People from the 70s know how popular forums were in their time. Every type of discussion took place on them and people across the globe participated in them. Initially, the internet mainly consisted of forums, and there were only a handful of websites.
But with time and people realizing how they could take their businesses online and get more profits and revenue, a lot of audiences shifted from forums to websites. Slowly, the popularity of forums started declining, and people started forgetting them.
Although forums died for many people, Reddit is still an excellent platform that a large population still uses. We’re sure you may have heard of Reddit in the past because the platform is so popular, and you can find almost anything on it.
But there are many other forums apart from Reddit that are still operational. And a large number of people still use them. So, it becomes obvious for businesses to know how forums can benefit them. In this blog, we’re going to do just that. We’ll tell you 9 reasons why your business needs to be present on forums.
Without any delay, let’s start with the blog.
Businesses that think their work is over after people buy their products/services are in for a rude awakening. It is because a company’s real work starts after people have bought something from them. The term for it is- the after-purchase relationship or simply, customer support.
All the big brands know how crucial customer support is, which is why they have an entire team that takes care of it. But companies that don’t suffer big time because it is quite usual for products and services to stop working correctly after a particular time. And if the company itself won’t address it, then who will.
The thing with customer support is that it is not only for people facing issues with the products/services. It is for everyone that makes a purchase. Expert businesses know that to get repeat customers and make people say good things about their brand, they have to make the customers feel valued. And customer support is the best way to do it.
But how exactly can forums help in customer support?
Forums can play a significant role because you can directly communicate with your customers (one-to-one discussion) when you use them. Through forums, you don’t keep your customers waiting for answers. But when a company uses conventional methods of telecalling, customers usually have to wait for some minutes, without any guarantee that they would talk with someone.
Building trust is often the most challenging thing a business can do. The hard work surely pays off, but it requires businesses to do things they normally wouldn’t. Most companies use reviews and testimonials on Google My Business (GMB) and their website to do it.
Some even take the unethical route and buy reviews. It is a poor practice, in our opinion, and if Google and other search engines come to know of it, they can ban that company.
So, what are the options left with businesses?
The best option is still forums because they let people interact with other people and businesses to discuss a product/service. When companies go on forums and actively participate in discussions, people know that the company can be trusted and is not a scam. If someone operates a scam company, they would have only a few ways to communicate with people (most scam companies won’t have any but there are always exceptions).
Get Product Ideas
Apple launches a new iPhone every year. Do you think they have ideas for the next five iPhones? Surely not. So, how do they manage to shake the smartphone market every year? It is a question even a smartphone geek would have a hard time answering.
But we have the answer. Apple indeed has the best team in the world, but other than that, they listen to other peoples’ opinions about their new iPhones. They are actively present on forums and identify the issues people face. After identifying most of the problems, they list which ones they can fix by the next year. Sometimes they can even get some idea that they can implement in their next iPhone.
We’re sure many companies other than Apple also use forums regularly. If not for fixing problems, companies use forums to get new ideas. When a business gets out in public, they discover how amazing some ideas are. So, a part of the new product ideas come from forums. You can do the same for your company.
Most forums are open for anyone to view and participate in discussions. Forums being open to the public means that they’re also open to search engines. Them being open to search engines mean that that can be crawled. They can be crawled means that websites can boost their search rankings, directly benefiting their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts.
It is good news for all websites out there because they don’t have to indulge in black hat SEO practices to boost their search rankings. Businesses can share information, solve their customers’ issues, and include their website’s link from time to time. Slowly, those links will add up, and Google will notice it, in turn helping improve the website’s rankings.
Be Always Present
Sometimes, when a brand doesn’t interact with its users for an extended time, the users tend to think that the brand has died. But, not being active anywhere doesn’t mean that. There could be other reasons for it (we’re not going to talk about them in this blog).
Inactive brands can employ a team of four to five people to talk about them on forums. It will ensure that the company stays active in the public’s eye and people don’t forget about them. If you’re a business that’s coming up with a big idea and is silent right now, you can use forums this way and ensure people talk about you on the internet.
The internet isn’t your friend that will only praise you for whatever you do. People on the internet aren’t related to you in any way, and they will not hesitate telling something is good or bad. Brands that can’t take criticism have a tough time surviving.
So, to survive in the tough competition and keep improving, you have to start taking positive and negative criticism. The purpose of criticism isn’t only to tell how good or bad your products are. It is much more than that because you can actually improve your brand by listening to constructive criticism.
You’ll find more criticism on forums than anywhere else on the internet. The advantage of getting criticism there means that you can reply to it. If you think someone is plain hating on your products/services, you can politely reply to them. If someone is giving you constructive criticism, you can thank them for it and consider improving your brand based on it.
People Can Solve Other Peoples’ Problems
Reddit is an excellent forum that shows us how people can help others with genuine and helpful advice. People don’t always need companies to resolve the issues. And forums play a significant role in doing it.
For some problems, you once have to tell the solution on your website or a forum. After that, your job is done because the people will spread the solution everywhere on the internet when anyone asks the same question. We feel this is a great quality of forums and should encourage more brands to be present on them.
Get Company’s Insights
People on forums often talk about themselves along with the actual message. While this may seem unnecessary, it can actually be helpful for companies. You can get a lot of information about what type of people use your products/services. You can also know your audiences’ average age, the industries they work in, and which part of the world they come from.
All this information is crucial for brands to succeed today because many decisions and future products are built using it. So, if you can get all this information on forums without any tools, we feel it is a great option every business must consider.
Get User-Generated Content
Sometimes, users on forums generate excellent content that companies use on their websites and social media platforms. You can also find fantastic user-generated content (UGC) on forums. And using that content is pretty easy because most people wouldn’t have a problem when some content gets published on a brand’s page with their name.
So, be on the lookout for user-generated content (UGC) and use it on your social media handles and website. When you do it, it will increase your brand’s engagement and increase conversions.
Being present on forums opens doors to many opportunities for businesses. Sadly, most don’t realize it and wonder why they can’t get good results from their practices. If you’re also a business and have been ignoring forums for the longest time, now is the time to consider them finally.
We’ve written this blog for you and every business like you. The blog is written in an easy-to-understand language, and we’re sure you’ll find it helpful.
You can appreciate our efforts for this blog in the comment section below.