Taking part in discussions on forums & community boards can be a great way to connect with your target audience. However, it’s important to keep in mind that members on these platforms are looking for information and advice, and not a sales pitch.

Which is why when you join in on discussions in relevant forums you should focus on what you can offer to the discussion and not only on selling your brand.

How to find relevant forums  & community boards

As in any other quest for information, the best place to start is with a Google search. Besides searching for forums you can also broaden your search and search for discussion boards, communities and blogs that are relevant to your store’s industry.

Getting started on forums & community boards

In most forums you will need to first of all create an account before you can participate in discussions. When signing up you will most likely have an option to write in your profile about yourself, you can also add here a  short note about your store.

Before jumping in to discussions spend some time getting to know the vibe of the forum and it’s participants. Some forums block new users to avoid spam, or mark new users as such. So you will need to first of all earn your reputation.

Joining a new forum is very much like integrating into any other group in the real world, you want to take it slowly and let the current group member get accustomed to you as the new comer. So don’t jump right in to discussions, start by introducing yourself and slowly as you feel more comfortable join in on discussions.

When joining in on an ongoing discussions offer advice on subjects you can, this will help you be welcomed and build your trust & authority.

This will pay out in the long run, since if you ask members to visit your store after you’ve gained their trust, they are more likely to respond to your offer positively.

Finding a forum or discussion board that is your exact target audience can be quite a great opportunity, so make sure you take it slow and don’t push what you’re selling so you don’t miss out on this.

Read on to find out how you get started on Reddit >>