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Have you been able to use Twitter and Facebook to effectively drive traffic to your forum?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by TylerK10, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. TylerK10

    TylerK10 Member

    I have never payed much attention to these two forms of promotion but as of the recent launch of my truck and 4x4 forum, my interest in them has sparked greatly.

    I think, for the most part, I get Facebook. I like other pages related to trucks and post my forum's link on their walls. Problem is, for some reason, my forum's Facebook page has 67 likes at the time of this post and only 2 or 3 of those people have actually joined the forum. I understand not wanting to join my forum, but if that is the case, why bother liking the Facebook page for it?

    Twitter on the other hand, I honestly have no clue how to utilize it to my advantage. I have set up a Twitterfeed account (using that on Facebook too) but I don't think it matters because I only have 4 followers and they all seem to be spam anyway. I know I've heard a lot of stories where Twitter has worked for forum owners, but how? I literally don't even understand how the @ and # tweets work.

    So, if you could, please enlighten a total Twitter noob on how to get my forum seen by people and businesses on Twitter with an interest in trucks. And if you guys have gained members through these methods, share your stories!
  2. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Twitter is excellent for driving traffic to your forum.

    We had one of our tweets re-tweeted by the BBC once and the server almost melted.

    Use the # to identify the content.
    For example, whenever I tweet I prefix it #F1 so everyone following the F1 feed will receive it.

    The @ is for making an individual twitter account aware of your message - it will appear in their feed.
  3. Wuebit

    Wuebit Well-Known Member

    Facebook no >.> twitter yes
  4. TylerK10

    TylerK10 Member

    When BBC re-tweeted your tweet, did you get a lot of member registrations or was it mainly unique visitors?

    Since my forum is about trucks, what do I do, put "#trucks" before every Tweet and people with an interest in trucks will see the tweet? Or are there only certain feeds that will work for that? Is there a way to see a list of what feeds there are?
  5. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Some registered, some didn't.
    It's no different to when someone posts a link on a forum or blog.

    You will obviously need to use a hashtag that is being used a lot, otherwise try and start your own :)

    Look for related twitter accounts and see what hashtags they're using.
  6. trilogy33

    trilogy33 Well-Known Member

    Like should = join. muhahaha :)
    The like to join ratio is bound to be uneven and low at the best of times.
    FB Like = one click, user is already on the page and hope they like you too.
    Forum Registration: More clicks on a separate page, keyboard needed - can't stretch at the mo....aw sod it. ;)

    EDIT: To answer the thread title question.
    Twitter: partially; Facebook yes.
  7. mrGTB

    mrGTB Well-Known Member

    That was part of the reason why I closed my Twitter account down and stopped sending every thread posted on my forum into it automatically. Not really an issue if you pay for a good Dedicated or Semi-Dedicated hosting package. But if your using "shared hosting" like I do which put limits in place on max-users e.t.c.

    You will find at times, it's not such a good idea to be constantly having lots of Twitter bots (and there are lots of different ones sent to your site from it). Hammering your forum all the time. Now I just leave the tweet buttons there for others to tweet posts every-now-and-then into their own Twitter accounts, which is not very often so all is fine doing it that way for me.

    I studied the traffic hitting my forum from twitter right away after submitting a thread, and found mostly all are Robots, many different types of them using Twitter as a gateway to your site from tweets made. If you do the same thing, study and search the IP's used by incoming traffic from it. You'll soon spot very little real human traffic is coming in eating away at your precious bandwidth.
    trilogy33 likes this.
  8. jamesyfx

    jamesyfx Member

    Reddit is what stunned me. Facebook and Twitter didn't seem to have much of an effect. I just randomly happened to submit a post a few months ago and it basically drew over 10,000 visitors within a day. Just for comparison sake, the regular visitor value was around 50-100. :p
    krstep likes this.
  9. trilogy33

    trilogy33 Well-Known Member

    Lots of shared servers melt across the globe.
  10. rEd86

    rEd86 Active Member

    Twitter can be a very effective promotional tool for a business/site, but it takes time to get to that point. Here are some things I would recommend doing:
    1. Complete your profile and make your twitter account engaging. If you don't have a meaningful description, link back to your site and custom branding, you are missing out on ways to attract people who come there. First impressions are critical and it only takes a few minutes to turn an OK profile into one that rocks. (you've already invested in the branding and message on your site, so leverage that on Twitter as well)
    2. Size does matter. Just like your forums, you need to think about how you are going to build your Twitter audience and provide value to them. Encourage people to follow you via:
      1. Having a "Follow Us on Twitter" link on every page of your site.
      2. Follow others on twitter that are relevant to your site. Many times they will follow you if they think there are similar interests.
      3. Have your Twitter link on the bottom of user communications. People forget that email messages are free ways to promote things like this. Just go easy on them and don't turn that communication into an infomercial.
    3. Tweet meaningful/relevant content on a regular basis. There's nothing worse than seeing a Twitter account that hasn't been updated in weeks/months. (or seeing irrelevant tweets like "I just had a BLT for lunch") There are great tools like Hootsuite that can help with the management of tweets so you can queue up several at one time and they will appear in the following days/weeks while you're busy running your site or relaxing on the beach while on vacation.
    4. Make sure other sites consume the Twitter content. Things like Facebook and Google Buzz can pull in your twitter feeds, which puts your message out for more to see with no additional work.
    5. Identify forum members who are active in other social sites like Twitter and encourage them to help in the process. That's the great thing about successful forums, you've got an audience that is passionate about your community and is willing to help if asked.
    6. Engage in the conversations. Twitter is a communications tool so you can't just use it to do all the talking. (or use it only for announcements) Keep an eye out for discussions targeted at you or in your content space and participate. The more relevant you are to the people that follow you, the more likely they are to follow a link to your site and register.
    7. Finally, be patient. It takes time to build an audience in any social platform so be prepared to continue working on it with slow results. Over time you'll hit a critical point where things will start to grow rapidly and you'll finally see the fruits of your labor.
  11. kilcher

    kilcher Active Member

    Facebook - Only have 10 fans, people who had already been to our site. So not much luck yet.

