need to contribute to other members’ posts as long as you can. Show that you care about others, and they will do the reciprocity.
Add a backlink in your signature to promote your website. While you are busy building relationships with other members your signature line will do all the marketing work for you. But to obtain such a result the link has to retain attention. A simple backlink will probably not be enough. It is best to add the link in a short sentence or paragraph that attracts attention of other members to click on it and visit your site.
5. Watch What You Say
Some message boards keep all records of your visits. It is therefore better to avoid the subjects of polemical discussion such as political, racial, or religious. Likewise, you probably need to avoid using tones that are too friendly in professional discussion groups; this can cause some members to be suspicious of your real intention. Better take your “too friendly style” to people who know you (and you know), or share it with friends or family members.
Internet Forums are a marketing medium that allows you to make contact with others; you should use them to their maximum benefit while monitoring what you say. You should avoid coming up with off topic subjects, or spreading rumors. These are very common. You do not know who will read your posts. You can get yourself in real trouble.
6. Be Kind to All
Avoid Being arrogant or imposing your ideas on others. Keep in mind that other members are your target visitors or customers, so you need their input as much as possible. If you insult or arrogantly try to force them to adhere to your beliefs or opinions, they will not be interested to participate in your conversation or clicks on your links. Most of them will not even take the trouble to discuss other ideas with you in the future. This does not work offline, neither on internet forum.
You may need their input for future service or product that you might want to offer, or changes you might want to do in your business. Internet Forums are the best way to really get to know more about how your potential customers think and get to know them. If you miss this opportunity you lose potential sales.
7. Assess Your Investment
On some message boards, the administration can require you to post up to 50 posts before adding backlinks to your site in your signature. The time you spend posting those threads is an investment. It takes time to publish information on focus groups, answer questions, and provide advice. It is imperative to measure the effectiveness of your communication strategy. After all, if you get no results why keep doing it?
For instance, you can measure the number of contacts made from each discussion group on a particular internet forum. How many leads you receive from the message board? Do the backlinks increase the authority or ranking of your website? What is it valuable you learn? This assessment will allow you to select the most appropriate focus groups in your area and contribute regularly.
Using Internet forum properly allows you to connect with people who have the same interests as you. It can also help you build the authority of your website, and thus improve its ranking on search engine. But you need to use it properly and patiently by building relationships with other members, building your credibility and demonstrating your professionalism.