This is something nearly everyone wants to do, whether you have a website, blog, or forum. Increased traffic leads generally to more revenue from your advertisements, increased community engagement, and, if you have something interesting on your site, more people who will return for information in the future. Once you get the traffic flowing, it tends to grow off of itself as long as you continue to provide good content and/or services. But the problem most of us face is how to get that initial traffic going. Continue reading
If you are not running a general forum, you will likely reach a point where you are having a hard time coming up with topics relating to your niche. Never fear though! There are many resources on the world wide web that you can use to your advantage. In this article I will share some ideal sources to help you generate ideas for topics. Continue reading
So, let’s say you’ve just started a new forum. You’ve sorted out the theme, rules, sections and all that lovely stuff needed to kick start off the community. What is left to make it’s presence known? The members are yet to make their debut! The members are the very heart of any online forum, they keep it alive and running. You won’t get very far unless Continue reading
Most of you are aware of the huge potential a Social Network campaign has, but there are also many things that could go wrong with those campaigns. First of all, Social Networks are different than forums and blogs. They are a constant stream of information: news, personal statuses, shared links, funny videos, cat’s and a whole lot more. To give you an idea of a comparison you can make in regards to it, is that your link can be compared to a fish in the sea; that is a single link can be overwhelmed by everything that is there in an individual network. But that’s not the only problem, your visitors from Social Networks may only visit your site once and never come back again.
To stand out on Social Networks, you need to have that something that people are interested in. Therefore for a successful Social Network promotion there are a few important key factors:
- Account Popularity
- Research and Targeted Audience
- Site Content
We all start off with 0 friends or followers, but to be successful in promoting our site we need to find more followers/friends/subscribers. Nothing makes you look crazy other than by talking to yourself online, therefore you need build up your “fan base”. There are many different ways to do such things, and it all depends of the Social Network that you want to focus on.
YouTube – Usually funny videos or how to videos are popular.
Facebook – Fan Page like exchanges may help you out a lot.
Twitter – Using the correct hashtags with an appropriate message.
Tumblr – Rebloging, liking and posting things that certain audiences likes (anime/artistic/hipster/feminism).
Reddit – Smart interaction on the shares of other users, and good link shares from your part.
Google+ – I am not really sure about this but I guess adding people in your circles that have the same interests as yourself.
With a certain popularity online you will reach more users, which equals to more potential visitors and which that in the end means more potential returning visitors for your site.
Research and Targeted Audience
Imagine each Social Network as a person. Tumblr for example likes anime, managas, cute things and discussions about feminism. Tumblrs user base is mostly made of 13-20 year old people who share the things that they like. The key to promote on Tumblr, is seeing what your site genre is and then posting pictures that might get re-blogged, while adding your link in the midst of each post you make.
As I said, imagine Social Networks as people.
I have this information about social networks that might help you:
YouTube – Funny videos, Gaming videos, How To videos. If you are good at making such videos you will get quite a few visits to your site, plus you could earn some money along side the video postings on YouTube
Facebook – Things that could be shared here, are quotes and and other such things. With that, you would need to also attach your link in the description or add a watermark to the picture, which may help with branding your site there.
Twitter – Being part of a hashtag like #GamerGate, #feminism, #BlackLifeMatter and #micropoetry, are some of the things that could get your link some views.
Tumblr – Anime reviews, Manga reviews, poetry, fan fiction, drawings, cute things, artistic things, debates about feminism, funny things, all of which could be added to Tumblr.
Reddit – Some links that can help you gain views, are links that help people out, are news related, motivation related posts, debates, manga and anime reviews, awesome product links, and how to links.
The key is to find good ideas of which links on your site you could post, and the appropriate time that you could post the link. You may fail a few times – it happens to everyone- and you will succeed a few times too!
Social Networks are really unpredictable when it comes to link popularity. An example of this was an article I wrote on my blog, in which I decided to shared it on Reddit. I didn’t expect too much from it really, but when I woke up the following morning, I fount my site was down due to bandwidth overuse. An article that I thought wouldn’t get any attention broke my site. That’s the power of social networks.
The first two parts are pretty easy, the internet is huge and I am sure you could work your way up in the popularity ranking, but of course comes the most important part that all sites need to help drive success: Content!
