Recently, forum marketing has been touted as a kind of free, organic, viral marketing. But because so many viral marketers go into forums with the intention of marketing products or other services, their actions and attitude unwittingly causes the exact opposite of the desired effect.
Forums aren’t marketplaces but when used that way, the viral marketers’ actions become offensive and will only inspire the wrath of fellow members and marketers, not to mention moderators who can close them from the site with the click of a button.
In order to be effective, this kind of marketing carries a certain degree of commitment, responsibility and respect. The first requirement is to take a personal interest in the main topic of the forums. Not only does that mean be apart of the forum regularly, but it also means developing a good relationship with both other members and the moderators, as well as taking an active interest in helping other people. Of course, it also means abiding by and all rules that exist. By doing that, one can develop a reputation and, since it is human nature to work with a trusted colleague, business will naturally develop from this.
This type of viral marketing has already suffered some abuse and because of this, many forums have recently developed stringent rules designed to protect their members from abusive or overly-aggressive viral marketers. One forum grants .sig files only after a member has created 100 valid posts and another has disallowed ads in sig files altogether.
Viral Marketers must respect that the purpose of a forum is to be a wedsite to exchange ideas on a given topic. It is not there to advertise products or services. By staying on the topic and posting questions and answers, a marketer’s reputation will grow and this creates the potential for sales naturally.
In order to be successful using forums to do viral marketing there are some things that are required.
Do Your Homework: Prior to joining any forum, you must do some research.As a viral marketer becomes a regular member, they will hopefully develop a good reputation and without saying a word about their promotion, those who are interested in their product will approach them.