If You Need Influential Consumers And Word-of-Mouth Go To Online Forums
True fans are the people who really like you and won’t miss the opportunity to tell others about you. A recent study from PostRelease reveals that a place to look for brand advocates could be online forums.
Online forums are one of the first tools of social media. Early web-based forums date back as far as 1996. Our experience from running online forums the core users are very opinionated and very loyal. Usually a community develops around forums with regular users.
The new study shows that their influence reaches online and off. The users of online forums post reviews, share links, organize offline meetups and proactively recommend a purchase more often than regular internet users. About one fifth of Americans contribute to forums.
Some of the results from the survey:
- 79.2 percent of forum contributors help a friend or family member make a decision about a product purchase – compared with 47.6 percent of non-contributors and 53.8 percent overall
- 65 percent of forum contributors share advice (offline and in person) based on information that they’ve read online – compared with 35 percent of non-contributors and 40.8 percent overall.
- 66 percent of forum contributors post online ratings/reviews of products/services, compared with 16.8 percent of non-contributors and 26.4 percent overall.
- 57.7 percent of forum contributors proactively recommend that someone make a particular purchase – compared with 16.9 percent of non-contributors and 24.9 percent overall.
- 43.6 percent of forum contributors share links to articles about new products or with reviews of products – compared with 12 percent of non-contributors and 18.2 percent overall.
- 35.6 percent of forum contributors attend an offline event or meet up where people with similar interests or who share the same hobby connect – compared with 13.8 percent of non-contributors and 18 percent overall.
- 20.6 percent of forum contributors publish a blog – compared with 2.1 percent of non-contributors and 5.7 percent overall.
- 18.8 percent of forum contributors take an active role in organizing an offline event or meetup for a group that met originally online – compared with 2.4 percent of non-contributors and 5.6 percent overall.
So it seems a really good idea to find the forums relevant to your business and identify the key players in those forums. Here are some free tools that will get you started.
BoardReader can be used to find and information on the forums and message boards. Boardreader uses proprietary software that allows users to search multiple message boards simultaneously.
A search engine in the ‘traditional’ sense. All the information in our database is from forum threads only, all extraneous text on a page is excluded by default which allows use to return even more relevant results without the ’spam’. Corporate users can arm their sales and marketing staff with BoardTracker accounts to give them essential business intelligence.
For other free social media monitoring tools visit our post: 46 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools.
Image credit Peter Suneson