Supplement your Small Business’s Social Strategy with Forums

by / Thursday, 15 May 2014 / Published in Small Business Marketing

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Content marketing hinges on the idea that content marketers are able to create writing that features an engaging perspective, for example that of an industry expert or a business owner uniquely able to comment on an element of their operations. The same expertise that goes in to creating content for publishing in blogs, guest posts and press releases can also be used in another way; to post regularly in trade specific forums, or even more general forums, chiming in as an expert on your topic of choice. But what are the benefits that can come out of posting in forums? Here is a look at the range of benefits you can get from engaging in this tactic.

SEO benefits. In many forums, you are able to include links to your website in your profile page and email signature. While these are usually nofollow, there are some instances where you can get link juice from the links that you place in your profile. If you post a particularly popular thread in a forum, it can also potentially be found in search engines in its own right, making the potential that people discover you and your business that much higher. If you are able to get your website viewed as a resource by forum goers, there is even a chance that  they will share your pages of their own volition, using them to cite information or as illustrations of their points to other forum users.

Referral traffic. When you have posted helpful comments, and your website link is in your forum post signature, the odds are good that you are going to have forum visitors click through your links in order to get access to more information. They may be curious about who you are, looking for more on topic content, or even relieved that they have found an expert business to reward with their patronage. Either way, the traffic you get from forum post referrals tends to be pretty strong provided you are not baiting and switching, and can result in direct traffic from repeat visitors down the road.

Conversions. If you run an e-commerce site selling plumbing parts, and post regularly in plumbing forums, it follows as no surprise that plumbers who interact with your posts may wind up buying some of your supplies. The same holds true for business owners in almost any industry where they can do business over the internet. Lead creation can come from any environment saturated with people who fall into your demographic being exposed to your products and services, so don’t discount the power of niche specific forums for creating brand awareness and a boosted reputation for small business owners.

Ph0to Credit to alex de carvalho on Flickr

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