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Do forum communities and social platforms still work for business?

By Alexandra Gavril - March 9, 2014
Image courtesy of Renjith Krishnan -  FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Renjith Krishnan – FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The answer is no. In fact, have they ever worked for businesses that talk about their products and special offers 24/7? Social media, and that includes forums and social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, is about engaging with your target audience by sharing knowledge, tips and solutions and by asking questions to get to know your (potential) customers.

Online interaction should be designed to encourage your audience to visit your business site. And when it comes to forums and social platforms, you will never get people to visit your site if all you talk about is your business and your offering. No one is actually interested in what you’re selling.

It’s much better to work by attracting rather than by promoting. That means giving away some of your expertise and some of your best kept secrets. Or a free e-book with loads of interesting and useful tips.

For example, I still consider forums and groups to be an effective way to attract targeted visitors to your site. You can create a good reputation by simply joining the conversation and sharing useful, quality and relevant information that might help people solve a problem. The more people you help, the more attention you get.

Think about it – if your advice helps a person grow their business, other people will follow your advice and then word will spread that you’re an expert in your industry. Becoming an authority is the best thing you could wish for.

How about you – are you using forums, groups and social platforms to interact with your audience or just to promote your business?