Once upon a time, before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and even B2B’s favorite social media platform LinkedIn, there were online forums. In their beginning stages, they were meant to answer questions, gain knowledge and discover information. Almost twenty years later, not much has changed.
Forums are not just a fading social media memory. Millions still use forums to discuss products, services, and the companies who provide them. In fact, according to a recent study conducted by the Society of New Communication Research, nearly 80% of people participate in forum-type communities to help others.
These forums allow an open discussion among those who are passionate about either a very broad or extremely niche topic. An example is CNET forums, where people go to discuss general technology news, including operating systems, hardware, software and consumer electronics. Or on the opposite end of the spectrum, SaaS in the Enterprise is an online community that addresses important questions and issues regarding SaaS and cloud computing.
LinkedIn is Leading the Conversation
Currently, LinkedIn is the leader when it comes to social media for B2B marketing, providing an outlet for technology companies to further their influence on the conversations affecting their industry. According to Hubspot’s The State of Inbound Marketing 2012 Report, 61% of technology companies that use LinkedIn have acquired a customer through this channel, which is up 9% from last year. LinkedIn has also proven to be 277% more effective for lead generation than Facebook and Twitter. While LinkedIn is a great tool when it comes to marketing on online forums, your company can extend this knowledge to outside resources and more specific forums.
For more information on how to leverage LinkedIn, check out our blog post on how LinkedIn is an Asset for B2B Link Building. Check back for tomorrow’s follow-up blog post that will give other popular technology forum examples and cover the top five benefits of using online forums for B2B tech marketing.