Do’s and Don’ts of Marketing on Forums

Forum marketing is one of the best ways to market your online business. Even with the proliferation of Web 2.0 sites, including social networking, forums are still one of the best marketing techniques.

To use forums effectively in marketing your business, you should understand the basic rules of how to promote your business in forums. There are certain things that you should do and not do, to insure that you promote your business correctly, persuade people to check out your business, and stay in the good graces of the forum members.

Forum “Do’s”

The most important thing you can do in forum marketing is to choose the right forums. Use Google or another search engine to find forums that are closely related to your business field. For instance, if you sell reports on making money as a photographer, you should choose photography-related forums, rather than, say, entomology forums.

Once you’ve found forums that fit your business, read the FAQs and any rules that are posted in the forum, to make sure that you know what is expected, allowed and accepted. Once you understand the rules of the forum, you’re much more likely to promote your business well.

When you post to the forum, make sure that you are answering questions or giving information that is relevant to the forum you’re posting on. Answering questions is much better, in terms of credibility, than just throwing out information. Another advantage of this is that as you answer questions, you learn more about what your potential customers need and want.

Take the time to become known in a few forums, build your credibility and build relationships. Building relationships and becoming a well-known member of the forum is perhaps the most important thing you can do in promoting your business on forums.

Forum “Don’ts”

As mentioned, one of the most important things to not do is pick forums that are not related to your business. Choosing inappropriate forums will not only reduce the effectiveness of your marketing, but it will also waste your time.

Do not start out posting in a new forum without taking the time to familiarize yourself with the forum’s rules and with the community. This will not help build your business, and could get you banned from that forum permanently, if you break the forum’s rules.

When you post, don’t blatantly promote your business. Instead, offer advice and include your business web site in a signature at the end of your post. You might also offer a free report or ebook in response to questions about certain topics. But do not post a sales pitch; most forum members and administrators are very strict about not allowing sales pitches.

When you use forums intelligently and practically, you can, and will, reach people who are looking for solutions to their problems. If you offer solutions to the problems they’re having, and you take the time to become known and respected in the forums, you can easily build your business effectively through forum marketing.