Important to realize, most Online Forums makes use of the bbPress WordPress Plugin to deliver their services. Not to mention, an open-source Online Forums software built on top of WordPress.
Whereby, it can be installed as an Online Forums plugin into a WordPress powered website. Unlike older forum software, it is not clunky and doesn’t take up a lot of resources.
Of course, this means it is easier to add an Online Forums Panel to your WordPress Site. And equally, still, keep the simplicity and extensibility of WordPress.
Furthermore, it has the ability to create multisite forums, with its less complex and customizable templates. In addition to built-in support for preventing spam.
What are Online Forums and Chats?
An online discussion group, Online services, and bulletin board services (BBS’s) provide a variety of forums. In this case, participants with common interests can exchange open messages. Forums are sometimes called newsgroups (in the Internet world) or conferences.
In the second place, Online Forums offers a great place to discuss any particular topic with the like-minded people. Equally, these forums are internet-based group communities where you can start a discussion. Or even, get an answer to your query or even search for new business prospects.
Additionally, these forums allow you to register with them and after that, you can look into the answers to various questions written by others or you yourself can answer the questions. Almost every website these days has a small forum integrated into their own websites.
Online Forums and Chats Benefits for Websites
A 2015 survey by Pew Research Centre found that 15% of all internet users read or comment on discussion forums. But why in the age of Facebook and other social media sites are forums still used so extensively?
1. Marketing Strategy Integration
When you think about online marketing, you typically think about content, social media, and SEO. But one area of online marketing that is often overlooked and under-discussed is forums marketing.
To enumerate, Forums are essentially social media groups without the association of a social network. As a matter of fact, filled with people who passionately love the forum topic.
As an illustration, I’m going to give you a quick guiding list to how you can use forums to market your small business. Including,
- Find forums where your customers are engaged
- Join the forum as a person
- Read the rules
- Complete your profile
- Add a Signature
- Add valuable insights to threads
2. Encourage Room For Discussion
This is what most people would consider the main advantage of an online forum. They are a great way for your team members and stakeholders to connect over shared experiences.
To take things further, you could even create separate communities for different groups. So they can easily find topics that are relevant to them. This is a great way to ensure that they stay engaged with the conversations.
3. Communication Skills Improvement
With email now considered a major productivity killer by many employees, organizations need to find new ways to improve communication.
An online forum can help form a key part of your communication plan. Rather than searching through a packed inbox of emails, you can simply ask a question within the forum and see everyone’s responses in a clear, chronological order.
Another advantage is that the key points raised in the discussion don’t have to be lost. The most popular platforms will allow you to pin specific posts to the top of the discussion. So no-one misses any key statements.
4. Online Collaboration Merger
Improving collaboration should be near the top of your list of priorities. Why? For a start, 75% of employers rate teamwork and collaboration as “very important.”
That’s not all though. Collaboration can help to bring out the creative sides of your team members, as they can work closer together and bring new ideas to the table.
What better place to do this than in a forum? People can contribute their ideas in the knowledge that it is stored in an online workspace that can be referred back to at any time.
5. Better Engagement and Leads Conversion
There are many benefits to having engaged employees. Increased productivity and less absenteeism are just two reasons why companies as large as Google and Facebook continue to invest so much time and money into improving it.
This is backed up by research that found that employees are 12% more productive when they’re happy at work. By creating a thriving online community, your stakeholders will naturally feel more engaged with your project.
It gives them a platform to express their views and creativity and ultimately feel like they’re positively contributing to its success.
6. Constant Online Assistance and Support
Every day we are faced with problems that we need to overcome. Sometimes we can just simply ask a manager or colleague for help. But what happens if they’re not around or too busy? The last thing you want is to be left to deal with the problem alone!
With an online forum, you don’t have to. Simply create a discussion and ask your community for help. If everyone posts problems and respond to them, over time it will create a network amongst colleagues. That will be actively supporting each other.
Even better, as forum posts are generally archived, you can refer back to previous answers given to common issues to do with your project. It could grow to become an FAQ or Wikipedia style resource for your team or even your whole organization.
Online Forums & Website Chats Implementation
Important to realize, Forums come in all shapes and sizes. Whereas, the main objective is to provide an area where members can interact. Especially, with questions, answers, and discussions on a given topic. Each forum states the topic and tries to keep the discussions on the topic.
Therefore, adding forums or chats to your WordPress Website is a great way to encourage user interaction. And extend the conversation beyond your comments section. It’s also a great and easy way to provide support for your product or service. Instead of sorting through a mile-long email thread.
It’s one of the most popular forum plugins because it’s developed by the same team behind WordPress and integrates with your website seamlessly.
bbPress WordPress Plugin for your Multisite Forums
Notably, the bbPress WordPress Plugin is a free, open-source forum software built on top of WordPress. Whereby, it can be installed as a WordPress plugin into a WordPress powered website. Unlike older forum software, it is not clunky and doesn’t take up a lot of resources.
Of course, this means it is easier to add a forum panel to your WordPress site. And equally, still, keep the simplicity and extensibility of WordPress. Further, it has the ability to create multisite forums, with its less complex and customizable templates. In addition to built-in support for preventing spam.
Your forum doesn’t have to be a standalone entity. It can also form a key part of your existing or new online collaboration tool. Not invested in one? Perhaps you should. Especially when you consider that Gartner stated that social technologies are currently used by 70% of organizations.
But there is another statistic stands out. In the same article, Gartner also stated that most social collaboration initiatives fail because they follow the worst practice approach of “provide and pray”, leading to only a 10% success rate. To avoid this, you need to achieve one thing. Give your stakeholders a good reason to collaborate with you in this way.
Having said that, an online forum can contribute towards this. Ensuring discussions are around relevant topics that people want to actively participate in. Additionally, it can help encourage stakeholders to regularly log in, engage with your tool and ultimately help you to achieve project success.
Eventually, you’ll find more detailed information through our previous articles. In particular to that affiliated to bbPress WordPress Plugin for your Multisite Forums.
More useful and related blog topic links:
- Hive Age: A Quick Guide to Forum Marketing for Small Businesses
- MiniBB: What may miniBB bring to You?
- bbPress: Download WordPress Multisite Forum Plugin