Tired of Tweeting? Online Forums May Be The Answer

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While advertising executives desperately search for the best ways to target audiences through Facebook and Twitter, there’s another social media format that is proving to be a highly effective tool for reaching consumers. According to a new white paper released from PostRelease, “If the Holy Grail of marketing is a band of self-motivated enthusiasts proactively recommending your product, then the Grail’s secret location could very well be the world of online forums.”

As opposed to tweets and status updates, in which they are intrusive at best, pointed product conversations are often the very forces that drive online forum discussions. Rather than sharing with the world what you had for lunch today, consumers in forums post such targeted questions as, “What should I look for in a laptop?” and “Can someone recommend the best sleeping bags?”

“In other words, forums are a communicator’s dream—the ultimate way to target,” said Justin Choi, president of PostRelease, which happens to be in the business of online forum advertising. PostRelease enables companies to insert clearly labeled sponsored posts as relevant content into targeted online forum discussions, using a unique hybrid approach to make forums useful to advertisers, marketers and public relations specialists.

The paper provides data supporting the case that forums are the most effective channel for reaching highly influential consumers. Forrester Research reports that 28 percent of U.S. consumers read online forums—making it the second most popular online activity, second only to watching video.

The paper also examines the following:

•    How forums work—their structure, and current advertising opportunities
•    What makes forum users such word-of-mouth powerhouses for a brand
•    Why participating in forum discussions can boost SEO rankings, with posts that continue to drive traffic indefinitely—increasing by an average of 100 percent one year after a paid campaign has ended
•    The importance of transparency and of following the rules and guidelines when participating in a forum community
•    How to be effective in forums by dispensing useful information, not promotional messages

“But it’s not as simple as just jumping in and starting to participate in the forum conversations,” said Choi. “There are challenges, rules and best practices that agencies and brands should be aware of. The purpose of this paper is to help demystify the world of online forums and give them their due as one of the best ways to reach consumers already predisposed to be interested in what you say.”

 

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5 comments

Web Designer Dubai 03-07-2010 1:14 PM

I am fully agreed. I believe finding serious business enquiries on Twitter is very tough and impossible. Infact it has become more a SPAM place where everyone is throwing affiliate links and Spam.

Face is Book is little better, but ofcourse it is leisure and biggest problem is privacy.

Forums can be well targeted and can meet niche requirements more effectively.

Jake McAuley 03-09-2010 2:37 PM

This reads like a good recommendation but there is no call to action.

How do we access the paper that is being discussed?

DebbieC 03-12-2010 3:24 PM

Retrieve the white paper here:

postrelease.com/.../PostReleaseWhitePaper.pdf

SimonE 03-17-2010 4:20 AM

We have been doing this for years :-)

SEO (Raam) 04-06-2010 7:38 AM

Twitter is more about spam and less about useful info unless you know how to use it properly.

There are tons of applications online that will get you "followers"!! It can't get more ridiculous than this.

Social media is best suited for brand building and reputation management.

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