Forum Success Checklist: Daily Online Community Tactics

By Shawn Gossman · May 26, 2016 ·
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  1. Shawn Gossman
    A good forum success checklist is sometimes needed when running your own forum. A forum success checklist will help you continue success on your forum in an organized manner. A forum success checklist will help you remember to do things on your forum to keep it active and successful that you might have otherwise forgot to do. I wanted to create this forum success checklist for you to use on your own forum to help keep it active. However, I suggest you increase your success chances by adding more ‘things to do’ to this forum success checklist on your own time as well.

    The Forum Success Checklist
    The following are daily tasks to be performed on your message forum as part of this daily forum success checklist broken down in a few different categories…

    Forum Success Checklist: Keeping the Forum Active
    Create at least 3-5 new topics a day, spread them out throughout the sectional boards on your forum. Make the topics interesting with the goal of several pages of discussion. Create topics that somehow relate to the niche of the community.

    Reply to all the new or updated topics that you are able to reply to. Try to make your reply both contributing and with additional questions in an attempt to keep the conversation going. Try to avoid one liner responses that will kill the discussion.

    Engage your forum members. Make sure topics with little activity are being replied to even if you have to be the one to start making them active. Keep in touch with new members on your forum and make sure they are enjoying things and understand the functions of the forum. Keep active with regular members too so that they keep on coming back.

    Always look for topics and new things to discuss that will keep your forum moving ahead. Don’t just stick to one particular topic otherwise your forum will be mainly a place to come discuss that one topic. Instead, you need to focus on being the forum to come to for discussion of all topics having to do with your particular niche.

    Be sure to limit the amount of sections or boards you make on your forum. It is important to keep all or the majority of sections on your forum as active as you can make them, even on a daily basis. If you have too many, this task can be overwhelming. Inactive boards can easily be mistaken as an inactive forum as a whole especially if visitors quit browsing after seeing an inactive board. This is why it is important to keep all sections fairly active on the forum.

    Engage with your member about inviting others to join the forum as well. If you encourage members to refer new members enough, they will also do it. Now this doesn’t mean to annoy a member or beg them to do it. I tend to encourage new members who post introductions to jump right into the forum topics and to invite their friends as well. It is an easy time to ask them to invite more people to join and it isn’t that intrusive, either.

    Always look to improve the activity and entertainment of your forum. You can do this by asking for opinions from your members. Ask current members, new members and even the members of your staff team. Figure out ways to improve the forum for everyone and make sure everyone is on board with a change before you actually implement one. You might decide to change your theme at a time when everyone loves the current theme more and it can cause problems. Your members are essentially the ones who make your community, your actions should always be in their favor.

    Forum Success Checklist: Promoting Your Forum
    Create a social marketing effort for your forum if you haven’t done so already. Figure out what social media outlets work the best for your forum and start to establish communities of their own on these social media outlets. Check them daily and update them daily. Try to avoid automation tools and such that can easily be seen as fake. When social marketing, often times, you will run two communities – your forum and the community on social media.

    Post exclusive content on your social media pages. By this, I mean content that is only found on that social media page and not on others and not on your forum. The only way you will build a social audience is if you attempt to build a community specifically for them. You can convert them to forum members by sharing hot topics, contests and updates about the forum on to the social media page.

    Stay on top of search engine optimization news and strategies. Forum SEO isn’t as easy as other types of website SEO but it is still possible. You can create SEO-friendly content, do the little things that will improve SEO and focus on getting great back links for your forum. SEO for a forum also requires that you work to promote your forum, its brand and your reputation as the forum owner and expert outside of your forum as well, so be sure to visit other websites and social media outlets of the niche as well.

    Participate on other forums and blogs in the niche. Don’t commit to participate on them with the intent of advertising – instead focus on authority. Visit these forums and blogs to advertise yourself as an expert of the niche. Go out of your way to help others and solve challenging issues or help to solve them. Don’t be stuck up about it. Your reputation will get others to want to know more about you and thus they will find your forum a lot easier. Advertising on forums anymore if a huge waste of time, you them for reputation development instead.

    Research your competition and find out what they are doing to differ themselves from others in the niche. You shouldn’t exactly copy them but you should try to keep a competitive edge by doing something unique that they are not doing. If your forum is the first to do something, even if others eventually copy, you still get that bragging right. Find the gaps, weaknesses and threats of your competition as well and use them at your forum’s advantage.

    What are your forum success checklist tips?
    Now that you have read my forum success checklist, I am interested in seeing yours. Please comment below with your own forum success checklist.

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Recent User Reviews

  1. Alundra
    "Couldn't agree more!"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jun 19, 2016
    Save the exclusive content for the forum though, and just link to it. You're not trying to create a satelite community on FB/Reddit/etc you're trying to keep in touch with members on SM and with potential members via SM :).
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