This is a guest post by Olga Ionel.
Today’s companies are quickly recognizing the power that social media tools such as forums and message boards can have for finding new customers and spreading the word about products and services. While these platforms can be incredibly useful for raising awareness and evaluating the needs and desires of potential customers, they can also be harmful to a company’s reputation and even success should they be handled poorly.
Online marketing is key to success in today’s technologically-dependent society. It is nearly impossible for a company to compete without an internet presence, and the value of social media is apparent as more and more consumers are turning to the internet and social media platforms to find and share information regarding the products and services that they use and need.
Photo Credit: Alexander Svensson on Flickr
Among these social media platforms, forums and message boards are the most popular for discussing products and services. It is believed that as much as 64% of women that use the internet with frequency commonly post product recommendations on forums. There are millions of forums and message boards across the internet, each with its own personality and audience. They can be independent sites or used in conjunction with blogs based on Wordpress themes. However they are managed, forums and message boards allow for the free and open exchange of ideas, welcoming conversations among large numbers of people that are located in all areas.
Taking advantage of these platforms can benefit your company through generating conversation regarding your products and services, and eliciting the opinions of audiences relevant to your niche.
It is crucial, however, that the use of the platforms be taken very seriously, and that your management of your social media usage be firm as to prevent inappropriate activities from alienating potential clients and hurting your company’s reputation.
Below are some tips regarding the correct usage of forums and message boards for online marketing.