How to Increase Activity on Your Newly Created Forum

A forum can be a fantastic addition to your website. Forums increase user activity. They help generate user content. They offer value and interest to visitors. However, when you launch a new forum activity can be slow. There are a few tips and tactics you can use to increase activity on your new forum.

Launch It With A Contest.
Contests are great press. They help generate interest and spur activity. Use a contest to drive traffic and encourage participation. For example, you could launch a new fitness forum by giving away a fitness gadget. Anyone who registers for your forum and comments or creates a thread is entered into the contest.

To encourage people to offer valuable posts you could also host a contest for the most valuable forum post. Users vote. This way you’re getting everyone involved and they’re motivated to contribute.

Use Your Forum’s Features.
Business owners often neglect to use a service or feature to its fullest. Most forums have a mass email feature. It allows you to email your members. You can use this to update members of new posts. You can let them know about any new promotions. You can also share industry news with your members.

You can also generate interest for a particularly captivating or popular forum post. If, for example, you have a post that stirred a lot of emotions then send an email message calling out the post and asking for input. People who have yet to weigh in will be curious and motivated to share their two cents.

Post On Your Forum – Often.
It’s your forum. Make it active by posting engaging posts. Ask questions. Encourage feedback. Don’t be afraid to stir up a little controversy. Forums are designed to facilitate discussion.

Additionally, consider hosting a workshop on your forum. Assign homework and provide feedback. This can create many long posts and threads. All of this will encourage more feedback and participation.

Market Your Forum.
Post interesting comments on social networking sites. Guest post on other blogs and include a link to your forum. Generate interest for your forum in your blog or article content. For example, you might say, “A recent forum post inspired me to write….”

Consider also using PPC to launch your forum. And of course, write and issue a press release announcing the forum. All of this will help generate awareness.

Finally, make sure your forum can be found on search engines. Optimize it.

Forums are a wonderful business building tool. Like any business building tool it takes a plan to make them successful. Create a launch plan. Market your forum. Take steps to boost content yourself and to motivate others to contribute.

Filed under Getting Started #

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