4 ways to liven up your forum
How to liven up your Suggestions Forum
- Be omnipresent. Registering an account with a social network takes minimal effort and opens you to a whole new communications chanel. You should have a profile on every network used by potential users. This is why it's a good idea to branch out from Facebook and Twitter and sign up for LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest or Foursquare. Don't worry if that seems overwhelming - you can manage all your accounts at once with tools like Cyfe, Hootsuite or Buffer.
- Show off your forum. Make sure you add a link to your forum to all of your social networking profiles. If a lot of people visit your profile, some of them might go on to visit your forum as well. If your forum has a long address and you're strapped for space you can use a link shortening service like Bitly. Using Bitly also has the advantage of giving you exact info about how many people clicked on it.
- Promote your forum with quality content. Your forum is a place for discussion - give people something to discuss. Start a blog and populate it with content about your industry. Make sure that your content is not only interesting, but also well-promoted. To maximize their reach, try to include current topics, big names or polarizing issues in your copy. Readers enjoy numbered lists, pictures (you can get good photos on Flickr) and infographics (they're a breeze to make with Infogram).
- Reward your users for contributing. Sometimes even a good conversation is not enough to keep your users coming back. This is why you should consider adding extra incentives to your forum. One idea is to gamify the experience - reward your users with ranks, titles, badges and so on. You can read more about gamification in our blogpost here.