Note: Guest blog post by Bill Belew. Bill is the founder of the Content marketer Forum which is powered by Ninja Post. Thanks, Bill!
On May 23, 2014, relying on Ninja Post, I launched my forum:
Content Marketer Forum. <= Sure. Check it out. You know want to. But more importantly you will be able to see what it is I am writing about here.
Before May of 2014, I had never been actively involved in a forum and what I didn’t know about forums far outweighed anything I knew. That didn’t deter me. What I did know was that a community of like-minded users could be a great resource to have.
2 Big Problems New Forum Owners Face
Like many who have visions of creating a tribe, the immediate problem #1 was, “How do you get a whole bunch of people to hang out where nobody is hanging out?”
Then once you form a base of users, problem #2 was, “How do you get even more people to happen on your forum and stay engaged?
I know the answer to both of these questions. However, it’s the second question that I want to address is this post.
The short answer: Twitter.*
Twitter. Twitter can be a good source of new forum users.
Six months ago I thought Twitter was more or less a useless platform. Believe it or not, it was one of my forum users who taught me how to effectively use the platform. It shouldn’t surprise me that in a forum devoted to how to do content marketing, someone in the forum would teach me more about content marketing.
The real goal, however, was to get people off of Twitter and onto the forum.
How to Get Tweebs to Visit and Stay in Your Forum
Step 1 – Get a lot of Twitter followers.
Not so easy you say.
Not as difficult as you think.
Step 2 – Watch this => WEBINAR: Real Followers and Engagement on Twitter.
This webinar was done by Steve Cartwright, consistently recognized as one of the top 5 content marketers in the world … and has nearly 200K legitimate Twitter followers.
In this webinar you will be introduced to CrowdFireApp. CrowdFireApp allows you to follow and unfollow Tweebs that you would like to engage with or not be seen in the same screen shot with. You can target who you want to follow, or you can follow indiscriminately. It depends on your strategy.
In July of last year, I had 11,400 followers on Twitter. As of this writing I have grown to 42,300 followers by using CrowdFireApp (there are others). Not bad, not bad. All I did was follow the advice in that webinar.
Read this part first and last.
Step 3 – Pay $10 for the advanced PLUTO version.
There’s an advanced function on CrowdFireApp that makes all the difference. It costs $9.99 / month (Pluto). No, I don’t have an affiliate link. Maybe I should. 😎
With the $9.99/month version you can follow and unfollow considerably more people than with the free version. You can follow up to 1000 people, and unfollow an unlimited number.
But what you really get with the advanced version is the ability to direct message (DM), new followers. More than 30,000 new followers were DMmed when they followed me.
You can see my DMs in the screen shot.
Every time I was followed by someone they got a message that invited them to check out my forum.
And they came.
Here’s a screen shot of how many visitors I have had from Twitter since I implemented this strategy.
Full disclosure: I also have a really cool header, a rock star profile blurb that includes and invite to my forum, and I tweet a LOT (automated).
I can tweet a LOT because I can automatically recycle old content from my home site – billbelew.com where I have a deep well of relevant content – nearly 2,000 posts.
My members get engaged. Not only do they get engaged, they have become paying students, which more than cover the costs of my forum. Some of my forum members have become contractors, earning them and me more money. The best part is some of my members have become friends. Not all of them, but some have come from Twitter.
The Most Important Takeaway Questions & Answers
Are you using Twitter to grow your forum membership? If not, then when?
Can I help? You won’t be the first nor the last person to ask me, “Bill, how did you do that? Can you teach me?”
Contact me at my forum via private message.
* Twitter is NOT the only way I acquire new forum users.
Hey, Mike. Thanks for letting me guest write here.
Thanks for the excellent forum software you have put together … and your ongoing support!
I hope to keep it growing and to have solid engagement.
Say hello to your tribe!