Back in the early days of the internet, forums and “message boards” where all the rage. These were pages on websites where people could log in and post messages on the subject of the site and this way they could discuss their favorite topics, get advice and maybe even make friends.
The potential for marketing here was obvious too – find the right forum and you’ve basically found a spot where all of your potential audience are hanging out in one place!
Over time, these forums started to disappear though, partly thanks to the popularity of social media which made them in some ways moot.
But while forums might not exist in their traditional form any more, that’s not to say that there aren’t similar communities online. And re-tapping into these can be very beneficial!
How to Find Online Communities
For starters, many forums and message boards still do exist. It’s just a matter of finding the right website that has its own forum that has managed to stay active.
But otherwise, you can also look for other tailored groups on the web. One good example is Google+. Google+ is a social network just like Facebook, but it also happens to have communities within it that you can become a member of and then discuss your favorite topics in. Once you’re a member you can post to any of these communities.
Another great place to look is Reddit. Reddit has lots of “sub Reddits” which are pages devoted to particular topics and you can find pretty much everything under the sun here.
And finally, you also have Facebook groups. Facebook groups are like pages except they tend to be made by fans of a certain topic and have a more democratic set-up.
There are many more similar groups online but these are some of the best examples.
How to Use Groups
If you have the perfectly tailored article for a particular group, then you can join and then simply share it. This is a great way to get hundreds or even thousands of immediate views for your site right away.
A better option though is to spend some time there first and during this period to build up trust and familiarity in the forum or group. You want to become a regular and someone people get to know and begin to rely on. Now when you post, people will look out of interest but also to help you. If they feel almost like friends then they can become incredibly valuable assets for promoting your site!