Today Mashable posted “4 Easy Ways to Engage Your Facebook Fans”. This article refers specifically to Facebook, but the concepts are applicable to any online community and dovetail with yesterday’s post to the Ninja Post blog, “Traction For Your Forum”. The four methods to engage users described in the Mashable blog post are:
- Ask Their Opinion
- Test Their Knowledge
- Pair Promotions with Content
- Thank Your Fans
However, this does beg the question: if you can engage with your users on Facebook, why bother creating a Ninja Post forum? Well, Ninja Post is not designed to replace your Facebook fan page — it’s supposed to complement it.
By channeling users from Facebook to your site you will obtain a “home field advantage”. For example, user content generated thanks to a forum on your own site will increase your presence in organic search results which will drive more users to your site. In addition, there are other benefits to “holding the conversation” on your own turf: advertising revenue, user statistics, and control over the look and feel of the site.
In sum, continue to engage with your users on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere on the web. However, don’t underestimate the importance of “home field advantage.”