Growing an audience for a forum is not as simple as it seems. After all, your forum is just a tiny particle in the internet galaxy. Relying on word of mouth is just not enough to bring in the numbers. First, the forum owner needs to know exactly who their audience is and where they are present on the internet. Then they need to pitch their forum to these users and invite them to their forum. Before going out there into the internet world to promote your forum, it is important to have a small community of members who are active participants. Only then will the visitors to the forum see value and even think about giving it a try.
Here are 10 tried and tested ways to promote your internet forum for maximum exposure.
# Promote Yourself
In the early stages of the growth of a forum, the forum owner’s credibility plays a key role in attracting new members. The forum owner needs make their presence felt in different forums by contributing heavily. A link to the forum must also be attached to their name always.
# Social Media
The popular social media platforms are considered an enemy that steals its audience by many forum owners. But, it can be used to bring in a lot of new users to the forum. Using Reddit and Quora, one can build a loyal following who can be the invited to the forum.
# Create a Blog
Having a blog in the same domain as that of your forum is a great advantage for forum owners. It becomes a great source for the right type of audience for the forum. The blog has the additional advantage of getting high in the search rankings and advertising the forum for free.
# Post on other Forums
Many forums have a special section called ‘Website Showcase’. This is a place where forum owners share the link to their forums and invite people to visit it. The forum explorers use this space to find interesting new forums to try out.
# Forum Networking
Networking opens up numerous opportunities for increasing your forum audience. Interact with forum moderators, admins and invite them to give feedback about your forum. Many will end up becoming regular members and also invite their friends/community members.
# Forum Contests
A great way to get more users to try out your forum is to conduct a contest for your existing users. Ask them to invite the maximum number of users and they get to win merchandise, special access or gift cards. Organize and promote it well and you get loads of new users.
# Facebook Groups
Facebook groups can be leveraged to channel users to your forum. Facebook groups is a great way to build an audience quickly. Start multiple groups around different subtopics from your domain, get the group running and then get them to visit the forum.
# Cross Promotion
These are numerous forums that are in your domain but don't clash with the topics your forum is known for. You can get in touch with the owners of these forums and talk about link exchanges. You promote their forum on your forum and vice versa. Both get SEO benefit and new users.
# Advertise Smart
Yes. I know it is a controversial thing to say, but there is no harm in trying. If you get an audience that you think is perfect for your niche, you can use short bursts of advertising to get their attention. You can try with ads on different forums or even experiment with Facebook ads.
# Offline Events
Well, this is not a way to promote your forum on the internet. But it is a great way to build your brand and increase the awareness of your forum, both online and offline. You can sponsor events in your domain or conduct them yourself which is great opportunity to get new users.