It doesn’t matter what your site is about, so long as it helps your visitor satisfy his hunger for information. The content of your site will make or break a visitor, when they are deciding whether or not they want to come back and visit your site again, or if it will be forgotten. Plus you might not be the first to write or post about a certain topic, but if you explain it better than someone else or the visitor finds one of your articles or topics more interesting or appealing, he will keep coming back for more.
Create a site that members want to come back to, that’s the first thing and the most important part of a successful site. It can’t be stressed enough how important content is! I am sure you have read a few more guides about sites/forums/blogs and found in a large number of those guides, the phrases “work hard” or “content is king”, is somewhere in the text. Nothing else beats hard work and consistency. If your content is improving and you publish it on a daily/weekly/monthly basis, you are the right track.
After the content is built, all you have to do is then show it to a number of people on Social Networks, who are waiting eagerly for quality content to be posted, and you may be the one who will provide it to them!
What should you do to succeed? Well that’s easy, in which this article is about, is that hard work is what you need to succeed! A combination of providing fresh content, with appropriate advertising on various Social Networking sites will help you succeed.
I hope you enjoyed this little guide to Social Networking Promotion. If this has some positive feedback I will continue my explanation of promoting your site on Social Networks, by going deeper and explaining each and every Social Network in their own individual article.
Managing multiple social media channels is a time consuming and a labour intensive task. Not only do you need to manage the log-in details so that you can post to each account, you need to track responses, collect engagement data and schedule messages. Fortunately for those of us who have “social media manager” as part of our job description, there are many tools out there to make life easier.
My whole life I have been one of “those people”. You know who I’m talking about; the ones who prefer a physical day planner over a smartphone, the ones who still use pen and paper to take notes in school instead of laptop, and who still uses a check book to balance their budget. Embarrassing, I know. Two important things happened in my life to help change my ways. First, I married a techie, a hardcore techie. Second, I got a job which consisted of throwing me headfirst into the amazing world of SEO.
About a year ago I applied for a writing position at a nearby company. All I knew before going into my interview was that they needed a writer. Lucky me, that’s what I had been pursuing in college. It wasn’t until I actually got the job, that I heard the term SEO mentioned in a sentence. It was in that same sentence that I also learned it would be my responsibility and number one priority. I had no clue what it was or even what it dealt with. My husband is the computer techie, not me.
I figured it must be some kind of techie phrase only known to the “geek community”. My boss kindly led me to SEOmoz and other such blogs, where I was able to do plenty of research about this mysterious SEO. Much to my surprise, it’s not as mysterious as I thought it was. (Honestly I was a little bummed, I was looking forward to learning a secret SEO handshake.)
Even after learning about SEO, I thought I would always have to go into an elaborate explanation about what SEO was, whenever someone asked me what I did. The reality is that most people not only know exactly what I’m talking about, but they have dabbled in it a little bit themselves. It’s everywhere. It influences everything. It helps determine where people shop, what people read, where people go and even why you buy something or go to that specific restaurant, rather than the other one down the street. It affects everyone in some way, whether they have heard of it or not.
Once I began to understand how important SEO is, I realized I needed to expand my knowledge even further. The number one thing I have learned so far, is that this line of work is very intimidating. There are people out there blogging that have been doing this from the beginning. There are even people out there who have started more recently and yet they took to it like a bird in flight. You know who I’m talking about, the gurus that redefine how it works and who are constantly figuring out new and improved techniques. They are the ones that are changing the industry while newbies like me are tripping over their own shoelaces trying to catch up. That said, you can’t quit. You eventually will catch up. You will have that moment, when you read an article full of advanced SEO strategies and algorithms when you actually get it. Your time will come. Until it does, start off with the basics.
- Stay Informed about the major changes Google makes. Several hundred changes are made every year; as a beginner you can’t get lost in the mess that surrounds algorithms. You can however be aware of the major changes that come about. Those changes determine how SEO will evolve and move forward.
- Frequently Check your page rank. Boiled down to its basics, that’s what SEO is all about, your website’s rankings. If you aren’t frequently checking on your progress you will miss out on important tendencies and information. If you are checking often you might be able to find trends, and discover what things you have been doing that work and what things don’t.
- Link! Link! Link! Take advantage of everything that guest posting has to offer. Go at it from both sides, writing and as a blog owner. Get good content information out there and link back to your site. Link to others as well, you have to give a little to get a little in this business.
- Create Social Media Accounts and use them! Social media is an amazing tool that you have at your fingertips. There are tons of platforms out there that you can join: Facebook, Linked In, Google+ and Twitter, just to name a few. Set up accounts and start posting. Add links to your articles and outside articles. Inform customers or readers about upcoming events, pertinent news reports and website announcements. There are several ways you can use social media to your benefit.
