6 Steps to Successful Viral Marketing Through Forum Posting

Newsflash
6 Steps to Successful Viral Marketing Through Forum Posting
Internet forums - those discussion boards where people virtually congregate to talk and share information and ideas - is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to employ viral marketing for traffic building. Follow these six steps to gain the attention and traffic you seek through forum interaction. Before you jump into a discussion board community and start posting away, do a bit of research to help make your efforts more targeted and effective.

Internet forums - those discussion boards where people virtually congregate to talk and share information and ideas - is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to employ viral marketing for traffic building. Follow these six steps to gain the attention and traffic you seek through forum interaction.

Before you jump into a discussion board community and start posting away, do a bit of research to help make your efforts more targeted and effective.

Getting Started

One: Join relevant forums for your targeted audience, your product, and/or business. For example, if your market is health care you can seek out forums for everything from holistic medicine to stay-at-home moms to specific health issue communities. You want your posts to be appropriate for the subject the members discuss. Otherwise your posting will be pointless, ignored, or even worse - removed.

Two: Choose the most popular forums.Do a search to find forums available for the topic you seek. There is no point wasting your time and energy posting to forums that have very few members, few discussions, and get very little traffic or interest for your traffic building desires. Big-Boards is one site that allows you to search for forums based on topic, on number of members and their activity, on post count, on traffic, and on Alexa ranking. Look for good page rank, the amount of active members, and the number of posts. The more active and highly ranked a forum is, the better.

Three: Choose forums that allow signature tags. A signature tag can be set up in your forum account profile to display advertising information for your business. Read the forum's rules before joining and pay attention to what is permitted in the signature. Most forums allow you a signature that advertises. Others do for a fee. Some do not at all. Your time is important so be sure to find out if a forum doesn't allow posts with signatures tags before join and start posting.

After you have joined

Four: Keep your signature tag short and update it regularly. Use colors, bolding of font, and a catchy message to attract attention. It is best to keep your tag short and use only one or two links. Most importantly, link to your main website.

Five: Avoid spamming people in your posts.

Never create posts that are pure advertisement. This a pretty universal rule and if ignored will quickly do more to ruin your reputation than get you any desired traffic. At best spamming in your post will be deleted by the forum moderator. At worst, it could result in getting you banned.

Six: Work the room. Be an active member on the forum and be of benefit to those who read your posts. Seek out people who need help or advice and offer it to them. Plan to spend at least an hour each day at a forum and take the time to get to know the members and community. Your first post should be to introduce yourself. Thereafter post intelligent questions, helpful information, or friendly advice, depending upon the forum's topic.

As you become a more regular member and develop a reputation of being helpful without promoting your product or service in your posts, you will find that you are respected and looked up to as an expert and your signature advertising will bring you traffic for a long time to come. Forum posts remain for years so the time you invest now will continue to serve you in those discussions as they are read again and again by visitors and new members.

To be successful using forums to spread the word about you, your product and your company you need to respect rules, adhere to forum protocol, and make a name for yourself in the forum community. As you do you can count on a profitable return for your time and even find personal benefit in being an active forum member.