Does your business need a forum?

Kyrie

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Kyrie submitted a new Article:

Does your business need a forum?

Greetings everyone at TAZ,

I'd like to take a little moment to post something I might be helpful for everyone.

If you run a business, and you don't have a message board... Let me ask you, why not? It can do three primary things;
  • Drive Users
  • Improve Customer-Company Relations
  • Loyalty

Drive Users:
You might be thinking, "My website is Page Rank 1 on google?! Why would I need a message board." Let's put it this way. Let's say your name is Joe and you run Joe's lawn care. You might have a forum about best plants and lawn care tactics. Someone will be looking up "How to plant a fern." and come across your forums.. You'll get a user and potentially a customer. You can display your advertisements or even post an ad. If someone asks the question asked earlier you can write "All you do is... and if you want us to do it you can order from www.yourdomain.com"

This not only adds more people to your clientele but it will also bring your more income should you chose to run advertisements.

Customer-Business Relations:
In a forum you're not just a company anymore.. You're a human being, and a decent one. If you handle your self correctly you'll appear to be an average joe.. and not a corporate monster. This is a huge trend that's been happening and you'll be on the top of your game.

wow.. this company is willing to talk about favorite movies and help me with my lawn? This is a trustworthy person.

Loyalty:
Because forums are always adding more content, and actively engaged in conversations you'll always bring back the people who chose to sign up. You could offer incentives for signing up on the forum as an example. But once their in.. they will be hooked. You'll appear to have more loyal customers which is great for business. Those people too will also feel very well taken care of.


In conclusion, yes. You will need a forum for your business. It'll completely change the way the public views your company, and it'll help you in the long run and short term.

Read more about this article here...
 
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meetdilip

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It depends. If you start a forum, you need to have knowledgeable people to support it. Small business cannot do it efficiently. May be ticket support system is good for them and use a normal website.
 

Kyrie

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It depends. If you start a forum, you need to have knowledgeable people to support it. Small business cannot do it efficiently. May be ticket support system is good for them and use a normal website.

I still think it's just as important for small businesses.
 

avowzone

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Apr 20, 2014
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Small or big it's no matter. Every company need a personal forum as like blog to grow their own business. This is my own opinion.
 

LeadCrow

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I think business in general don't need forums and actively avoid them.

Hold the hating, here's why. The type of connections they need and attempt to create with their audience (current customers and prospective customers) is direct, as 'orators'. That's why they are more favorable to blogs and social networks to an extent, whereas forums may lead to the loss of their narrative due to their 'peer to peer' discussion format.
 

Kyrie

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I think business in general don't need forums and actively avoid them.

Hold the hating, here's why. The type of connections they need and attempt to create with their audience (current customers and prospective customers) is direct, as 'orators'. That's why they are more favorable to blogs and social networks to an extent, whereas forums may lead to the loss of their narrative due to their 'peer to peer' discussion format.

That's very true. So a majority of the time there should be a discussion if they need one they should ask this questions "Can we always point this back at X company."

The reason being is that, as a company, everything you do should return on your investment of time. If you sell... say.. greeting cards.. maybe a forum wouldn't work.

However, if you sell webhosting then you could use a forum. :)
 

mysiteguy

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I don't agree this is a good thing for every company. Very few companies actually. Most only need an online brochure with a simple and easy way to contact them. If they operate a business with a variety of customized services, or where there's a lot of questions about the services, then perhaps but only if it's not already better handled through a contact form or one-to-one customer service via the phone.

Over the years the majority of people I know in small business (and mid-sized) have neither the time nor the spare staff for forums, and blogs, and the return on investment would be negligible if any. For 1-2 person businesses, sometimes sparing 15 minutes in a week is impossible.
 

Kyrie

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I don't agree this is a good thing for every company. Very few companies actually. Most only need an online brochure with a simple and easy way to contact them. If they operate a business with a variety of customized services, or where there's a lot of questions about the services, then perhaps but only if it's not already better handled through a contact form or one-to-one customer service via the phone.

Over the years the majority of people I know in small business (and mid-sized) have neither the time nor the spare staff for forums, and blogs, and the return on investment would be negligible if any. For 1-2 person businesses, sometimes sparing 15 minutes in a week is impossible.
That's also a good way of looking at things.
 

LeadCrow

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Forums only really make sense for companies who want to promote discussion of specific topics (usually their products and the themes they cover like photography), or allow users to help each others.

Both increase stickiness, but companies likely think of it as cheap/free tech support complementing whatever official support exists, and little more than just an inexpensive cost-effective way to have tech support scale up (better than hiring more support personel).
 

meetdilip

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The issue is, people expect quick answers from forum when you have it. And for small business, unless you have paid or volunteer staff, it is waste of time that can be used for better purpose than maintaining forum decorum.
 

Kelly18

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May 15, 2014
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Yes every business needs forum for discussion of its services and answering queries of their clients.
 

xDarkAngelx

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Yes every business needs forum for discussion of its services and answering queries of their clients.

Not necessarily.

As mentioned above some businesses are small and a forum really wouldn't bring in a lot of extra traffic/business to a small local company.

For questions there are always FAQ pages, contact information for them to call, or a system where they email you and you reply back.

A forum (imo) can hurt a business if they add one and it has no activity - people might think the staff don't care when really it is because they don't have the proper know how for a forum or the staff to run it so people avoid it.

I know a very popular website which has little to no activity on the forums except their news posts and even then typically only the give away threads.

Some places just don't need them nor are they necessary.

All depends on the company and target customers. :)
 
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