Build a community forum for discussion on your website to connect with readers in a more personal way. The forums can also be used to promote products and services.
To make your forums grow, you must be present and engage with every topic. This will generate responses from other users and help start a snowball effect.
Create a Topics Page
Before you start building a forum, make sure your web hosting can handle the extra traffic that comes with it. You should also choose a platform that offers support for your chosen forum software.
Once you’re set up, it’s time to create some discussion topics that promote dialogue. Keep your target audience top of mind as you do this. Your goal is to have a conversation with them and show that you know what they care about.
In the Properties dialog box, select a Title and Description for your discussion topic. You can also choose posting Options and allow ratings. You can even link the discussion to a Grade Item or a rubric.
You’ll also need to set up some forum settings, including Visibility (Public, Private, or Hidden), Parent Forum if you want to use subforums, and the Order that your forums will appear in. You can also customize the Forum name to match your brand.
Create a Forum Page
Whether you opt to host your forum page within the same domain as your brand’s main site or use an independent subdomain, choose a content management system that can handle the increased traffic your community discussions are likely to generate. Then, create a forum home page that reflects the themes your audience wants to discuss and provides clear guidelines for how they should do so.
You can also establish user rules that promote respectful conversation and give participants member badges for reaching milestones in the forum. Using these incentives and other best practices for forum usage, you can build an active community of customers that contribute to your business’s discussion topics. However, remember that the internet is an unforgiving place, so you should prepare for the worst by clarifying what types of conversations you don’t want your audience to participate in. This is the best way to ensure your brand’s reputation stays intact.
Create a Forum Posting Page
Tokister Forums are a great way to connect with customers and gain valuable feedback. They also help with SEO since search engines favor user-generated content. To keep your forums in tip-top shape, be sure to monitor and delete spam and trolls regularly. This will ensure that conversations stay focused on your business objectives and not on ad campaigns or low-quality content.
Discussion Threads by Topics
Another tip is to organize your discussion threads by topics so that visitors can find the information they need quickly. For example, Stack Overflow organizes questions by product and platform to make it easier for developers to find answers to their questions.
When you’re ready to publish your forum, make sure that it’s a visible part of your website. This will encourage users to visit and participate in discussions. Some content management systems provide forum themes that match the look and feel of other site pages. This will help your users navigate seamlessly between the forum and other parts of your site.
Structure of Your Forum
When deciding on the structure of your forum, make sure it supports the way users want to engage with it. This can include how you organize topics, how discussions are displayed and how the site’s navigation features support visitors’ needs.
Remember, it’s still the internet and while most forum users are pleasant, there is the occasional troll who shows up to ruin the conversation with offensive or insulting comments. Plan ahead for this by setting out clear guidelines for what you do and don’t want discussion on your forum to include.
As your community grows, collect feedback from members on how they enjoy the experience and what improvements can be made. You could do this by posting a poll on the forum or starting a thread soliciting users’ opinions. You can also send a survey via email to your customer base as a quick and easy option. This helps you keep your community happy and engaged as the forum expands.