- Add Images to your blog. You can take advantage of using alt tags here. You will also be more likely to have returning readers if you post images on your blog and website because it makes it more appealing. Just make sure you follow all copyright laws. You can’t just use any image you find on Google.
- Keyword Research is necessary. Notice how I didn’t say, “using” keywords is necessary. Many beginners make the mistake of just using any keyword, at any time, anywhere. Do your keyword research. Find out what is popular right now. Learn how to use keywords to your advantage. It’s a lot more involved than just typing 3 important words in a little box.
- Be Consistent and Reliable. Post when you say you are going to post, update as needed and keep in touch with your readers. Be the blog they want to go to when they hop on the internet for a few minutes. You readers should always know they can count on you to provide unique, useful, entertaining and important information.
While I have gained a lot of experience in SEO, I’m still in the learning stages when it comes to advanced methods. I’m not that guru I hope to be, but someday I’ll get there. I just have to remember these basics, continue expanding my knowledge and roll with the punches.
SEO is exciting and fun. It never gets boring because it’s always changing. Some people find that frustrating, I consider it a challenge. If you’re a newbie like I once was, you’re in the same boat as all those gurus out there. They had to start somewhere. So don’t give up. Don’t get intimidated. In the infamous words of Dory, “Just keep swimming!”
This is a guest post by Kathryn Mott who enjoys writing about SEO. She works as a content creation assistant at Professional Marketing International. Read more about how we help entrepreneurs here http://www.youtube.com/user/pmieducation.
This article was first posted on our blog on 07/10/2010. For this reason, the information may be outdated and no longer reliable/correct.
Invision Power Services Chieft Software Architect and founder of the forum software, Matt Mecham has accepted an interview with ForumPromotion. We’re thrilled to be interviewing this highly skilled software developer. IPB is currently leading the commercial forum software market in the eyes of many, and has remained loyal to it’s customers where vBulletin and Internet Brands hasn’t.
Matt’s a busy guy but he managed to answer these questions by working around his busy schedule. Cheers Matt.
Did you think ever IPB would get as big as it currently is?
When Charles and I started IPS in 2002, we never dared to think that we’d end up employing over a dozen people and doing something we love doing for a living. I still had a full time job at the time and I couldn’t see that changing. We feel very fortunate to have been able to turn a small PHP script into a business that continues to grow.
Of course, we’re never complacent and always strive to improve. I don’t think you can really take too long to enjoy the scenery. There’s always competition nipping at your heels and that drives you on. I get up every morning and can’t wait to get stuck into the day’s challenges.
Where do you see IPB in 10 years?
That’s a very good question. If you had asked Apple that question 10 years ago, I’m not sure they would have said “Leading the way in portable music players and smartphones”.[more] With this industry trends change dramatically over a short space of time so you have to always be willing to adapt and change. 10 years ago the notion of ‘social networking’ was still in its infancy so few could have predicted the impact Facebook and Twitter have on the web today.
For IPS, I would like to see us continue to grow and still pushing the boundaries of community software. As long as there are people, there is a need for a centralized community.
What do you do to help the mod community?
We love our modifications community and we continue to work with the community to help nurture it. First and foremost, almost all of the IPS staff are very active on the forums. This includes all the senior developers. I think this is important for many reasons but in regards to modifications it means that we can listen to feedback on how to improve the built in systems in our products.
We host a ‘community resources’ section on our own site that allows modification authors to list their mods. We give them a ‘contributor’ badge on the forums if they have modifications listed. We also have ‘contributor’ forums so that modification authors can ask direct questions to the development team and each other.
We’re always trying to improve documentation on our systems. IP.Board 3 was a huge step up for modification authors because it introduced applications and hooks which makes writing modifications much easier.
Both Brandon and I come from a modifications background, so we appreciate the challenges and needs that it brings.
Developing such big software must be very time consuming – do you ever feel like giving up?
It’s very much a team effort but I never feel like giving up, not even for a minute. I can’t express how much I love what I’m doing. I love the challenges and the people. I am constantly thinking of new ways to drive our products on. Development can be time consuming and frustrating but I thoroughly enjoy it. I’m lucky to do something that I enjoy for a living.
How would you recommend new webmasters go about promoting their websites?
