Online forums are becoming more and more popular in Nigeria especially with the success of Nairaland. Nairaland.com has been around since 2003 and has grown to become the hottest web destination for topical and societal issues that concern everyone.
With almost 400,000 members, Nairaland is competing with Facebook’s Nigerian user base which is currently about 500, 000.
But some of these online forums have not been able to manage their communities with an Online Reputation Management (ORM) system; or have not built their community around social media tools and Web 2.0 technologies. In fact, I rarely use them, except perhaps for NigeriaVillageSquare.com
Personally, I find most of these online forums, especially the ones built under the vBulletin and SMF softwares that don’t have social media functions, sub-standard compared to what online forums around the world have become as a result of the social media revolution.
Generally, an online forum that wants to adopt web 2.0 tools and technologies should critically access and determine the web needs of its target audience. For example, if the target audience are people who just come around to find the latest gist, but hardly spend time on the site, then you may not need to bother about Web 2.0.
On the other hand, if your audience are web-savvy (i.e. they understand what it means to interact, discuss and network within an online forum), then you should critically consider investing some time and money in Web 2.0 tools and technologies for your site.
Below are 7 tips on how to turn your online forum into a social media community.
Adopt a Social Networking Approach
Social Networking is simply the major buzzword. Every Web 2.0 site on the web space seems to be adopting a social networking angle to their business. When your forum members can interact and network with other members and building networks through such relationships.
Allow Users Create Blogs
Blogs are more likely to get people’s attention, since they display information in a more organized way. Thus, for an online forum, users can write blogs on any topic and could be used to publish jobs, announcements, news, events, etc.
Use Social Media Applications
Social media sites such as Digg, Sturvs, Delicious, Muti, Technorati, Facebook, Twitter, etc are very useful Web 2.0 tools that could be integrated into online forums. Thus, content could move around the web space faster and easier when these tools are used effectively.
Create a Facebook/Twitter Page
Facebook is a great tool to build your online forum’s reputation and attract more fans and visits. A Twitter account will also do the magic.
Feeds have become a very popular Web 2.0 application that syndicates information into a reader for easy access. It is gradually replacing the email newsletters and can be accessed through Google Reader amongst others. Thus, an integration of post feeds and comments feeds will be a good fit.
These days, you can do virtually everything with mobile phones. An online forum that applies mobile 2.0 applications to inform users of the hottest news and announcements will be a hit.
Create a Rating System
To build successful online forums or communities that promote high-value conversations, there should be a post and comment rating system that rewards quality contributions to the community. Users’ comments can be rated to encourage meaningful conversations in the community.
I personally think that if these tips are applied in Nigerian online forums, there’ll be more meaningful participation, online collaboration and community engagement. Besides, it will encourage companies that want to target the online forum’s audience to advertise their products and brand.
Photo via: ApolloMediaBlog
Related Posts via Categories
- Deciphering the Google Way to Cloud Computing [An Analyst View]
- The World’s First Social Media ‘Royal Wedding’
- Jonathan To Broadcast Diasporan Campaign on Ustream
- Startups Nigeria (Beta) Version 2.0 Officially Released
- Oceanic Bank Bans Facebook!
- Social Media Lessons Learned from Barack Obama
- Google Plus Vs Facebook Growth in Nigeria
- Zuckerberg to Startups: You don’t have to move to Silicon Valley
- Manchester United to launch social network for its 500 million fans?
- Speaking at a Consumer Engagement Workshop in Lagos
- Sim Shagaya: “We Should Have Been Better Prepared.”
- Konga’s Site Suffers Epic Crash Over Traffic Surge During Its #FallYakataSales
- 10 Tips and Tricks For Shopping Online This Season
- TECNO Inks Deal With Blackberry To Pre-load BBM On Its New Phones
- Nigeria’s 4G Service, SWIFT Offers 5% Data Credit If You Make Online Payments
- Nelson Mandela: the numbers behind the internet’s heartbreak
- How the web looked the day Nelson Mandela died: 55+ top sites transformed
- Mandela mourned, NSA knows where you are and Amazon’s drones: #StuffToKnow this week
- Wishes and condolences: Nelson Mandela’s last days as told on social media
- #RIPNelsonMandela: Twitter mourns a global icon
- Facebook Videos Now Auto-Play On Mobile, Expect Video Ads Soon
- Inside India’s Aadhar, The World’s Biggest Biometrics Database
- Today In Dystopian War Robots That Will Harvest Us For Our Organs
- Architect Bradley Rothenberg Does 3D-Printed Fashion At The Annual Victoria’s Secret Show
- Ask A VC: Redpoint’s Geoff Yang On What Makes A Successful Entrepreneur
- Yahoo acquires live concert streaming platform Evntlive to expand its Screen and Music products
- 11 of the best Android launchers and home screen replacements you can download today
- Google News mobile on Android and iOS revamped with customization options, simple navigation, weather, and more
- 5 experiences commerce websites should replicate from the Apple Store
- Google says 91.4% of non-spam emails sent to Gmail users are now authenticated using antiphishing standards
- Academia.edu slammed with takedown notices from journal publisher Elsevier
- Lyft’s new VP brings data-science chops from Netflix, Google, and space (exclusive)
- Top 10 tech trends for 2014: Wearables, 3D printers, mobile money, and more
- Mobile analytics firm Flurry raises another $12.5M
- KidoZen lands $5M to free enterprises from single-vendor mobile apps
Tagsafrica android apple barack obama barcamp nigeria business careers encipher encipher tablet etisalat nigeria facebook globacom goodluck jonathan google inye ipad Jobberman job search kenya lagos loy okezie microsoft mobile apps Mobile Web mtn nigeria nigeria nokia saheed adepoju silicon valley Social Media social network software developers south africa starcomms startup startups startups nigeria techcrunch technology telecoms ticker Twitter yahoo yarnable youtube