You can still see them today: the Roman Forum ruins, remnants of the glory days. Cars and Vespas drive down the city’s Via dei Fori Imperiali toward the Colosseum, past the Eternal City’s former heart, where the citizens of Rome bumped shoulders commercially, economically, socially and politically.
Similiar to the function of ancient forums, today’s online versions serve as gathering places for people with similar interests, roles, religions, you name it. There are product- and industry-specific forums, makeup, cars, travel, investing, plumbing, etc. (Note: these are each just one example of numerous other forums available for every specific topic.)
Chris Crum over at SmallBusinessNewz discusses the value of a small business’ participation in online forums, from seeking advice on a particular issue to establishing a presence that could translate to a networking opportunity. His advice is sound, as you really don’t ever know when any sort of connection—in this case online—could come to your business’ aid.
I’d like to take his advice, especially his first point about seeking help, a step further. On the flip side, a business can participate in forum discussions to offer help and advice in their industry, thereby fostering goodwill with customers and other businesses and establishing itself as an expert in an industry. For example, EVG’s own Anthony and Eric (when he’s not checking out his favorite fishing forums) are on LinkedIn’s Discussion boards, sharing helpful tips and articles as well as participating in various discussions related to content marketing.
So, get cracking! Discover some relevant forums from the vast array of options online. Sign up, start talking and bump shoulders with your fellow online citizens.
Jeanne Petrizzo – Writer/Editor