It largely depends on the community. The basics are the same for everyone, though. Harness social networking, don’t be afraid of it. IP.Board comes with Facebook and Twitter integration. Allow your members to share links to these sites so that their social circle can discover your forum and content. I’ve tweeted links to our community forum and that topic can have a few hundred guests on within ten minutes. I’m not saying that those guests will register and become long standing members, but you have to admit that it is a powerful tool when used correctly. I’d say that you have to make it as easy as possible to register and join in. Enabled Facebook Connect. It’s reasonable to assume that most people have a Facebook account so being able to register simply by clicking a few buttons will increase registrations.
Even if you intensely dislike Facebook, don’t underestimate its reach. Facebook may be a short lived fad but it currently has 500 million users. It’s fast becoming a ubiquitous sign in method. I love forums and websites that allow me to sign up using Facebook.
What impact will the growing popularity of social networking sites have on the usage of discussion forums?
When I want to go and see what my friends are doing, I check in on Facebook. I can see their status updates, videos and pictures about their weekend. When I want to make contact with my customers to get feedback on our latest products, I go to our forum.
This isn’t revolutionary but it underlines that social networking sites have a different purpose to forums. Of course, there is some cross over but you cannot replace a forum with Facebook and vice-versa. There is always going to be a need for organized discussion that focuses on specific topics.
More and more people are going from vBulletin to IPB – what does IPB3 have over vBulletin 4?
I think there are several factors in the mass migration from vBulletin. The biggest being that Internet Brands have completely destroyed their brand and customer loyalty in the past year. They have slayed their golden goose. Inertia will keep sales ticking over but the dinosaur is definitely staring at the asteroid.
Of course, disgruntled vBulletin customers are only a small part of our customer base. We do still keep an eye on the situation but we are now also paying great attention to other competitors with a more modern, stable platform we can focus our competitive efforts on
Personally I see the growth in social sites as a good thing. I can broadcast links to topics to my social circle who can choose to share that information on. I can sign up to forums without filling in a long complex form and waiting for an activation email. I can update my status updates from a single source. More people connected means more traffic if you leverage it correctly.
How do you compete in the competitive battle between vB and IPB? – are you winning?
We produce good software at a fair price. We treat our customers with respect and listen to their opinions and needs. I don’t think we need to do anything more.
What do you think about other free forum software alternatives e.g. phpBB, how do they compare to IPB?
I think there’s lots of great free software out there. I have a lot of respect for developers that donate their free time to those projects. I’d say the gap between commercial software and free software is growing wider as the web moves on and we adapt to it. In many ways simply having a ‘forum’ isn’t enough. Customers are looking for an integrated suite of applications they can use to built a complete and feature rich site.
Kier has begun development on a new forum software – XenForo – what are your thoughts on it?
I have a lot of respect for Kier. We only really started talking after he left vBulletin and we have a lot in common. He’s a very skilled developer with a lot of experience and an existing “fan” base which will be a fantastic boost in the early stages. Lots of new projects fail because they don’t offer anything new and are not significantly different from existing and well supported applications so it’s nice to see XenForo approach things a little differently.
XenForo has a lot of visual flair which is great to see. It’s certainly generating a lot of buzz at the moment. I really do wish Kier and Mike all the best and look forward to many years of healthy competition.
You can check out IPB here – http://www.invisionpower.com/products/board/
This article was first posted on our blog on 01/04/2010. For this reason, the information may be outdated and no longer reliable/correct.
When you think of a social networking site like Facebook, you probably think of a place where you interact with your friends – a site where people connect with each other. This assessment would be accurate, connecting and sharing with others is your primary goal. This can be an invaluable tool in forum promotion. User ‘A’ posts your site on his wall, user ‘A’ has five hundred friends, all five hundred of those friends now have a personal recommendation to visit your site from someone they know. Let’s say that approximately twenty people visit your site and choose to share it. A chain reaction occurs. This shows how valuable social network sharing can be.
Now, telling people, “Hey guys! Post this site on your profiles online!” is most likely not going to do much. I’m going to teach you today about how to integrate social networking onto your site with minimal effort.
