Emerging Online Opportunities on Rising Answer-Based Forum Sites like Reddit, Quora, Threads in 2024.
Once overlooked, forum websites have become a focus for both online users and search engines. Typical social media platforms focus on posts of quick, attention-grabbing, bite-sized information. However, users these days crave much deeper and more in-depth online discussions.
Discussion forum sites like Reddit, Quora, and Threads are gaining in popularity. They offer a unique place for like minded people to connect.
These posts even get shared beyond the platform itself. Podcasters talk at length about Reddit posts on their shows. Content creators take screenshots of forum posts and share them to social media. Google Perspectives is also now ranking forum posts.
The increase in online visibility offers a huge opportunity to leverage forum sites and message boards in your digital marketing strategies. Let’s take a look at why online forums will continue to grow, and how you can use this to your advantage.
Best Forum Websites: 2024 Outlook
According to Amity.co, 76% of internet users participate in some form of online community. This includes blogs, vlogs, and importantly – forums. Many people turned to online communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this trend has not stopped. Users are now looking for a more authentic and genuine online experience than they ever have before.
In 2024, some old platforms will continue to rise in popularity while new ones will expand.
Google focuses on Reddit (the raucous online forum) and Quora (the answer-based site for searches).
Meanwhile, as users and advertisers abandon X, the social media site Threads by Meta seems to be on the rise. As a result, these are sites to emphasize in 2024 for reputation management.
The Role of Google Perspectives
What does Google see about your brand? More importantly, what do other people see about your brand when they search on Google?
This feature delivers more diverse viewpoints and web content to search engine users. It shows written posts, images, videos, social media content, Q&A, forums, and news. With this update, users can find answers and information to their queries from real people sharing their personal experiences.
Popular Forum Sites for 2024
Here are some forum sites expected to grow in popularity during 2024.
Reddit is a social news site, often referred to as “the front page of the internet”. It is a hub of the latest trends, news, and internet phenomena. Many internet memes, viral videos, and online movements have started or gained traction on Reddit. Users are known for their diverse opinions and sense of community.
Users, known as “Redditors” can discuss and vote on content submitted by others. The site is organized into various forums (aka “subreddits”) dedicated to different topics. Topics range from news and science to humor or video games. Each subreddit is a community with its own rules, moderators, and culture.
Redditors can either upvote or downvote posts and comments, which influences their visibility. This system promotes popular, relevant content while downplaying unpopular or irrelevant content. Reddit comments also often lead to debates, information sharing, and discussion
Reddit currently has over 430 million active users. In 2022 alone, Redditors made 492.3 million posts and 2 billion comments. And their growth isn’t slowing down.
Quora is a Q&A platform where users can ask questions on a wide range of topics and get answers from users with expertise. Users create, edit, and organize the content themselves on this community-driven site.
Unlike traditional question-and-answer sites, Quora focuses on high-quality, detailed, in-depth answers. People who answer questions often have real-world experience related to the question. Quora users tend to be highly educated. 65% of users have a bachelor’s degree and 28% have a graduate degree.
Quora’s voting system promotes the most helpful, relevant answers. Users can comment on answers to discuss or ask for further information.
Launched in July 2023, Threads is Meta’s version of Twitter (now X). It’s a platform that allows people to share updates and join public conversations. Similar to X, users can interact with others through replies, likes and reposts.
The platform exploded in popularity at launch. 100 million users downloaded Threads in the first week alone. Now, the app has around 160 million users as the usership of X is in decline. Threads is unique because it allows integration with other social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram.
How Businesses Can Leverage Forum Marketing
Forum-based websites present a huge opportunity for businesses. How can businesses take advantage of the increased visibility of forum message boards? Follow these steps to get started.
Step 1: Research the forums where your customers are
Do a deep dive into the forum chats to see where your potential customers are and specifically, the questions they are asking.
These forums are appearing a lot more in Google searches. As a result, finding recent and relevant forum pages appearing in search results should be easier.
Step 2: Read the rules and join the forum
Next, it’s time to create an account (if you haven’t already) and join a forum.
Read the rules of each forum you join. There may be explicit rules regarding marketing or self-promotion. Even if no promotion is allowed, you can still use these forums to network and demonstrate your expertise.
Following the rules will help you avoid getting banned or downvoted.
Step 3: Start answering questions
Here’s your chance to show your expertise on a subject! Some rules to live by:
Be authentic and genuine in your posts. Personalize your responses by sharing real, relevant experiences and stories. Authenticity fosters trust and relatability.
Be helpful and provide value. Offer in-depth, insightful answers that go beyond generic advice. When possible, include practical tips or step-by-step advice.
Avoid overly-promotional content. Focus less on selling and more on being informative.
Upvote relevant posts. Engaging with the community shows you are more than just there to promote your brand. Rather, you want to build genuine relationships and understand the community.
Step 4: Build your credibility
Consistency is key. Make sure you regularly contribute to forum communities. Here are some tips:
Be active in your engagement by responding to follow-up questions. Ongoing dialogue enhances your credibility and visibility.
If relevant, use real-life examples of case studies to illustrate your points. This adds credibility to your responses.
Stay updated on the latest trends. Answering with outdated information can damage your credibility.
Be open to different perspectives. Engage respectfully in debates, as this demonstrates professionalism and open-mindedness.
Follow up on your posts. Don’t “post and ghost”. Instead, monitor your previous answers for any new comments so you can respond in a timely manner.
Over time, the more you contribute, the more you will build credibility for your account. You will foster a favorable online reputation and an engaged audience by consistently posting valuable content.
Step 5: Monitor your reputation
Whether as a business or an individual, your name may pop up on these sites. To effectively manage your brand’s image, knowing how people in these online communities perceive you is essential. Here are some tips:
Set up Google Alerts.Track for your name, your brand name, and relevant keywords. This tool will notify you whenever people mention these words online, including in forum discussions.
Search your name in forums. Regularly search for your name on the forums in which you participate. Doing this helps you track both positive and negative mentions.
Use social listening tools to track mentions across various platforms, including forums.
Address negative feedback. If you encounter negative feedback or mentions, address them constructively and diplomatically. To maintain a positive image, it is important to offer solutions or clarifications.
Monitor how the sentiment around your brand evolves over time. This can help you understand the real impact of your forum marketing efforts and adjust strategies as needed.
What Increased Forum Sites Mean For Your Reputation
The new Google Perspectives feature has altered the online marketing landscape, prioritizing more human and authentic content in search results. This means more content from forums appearing on Google.
For businesses and individuals, this may also affect your online reputation.
If you have any questions or concerns about your reputation online and on forum sites, contact the experts at Reputation911.
We are a reputation management company that helps to make you Look Good Online.