Forums can be great for your website depending on what you do. An active forum with hundreds of users who come back daily or many times more than once a day. When this happens you develop a community of people who come back often but your hits to your site also skyrocket.
When working with a site or company that depends on advertisers, a forum is a great way to get a lot of activity on your site, recurring activity, and lots of users. All things that advertisers love. So how do you get people to start using your forum?
1. Have a contest. If you have a Facebook page and have a lot of followers have a contest. Tell your Facebook fans to signup for your forum, and make legit posts. For every post they make they get an entry into the drawing for a free…. Ideally they will then start using it, lots of people, and go back to make more posts/get more entries and eventually realize it’s a good forum and continue using it after the contest.
2. Be active on the forum yourself. Answer questions, ask questions, keep the discussions going. Be active on it multiple times a day just like you should with Facebook.
3. Use Facebook and social media to drive people to your site. Give them a little tidbit and tell them to goto your site to continue the discussion and read more about the topic.
Forums can be great, but take time to get going. If you don’t stay on top of it you’ll have a dated forum that no one will use because it is obvious from the dates on the threads that no one visits the site.