stars and forums

Online forums have a huge potential benefit to your company. With functional forum, you can increase revenue, customer loyalty, product awareness, and receive important feedback from your users. But without the proper care, your forum could fall a little flat. It’s all about building a community. With a forum, you will be asking people to invest themselves and participate, which can start out slowly at first. Here are some tips to help jump start your community.

#1: Make it easy to get involved. The sign-up should be simple, posting should be free, and interface should be as clear and instinctual as possible. If people feel hassled by the process of contributing, chances are they won’t stick around for too long. Anonymous posting can even be helpful to provide in some circumstances, but be careful when offering this service. It can also get a little dicey without a vigilant admin on the job.

#2: When people give to your forum, give back to your people.
Inviting people to join your community can seem like a “Why would I bother?” situation for the customer. So let them know why they would bother, by offering something of benefit in return for their time. It can take a lot of work from your end at the start, when each user wants their topic to fly. Pour in as many tips, helpful hints, and even product deals from time to time so that users feel they are getting something out of their involvement.

#3: Listen and take action. One of the most rewarding features of a community is being able to see your idea take flight, and you are in a position to give people that feeling. If the community seems agreed on a certain improvement or new feature, make it happen! Keep your community in the know with the changes and upgrades you make, so they know their time and effort wasn’t wasted.

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This post was written by Hallie Dunn

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