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Where Are Social Media Marketers Seeing the Most Success?

An article was published yesterday on eMarketer that contained some very surprising information. In recent times when marketers discuss social media the primary destination that comes to mind is Facebook, Twitter or Foursquare.

“Eighty-five percent of companies viewed Facebook as successful, a significant jump from 54% in 2009. Yet Facebook hasn’t matched message or bulletin boards, with 93% reporting it was a successful tactic.”


This information was released in a study conducted by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Market Research.


The Importance of Forums

The importance of forums is something that we at Lefora and CrowdGather talk a lot about. Today Sanjay Sabnani, CEO of CrowdGather, had the honor of being interviewed by Tom Murphy at on just that topic.

The interview centered around the lack of love that forums have received from the mainstream and whether or not forums are becoming obsolete with the rise of social media.

Sanjay summarized the difference between forums and social media by stating that:

“What forums allow you to do is the sum total of everything you can do on the internet….There is nowhere else [besides forums] on the internet where your passions, your hobbies and your knowledge base is sufficiently given credit for.”


Forum & Communities Conference 2011

On February 16, 2011 VigLink is sponsoring a one day conference that is bringing together forum owners, brands, and experts to discuss the state of forums today and he direc

tion forum communities will take going forward.

It is an exciting opportunity to meet with other forum owners and to listen to the insights that other forum managers have gained in managing forums.

Sanjay will be attending and he hopes to see some of you there as well!
16th Febuary
9:00am – 5:30pm
EARLY BIRD Ticket -$95

Calling All Forum Owners, Win a FREE iPad! A CrowdGather sponsored contest.

Win a free one of these!

The holidays are over and there was no iPad under your tree/menorah?, a Crowdgather Forum, is holding a contest to win a FREE iPad.

All you need to do to enter is to be a member of AdminFusion, and write an original (never before used) article about an aspect of owning, marketing or running a forum.

Three prizes are up for grabs, and the winners will be selected by the AdminFusion and CrowdGather staff, and the prizes are as follows:

1st Prize: iPad
2nd Prize: $100
3rd Prize: $50

How to enter? Submit your article to AdminFusion: (Contest Entries – AdminFusion) which only you and the AdminFusion & CrowdGather staff can view, and wait to see if you win!

One entry per person only, first entry is the one which is counted. You have 24 hours after submitting your article to make any changes or correct any mistakes, after that it is final, sorry!

The contest is open until January 14th 2011, and winners will be announced by January 21st 2011!

Top Five Mistakes as a Forum Owner (and how to avoid them)

Each forum is unique but many of have been confronted with similar problems. Although some of these are harder to avoid, with a little planning you may be able to sidestep the most obvious pitfalls of a new forum admin. 

1. Problem:
Not being a leader/Catering to everyone
Setting up a forum requires a lot of time and dedication. Often in the initial phase it is easy to just do whatever you can to get people posting on your site. You cater to their wishes. You don’t step on toes. You encourage posts. And then finally when you realize you have a thriving site, you also realize that you have created a situation where everyone expects to be catered to all the time.

How can you avoid this? Well, some of it is inevitable but if you set up clear rules from the beginning you will save yourself some headache. Growing your site through giving in to everyone is only a recipe to creating a site that you probably won’t want to spend any time on. So think ahead about the type of site you want it to be in a year, not only what kind of a site it is today.

2. Problem:
Getting into confrontations with people publicly
It is so easy to get into a word war with members, but there is nothing more damaging to a site’s morale than a whole lot of negative posts.

People should be allowed to openly air their opinions but if something starts to escalate to becoming personal between you and a member – take it to a private area.

3. Problem:
Appointing mods/admins that are not ready or are power-hungry.


There are a number of ways to avoid this but I recommend either taking a vote or asking your top posters what they think. Also, you may want to consider taking on a mod on a trial basis to start and let them know clearly that you are just seeing if it is a good fit.

4. Problem:
Deleting files. Whether it is deleting objectionable files and then getting complaints from the members, or accidentally deleting files as you move things around. It is easy to do and it can be devastating.

When VB asks you if you are sure you want to hard delete…well double check. Always make sure you have a back up of your files. I can’t say that strongly enough. Back up your files.

5. Problem:
Promising to not put up ads on your site

Let your members know that you intend to put up ads from the very beginning. Sites don’t run by themselves and there is no shame in covering your costs.

Building A Community: Five Easy Steps

The first thing to know when building an active forum community is that it will not happen overnight. To get started the most important things you will need are:

  • Dedication
  • Skill
  • Patience

Lucky for you, the first steps in getting a forum started entail getting proper hosting and forum software. With Lefora you can skip these steps and use our free forum package.

Step One
To get started you need to decide on a particular topic for your forum. A general talk forum is very unlikely to work, as you need to be able to capture a niche group of people. Once you have decided upon your genre, stick to it…there’s nothing worse than seeing a forum going off topic before its started. The forum should have a good number of interesting and focused topics. The content should reflect the interests of the target audience, and every care should be made to have well-written and informative content that is updated regularly. This not only helps attract new members, it keeps older members from losing interest and defecting to other forums.

Step Two
The forum needs to have a clear list of rules, a disclaimer, and most of all, good solid moderation. Visitors will quickly become frustrated with forums that have no clear guidelines, or feature rude, obnoxious, or overbearing members. Good manners are required as much online as offline.

Step Three
So, now the crucial part: the setup. Jot down a few notes about what exactly you want to be discussed on your forum, then create around 3-4 forums. Do not go overboard and create hundreds of sections. If you do this, people will be distracted by the lack of posts and will leave. Once you have your few forums built up you can maybe look into adding additional forums.

Step Four
Promotion, especially in the early days, will take considerable time and effort. Forums can be difficult to start (members generally are shy when there are only a few present), and the more posts that take place, the more individuals will join. This is the snowball effect of forums, so marketing must be done consistently, day in and day out, until the forum becomes more self-sustaining. Getting visitors to your site, and making them stay is probably the hardest part. Many sites and forums offer paid posts. Use them as a last resort as they give undesired results, which leave your forum full of off topic posts and advertisements. A very effective way of getting people registered is to create around 10 accounts yourself and post under the different names. Obviously not telling people you are the admin otherwise they would think you’re insane!

Step Five
Remember, if you are not committed to your forum’s topic you will not attract people.  Just because you build it, doesn’t mean that they will come. The owner of the forum should take an active interest in the forum and SHOW this interest by contributing regularly. Above all else, people join forums where they feel they will learn from the owner of the forum, and if the owner is never present, they quickly lose interest in the forum. Finally, keep your forums active. There are many ways to do this; competitions, giveaways, constant new topics being posted, and unique content. Unique content is essential. Don’t take posts from other forums because you will not only be in trouble but it will also increase your risk of being banned from search engines.

Help Us Improve in 2011

We are always looking to improve our service, and your feedback is very important. Please take two minutes and fill out our customer survey @ Your feedback will help make Lefora better for everyone.
Happy Holidays,

-Lefora Team

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