Internet forums are online discussion sites where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. They are one of the oldest forms of social networks, originating from bulletin boards and used to talk about very specific topics. Reddit is the most well-known discussion forum, with Quora and Digg also popular. A forum is different from a Facebook page, Twitter profile, or blog, according to O'Keefe.
On these services, people have to choose you one way or another, whereas in a forum, everyone can see what others have posted. Discussion forums are a great place to learn more about your target audience, as they can be a wealth of information. There is also room to advertise in discussion forums, although it takes finesse to appear organic. Putting your company information in your signature could make more people connect with you and provide full disclosure if you talk about your brand in forum conversations.
Forums and message boards (old school social networks) are still one of the most popular places to ask questions and answer questions about brands and products. Patrick O'Keefe, 20-year-old veteran forum administrator and author of Managing Online Forums (AMACOM), gave some tips on how companies should participate in the conversation. Social media sites connect users with people and information of all kinds, such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Each post on a forum or message board can include a signature line, like the one in emails.
This section is a place to discuss social media marketing techniques, how to market websites or products on social media sites. If your main objectives are to make direct sales proposals and attract traffic to your website or blog, forums won't serve you as well as direct mail, email marketing, or traditional advertising. It is recommended that information be disseminated by allowing users to interact with content and share it in their circles on social media sites. Establishing a content and social media strategy could be a good step to ensure that you properly research all your social media options in due time.
Others can be found on corporate or media sites, such as Dell's support forums or Southern Living magazine's community message forums. In conclusion, forums are not social networks because they don't like the negative connotations of social networks (like being clicked like on Facebook). However, they are still an important part of the social media landscape and can be used to learn more about your target audience and advertise organically. Each post on a forum or message board can include a signature line which can be used to showcase products or have others show them to you.