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How Forums and Social Networks Can Help

If you are trying to market your website online - you should consider engaging users on social media and forums
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July 10, 2012


Networking and Communities

In these days, this topic should really not require much of an introduction. But for a quick summary on how to get started networking online, consider these examples:

  • Are you a local business owner? Join a local business forum.
  • Are you a Website owner? Join a forum for webmasters.
  • Do you sell products related to pets? Join a forum for pet owners.
  • And so on...


Forums Versus Social Networks

The headline is wrong. You will want to be both places. In fact, they often work well together. Many forums include extended user profile information such as social networks and alike. When starting to make a name for yourself on forums and social networks, use this to your advantage and connect with the people you find interesting (or vice versa) all relevant places instead of just one.

You will often find that groups of people who follow each other on social networks may already have started knowing each other on a popular local forum, e.g. for business owners, webmasters or similar. If you can integrate yourself into those social networks, you may have an advantage in making a name for yourself in a local market or niche.


Social Networks to Join

While a complete list of social networks to join is impossible to give, here&apos&s a rundown of all the popular international ones:
  • LinkedIn - primarily for business contacts. Also features discussion groups where people can ask questions.
  • Twitter - good place to check for asked questions and inform your followers of new products.
  • Google+ - easy way to follow different groups (a.k.a circles) of people. If your business is about tech or web, you should join this. Pronounced "Google plus".
  • Facebook - if your products or services are consumer oriented, you should definitely create a fan page for your service which people can join and like.
  • Pinterest - if your consumers are amoing the trendsetters and your products have some nice visuals (like cloth, food etc.) join this.

Remember: You should try interact with other people on social networks if they ask questions you can answer or somehow expand upon.


Optimize Your Usage of Social Networks

For more information about optimizing your usage of Google+, you can read the following articles:


Forums to Join

One thing to say about forums: While there can be lots of low quality posts, you can also sometimes tap into a major resource of people who have experienced things first hand. Today, a major component in running a business, whether small or big, is your website. Almost no matter if your business is local or international, you will need a good looking website that ranks for important keywords in search engines. This means that most of people reading this blog post should be joining both business and webmaster forums. Things like promoting, branding and conversion are discussed both places, so you will often find a large overlap of people these places.

Remember that when trying to find communities, you should search for both local and global ones. As discussed earlier, it can often be easier to connect and brand yourself in local markets. Even if global reach is your goal, do not leave out local communities, in particular since these may be better suited to help you with questions related to running your business, e.g. tax and accounting.

A list of webmaster forums:


Other Places to Consider

Helping people is a big component in attracting leads and brand yourself. Therefore you could also consider joining various other kinds of sites and communities.

List of "questions and answers" sites:
  • StackExchange - contains a huge list of sites focused each on their own specific topic.
  • StackOverflow - the first site in StackExchange network (even predates it) about computer programming.
  • Experts Exchange - one of the largest and oldest questions and answers sites on the net.
This article was written by

As one of the lead developers, his hands have touched most of the code in the software from Microsys.

If you email any questions, chances are that he will be the one answering them.
MicrosysAbout Microsys

Microsys develops desktop software, mobile apps and websites.We also offer various services for other related areas including SEO optimization.
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