The first site you should check out–and one I personally recommend–is http://addthis.com . AddThis is stunning in its simplicity, but it works. Sign up for an account on AddThis and follow its instructions to get your button. It should give you an HTML code that can be posted anywhere on your site. You may ask, “What does this magical AddThis code do, exactly?” When a user hovers over the AddThis button, a little drop-down menu appears. On this dropdown, they can choose to post a link to your article, your page, your post–wherever the button was–to virtually any social network with very little effort. Some of these sites include Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, StumbleUpon, and Delicious. Over two hundred sites are included in total. AddThis provides advanced analytics, and I was shocked to find that about twelve people had shared my site on Twitter within ten days. Over 800,000 sites utilize AddThis, and you should become one of them.
Moving on, another option is http://bar.meebo.com/ . The Meebo Bar is an interesting little piece of code. To get it, sign up at the URL provided. The code is a little more complex than AddThis, but if you’ve ever edited an HTML document, then you should be able to use it. Be more cautious when adding it to your site, though. What exactly does Meebo do? It adds convenience and connectivity. You can have a link to your Facebook fan page, a built-in preview of your site’s Twitter, Drag ‘n’ Share photo sharing, easy Digg sharing, and more. One of the most interesting features is the Meebo chat. If your users have a Meebo accounts, then they can chat on services such as Facebook, MSN, YIM, and AIM. It is similar to Facebook chat. When they visit another page on your site, their chats are preserved. Your users will be connected to all of their friends, and they will be more apt to share your link.
Of course, the possibilities of social networking in forum promotion are endless. Facebook and MySpace connections allows you to have users log in with their Facebook and MySpace accounts, bypassing registration. Easier registration means that users will be more likely to sign up and post. IP.Board and vBulletin both have some form of these built-in. Another possibility is the use of a Twitter page for your site and all of the promotion efforts that come with that. Look online for more information on promotion via Twitter. A Facebook page is yet another option to be considered.
In conclusion, many users on the web today prefer to visit sites shown to them by friends and acquaintances. Using social networking sites, your site can be promoted that way, and activity can flourish as real-life bonds do the promotion work for you. Using the tools available for these sites, it has become very important. The possibilities are endless, and I hope that you learn to utilize them.
I don’t know why people think that tweeting out a link every couple minutes is acceptable, but a lot of people do it. It’s kind of painful to see people doing this because they are probably getting no returns from it and it’s probably annoying the hell out of their followers. Plus, when your feed is filled with nothing but links it’s pretty easy to see that you’re not engaging with anyone, but you’re just there to push your product. I mean, you are on social media to push your product, but you can’t do it by spamming.
There is a way where you can put out less social media updates, and get more returns … here’s how.
1. Find Out When Your Following Is Most Active
Finding out when your following is most active allows you to build a schedule, and send out tweets at times when they are most likely to bring results (traffic, leads, etc.). Not only that, once you find out when your following is most active you won’t be sending out tweets mindlessly at all hours of the day.
There’s plenty of free tools out there that will analyze your twitter account. Here’s the ones I recommend checking out:
Tweriod will provide you very specific times when your following is most active, but in general most people are active online when they first wake up, during lunch hours, and almost right after work. Just use the tools above to try to get a basic understanding of when your following is active, so you can do the next step.
2. Create a Schedule
Creating a schedule makes things a lot easier. When you have a schedule, you can set up social media updates/tweets days in advance and target times when your following is most likely to engage.
BufferAPP makes it pretty easy to manage multiple schedules, and track stuff so check them out, but keep in mind that it does have limitations unless you pay.
Use the reports from above to generate a schedule for the week. If you want to experiment with multiple schedules, the BufferApp allows you to do that if you have the “Awesome” plan.
3. Track and Adapt
BufferAPP has analytics built right in, but if you decide not to use Buffer, then at least use Bit.ly or Goo.gl to track the clicks that your links get. You’re a business, so you need to be tracking stats to see if your time is being spent correctly. Time is money … don’t waste it.
But really you need to keep track of how things are going so that you can adapt, and change your schedule as your following grows. It’ll also help you get an idea of what your following is most interested in, so you can “optimize” your tweets even more.
Just remember to track and adapt.
4. Start to Engage
Once you’ve developed your schedule, you can now start to spend a little time communicating with your customers. Even though you are posting less links you’re still spamming if that’s all you do. Make sure that some of your twitter account is communicating with your customers, and not just links to your own stuff.
If you’re one of the businesses who are sending out tweets every minute, then please stop. It’s really annoying considering you don’t have to be sending out so many tweets to get good results. Studying your following, and optimizing your tweet times is the best thing you can do. It’ll save both you and your followers some frustration, and you will actually get the results you expect from social media.
So, have you developed your schedule?