PHP Forum as a social media tool
PHP Forums are great tools to atract clients to your website and to increase activity on your website which should be the core of your social media networking strategy. It can easily make a static website very dynamic. 2 important things you need to keep in mind is you have to moderate your forum and you must add search engine optimisation to your forum!
Social media and social networking – The complete strategy
Using a forum is a great way to attract clients, to connect to them on a personal level. a well optimised forum can also allow your clients to add your pages to facebook, twitter and other forms of social media. When you have a forum people become your bloggers, they may choose to write about your products services, they can post images and talk about general information related to your industry. This text is free content generated by your users that will ensure your website ranks for more keywords in google. Now you link your social media campaign to this forum and you have given birth to an automated self sustainable social media platform that will grow every day.
Now before you start your social media marketing campaign you need to implement something that can generate content on your website because Content is King!
There are two ways to do this, the one is you can dedicate your entire career to posting content all day and the other is you can post some content and allow users to comment which will automatically generate content on your website. If you do not have lots of content on your site or a blog system or a forum you should perhaps go back to this phase before considering social networking. There are many ways to create content for your social network strategy so let me discuss one method here below.
Why do I need a PHP Forum?
- Increase your social media database
- php forums are usually free
- php forums are dynamic
- the forums can dramatically increase your profits and clients on your site
- a forum helps you see what your clients want and need
- they can keep your clients on the site for longer
- Forums that are search engine optimised will save you a lot of time because as you know the more content you have on your site the more keywords you have and the more clients you will receive. The beauty about having a forum is that people will post the content for you and all you have to do is moderate the content. It doesn’t get easier than that
- forums gives people something to do on your site other than just reading
- they allow users to post pictures and sound files on your website
- php forums can get other members to become part of your community
The list goes on and on but let’s get to the important part:
How to, where to get a php Forum and how to optimise the forum as part of my social network strategy?
Looking for a php forum for your website, clients or just for personal or education use? Well let me give you the answer before you waste your time looking at thousands of different forum options.
Your best bet is to Use phpBB. This is freeware and quite easy to install. You have two options
(1) Get us to install it for you at a small fee
(2) Go to www.phpbb.com download the program and follow the instructions on how to install it.
Free php forum software has some security issues and people hack the forums. So make sure you always have the absolute latest version of the forum software!
What you need to get your forum online and ready
(1) a Domain name
(2) a Mysql database on your webserver
(3) a webserver that supports php
(4) 1 hour install time
(5) 1 hour configuration time
If you are not in the mood to install your own php forum then contact us. We will do it for you at minimum cost
How to search engine optimize your php forum
Ok that’s not so easy. If you want clients on your forum you need your forum to come up in the search engines for different keywords.
Lets start with an example:
Say for instance your forum is about chocolate chip cookies.. And lets say client B decides to start a topic on your website called “Bar One Chocolate Chip Cookies”
Wouldn’t it be absolutely awesome if your forum comes up when someone searches for bar one chocolate cookies, and for chocolate chip cookies and for bar one sauce?
By having one user post one comment you can already increase traffic to your site if you have proper search engine optimisation in place.
Now consider this:
Lets say person B found your website and thinks hmmm this is a great recipe and he might register with the forum and then post a comment like. “Thank you for a great recipe, here is another great one! Banana and chocolate chip cookies”
Now by doing absolutely nothing you rank for about 10 keywords in Google. This is the power of combining forums with search engine optimisation.
Im sure by now you can start to see how powerful a well optimized php forum might be for your website?
Ok now im not going to go into too much detail because I cover a significant portion of search engine optimisation on the website. Look for the link below. All I will say is these phpBB templates are not so easy to hack.
The most important factor: You absolutely have to make the subject appear in the page title. I.O.W “Chocolate Chip Cookies”
And when someone clicks the banana chocolate chip cookie comment you have to add that into the title.
If you can get that to work then you are on your way to having a successful forum my friend.
To cut a long story short. There is about 150 onsite factors you need to implement and you need tons of backlinks to make your forum rank on the first page in Google. You can attempt this on your own once again or you can outsource that whole process to us.
Good luck and take care
The Social media and social networking part
Now that you have a forum or a blog system in place with proper search engine optimisation you are ready to start your social networking strategy because in time your forum will start to automatically generate traffic to your website.
The first thing you want to do is to add a button on your website that allows your users to add your page to facebook, twitter, digg and all the other social network sites.
The button that allows your users to add your pages to all the social network tools.
Test this tool above by adding us to one of your social networks. This tool is just great, it allows your users to add your pages to all their social networks with the click of a button. It will take the exact url of that page and post it to facebook, twitter etc. This allow other users to copy those links if they are interested and they will again post them on their social networks. This is a easy tool to implement and it will in time be part of your viral social network advertising campaign.
<img src=”http://static.addtoany.com/buttons/share_save_171_16.png” width=”171″ height=”16″ border=”0″ alt=”Share” style=”margin-right:10px;”/>
Please ensure you put this code on every page so that the user can just click and add that page without any trouble.
now that you have the basics in place the real fun begins.
Social media Marketing strategy:
The social media registration Process:
(1) Get a dedicated social media email address
(2) Register a facebook account and load all your company details
(3) Register a twitter account and load your company details
(4) Register a Digg account and add your company details and then post one article showing your latest special, service or what the company is about
(5) Register a youtube account and upload 1 multimedia video, this can contain a slide show, sound and a voice over of what your company is about
The social media advertising Process:
Without advertising you might as well just leave everything, you don’t have to pay for advertising but you need to let people know you have these pages in place so they can join and distribute your content. The idea is not for you to sit every day wasting your time trying to find clients to join your social network campaign you must automate this!! If you do not you will lose the game because thousand of other people have automated this entire process.
I will touch on some basics but you need to do proper research because it takes a real professional to make this part work.
(1) Use your php forum and write interesting articles people would want to link to, Then add links to your groups you have created also link to your video, now bare in mind you need to write about something that people would want to read. It is easy to find out what interests people. Google has already done all this market research for you. you can use the following tool to research your market to see what people actually search on the internet.
Understanding this tool makes the difference between wasting your time and writing specific articles for a target market.
(2) Run some pay per click adverts. Advertise your group using a PPC campaign. This is a really affordable way to advertise and it is very easy to implement.
(3) Blog every day, write articles and make sure they are well optimised for a specific target market. Make sure you put buttons and links to your social network pages.
(4) Reward people on your groups. Launch competitions and fun campaigns so they can tell their friends
(5) Be proactive, participate, mail your group members, let them know about specials so they can let their friends know
(6) advertise, blog, post and write about your youtube video, send it to everyone. The more hits you get the higher your video will rank in google and in youtube. When it ranks higher you will get more hits and more followers.
(7) Link your facebook, twitter and Digg account so that one update about a special will update all 3
(8) Send out email specials and add web 2 buttons with links to your social network groups
(9) Offer free stuff to people who joins the social network groups.
If you follow the 9 points above your social network groups will grow into a profit generating machine in no time.
Melanie is co-owner and creator of Promatix.co.za. She is passionate about designing and building websites, with a strong interest in online marketing & UX design (user experience). She has extensive experience in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and ensures that all websites have been fine-tuned to increase conversions and keep customers coming back for more.