Build New Revenue Streams
Drive Traffic to Your Site
Expand User Engagement
Forums also provide social media tools and interactive features that improve the user experience of your community. Members are able to like content, direct message with other members, and create profile posts. All of these features help instill the idea that your forum is a community, which helps maintain user engagement. You can also incorporate recreation extensions and tools, such as arcades, games, betting, and gambling. Incorporating off-topic areas, thread games, and contests helps encourage engagement as well as drives users to becoming more personable with the other members of the forum.
This close knit community created by forums allows your users to feel both invested and valued in your community. Users in communities like this are more likely to engage and become personable with your site. They have their own account and profile with profile posts. They are more likely to post directly on your site as well as engage in site based activities such as poles and upvoting.
Forums can also be used for crowd-sourced support. Companies like PayPal, Ubuntu, Apple, Steam, HP, and Tesla all use this technique to provide support to their users. This allows users to quickly search or ask questions within the community and other users to provide support or relate to issues they are having. This is both beneficial to the users and your site, allowing your forums to serve in a “self-service” method.
An Affordable Option
Forums are low-costing and easy to maintain. Custom websites with similar functionalities can cost upwards of ten thousand dollars. However, a forum can be created on a cheap server for approximately $10 a month. Forum software ranges from free to a few hundred dollars and can be customized with add-ons and themes averaging around $30 a piece. Your forum can be created to be as customized as you want it. You can typically create an extremely customized theme, installation, hosting for a year, and setup your entire forum for under $1000. If you’re able to piece everything out and make it a DIY project, you can accomplish this for hundreds.
While forums are traditionally thought of as a separate entity designed for social activity, they have they ability to service many additional purposes. This low cost option is able to benefit your project through revenue, traffic, and user engagement. Allowing users to interact in a community focused around your product allows your site to be filled with unique, user generated content that helps your SEO and increases the familiarity around your product.