7 Ways To Gain Traction On Your Forum

For a forum to become successful we have found the most important ingredient is a critical mass of users. But if you have traffic, how do you capitalize on it to gain traction? We offer the following suggestions:

  1. Make it easy for users to find and participate in your forum. E.g., create a large, unambiguous link from your main site.
  2. Get buy-in from the highest level of your organization (e.g., CEO) and thought leaders in the community. In other words, make sure the “cool people” are using your forum.
  3. Make your forum a welcoming and hospitable place for new users. Encourage participation by ensuring users will get a reply in a timely fashion.
  4. Help users achieve personal goals (especially make money, lose weight, achieve higher job satisfaction, etc.). Encouraging users to ask for help, encouraging users to help others, and encouraging #humblebrags makes for a good mix of content.
  5. Remind users to visit the forum by sending relevant email alerts and highlighting recent activity in other verticals (e.g., monthly newsletter).
  6. Let the “network effect” take over so the forum becomes self-propelling and users visit the site out of habit.
  7. Reward and recognize users for contributing to the forum.
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