    Twitter - Only have 3 followers, one of our Tweets got retweeted and we got about 25 visitors but no signups.

    I'm far from an expert but as far as I can tell the big secret is to post quality Tweets and hope they take off.

    Actually, one thing I'm going to do right now... On my HBO forum we currently have "follow us on Twitter/Facebook" buttons that link to our accounts. I'm going to change that to something that tells them why they should follow us... Something like... "To be notified of the latest trailers, premiere dates, and more follow us on Twitter/Facebook." That way I might reach people who like the niche of our forum even if they don't find a compelling reason to join and participate on our forum.
  12. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    As with most things to do with forums, it all comes down to content.

    I only tweet 20 times or so a year, but when I do it's to inform everyone of the new content we have available.
  13. mrGTB

    mrGTB Well-Known Member

    I think that's the problem most people make with Twitter, myself included at first. They use it to tweet every single thread/post made on their forum into it, thinking it will get them new members signing-up in their droves. Which of course it doesn't do. All your doing is helping keep tons of bots on your site 24/7 eating your bandwidth away.

    Out of interest too, doesn't Twitter now add "rel=nofollow" to all external links. Not sure, I read they do.
  14. GofD

    GofD Well-Known Member

    Currently, we've got about 3500 3250 (Twitter must have cleaned up spammers) Twitter followers and 1625 'Likers' on Facebook - whether or not those people are members of the forums, I have no idea (well, some I know because of similar or identical usernames, but otherwise, I have no way of cross-referencing). We've had varying degrees of success with both Facebook and Twitter, usually depending on our level of engagement with the users on each platform. One thing I've learned (that I don't always remember to apply :oops: ) is to ask questions. Asking questions engages people and helps them to realize that YOU are interested in THEM. And if you're not, don't bother.

    Having a twitter stream that's nothing but RSS feed from your forum is a waste. Having an RSS feed that's supplemented by useful interactions with your followers is a much better use of resources - and you don't have to post often. The main thing is that you reach out to people and talk to them about things they are interested in - it may have nothing to do with your site or brand. I often retweet people who are talking about our niche, with or without commentary, but I keep Tweetdeck up all the time with our stream, our keywords and our twitter handle in columns so I can see when we or our topic is being discussed. We're going to be hosting a 'Twitter Party' in the coming weeks which I think will be fun, and we'll see how successful that might be.

    Likewise, with Facebook, just asking people to 'Like' your page doesn't really accomplish anything. Provide content there that may or may not be available (or readily accessible on your site) - in other words, give people a reason to 'like' your page. This will result in more viral growth of your site as their friends and their friends and their friends are exposed to your site's offerings. Also, 'Like' other pages through your Facebook account and then 'tag' them in posts. 'Tagging' means putting the @ sign before the name of the page, which will automagically cross post your post to that page's wall (if they have fan posting enabled) and you'll get new eyeballs on your content.

    For example, if your site is on Trucks and you've just written a killer article on a new Ford truck, then you could post on your FB page, 'What's YOUR favorite new feature of the blah blah blah @Ford truck?' Then link to your article. Watch your number of page interactions, likers and views rise...

    Just my .02...
  15. Garamond

    Garamond Well-Known Member

    Yes, but only Facebook. Never tried Twitter.
  16. 0xym0r0n

    0xym0r0n Well-Known Member

    *I just realized how old this thread was lol. I was viewing "recent activity"*

    I have nearly 170 likes at this point in time and I'd say about 30-40% of them actually did sign-up with my forum.

    For a vehicle forum I'd suggest liking the fan pages and becoming active on them (you did like them and post links but are you an active participant?). The vehicle guys like people who know whatc they're talking about and are active (I'm a member of a few car forums/car clubs). For example I had a friend start a Lancer group and he got over 200 members within a month with facebook alone. He did have some help with previous clubs he was in, but most of the awareness was raised via facebook. Real events also helped (car folk seem to enjoy the car meets).

    I've had more luck with facebook than twitter. I feel my niche is drowned out in the the hashtags # as people are literally posting something every few minutes. *I suppose that's a good thing because it's an active hash* I just can't seem to really GRAB the attention of the twitter users. On Facebook it's quite simple for me.

    Facebook is more about the social for me and twitter is a great way to get news/gossip via the hashtag... not really a good place to discuss things IMO.
  17. iTuN3r

    iTuN3r Well-Known Member

    35 out of 50 likes on my page are registered members in my site . Never used twitter so i have no clue how it works . Facebook so far has been helping me to build nice traffic and sign -up's once in a while.
  18. Devilwillcry4you

    Devilwillcry4you Active Member

    I get alot more traffic and form twitter and google+ then I do facebook.
    0xym0r0n likes this.
  19. mrGTB

    mrGTB Well-Known Member

    Spotted before when using "Digg", added it myself. That it resulted in much more traffic coming in looking at stats compared to Twitter or Facebook. But converting guests to members didn't work out.
  20. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    Facebook... no. Twitter, absolutely.

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