Internet forums are great places to get to know other people in your target market. Some forums allow you to insert the link to your site so you can get some free traffic.
However, there are several rules of etiquette when it comes to participating in forums. Follow these and you can perhaps get your next business partner. Violate these and nobody will want to do business or buy from you…and they might even kick you out!
1) Don’t Read The Rules
This might seem obvious but there are a lot of people who go onto forums and start posting ads, etc. without reading the forum rules. Not all forums allow you to insert promotional content so make sure you read the forum rules before posting.
2) Start Pitching Right Away
When it comes time to start promoting your product through your forum signature and other methods, don’t do it right away.
Build up some rapport in the forum with other members. Once you gain their trust then you can start promoting. Someone who starts promoting right away could be labeled a spammer and get kicked out!
3) Leave Meaningless Replies
Posts like “Good idea” and “I agree” only serves to inflate post count and is ill-advised. Forum members are pretty smart and can tell if you’re just trying to inflate post count or making sure your promotion in your signature file is spread throughout the forum.
4) Get All Involved
Many people spend a lot of time in forums…sometimes to the detriment of their work. It is especially tempting when there is an argument going on and you just need to jump in. So make sure you don’t get caught up too much in participation in these forums as they can be a time-waste.
Remember, internet forums are great places to learn about your target market and perhaps meet some new friends/business partners. You just need to learn how to use them without wasting a lot of your time and “aggravating the neighbors”.
Live, Love, Laugh!