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Driving Traffic Through Online Forums

forumsAn Internet forum is an area for discussion made available on a website for users to post discussions, read and respond to posts by other forum members. Online forums allow members or users to start new topics and reply to existing posts too. Conversations on forums are called threads.

With the advent of the internet, businesses are leaving no stone unturned to promote their businesses online. Among the various other means to market websites online, forum posting is turning into a popular option. To top that, it has been noted that visitors to websites by way of forums are worth more than any average visitor. Why? Simply because, forum visitors are active information seekers and engaged users, who are more likely to be interested in your services. However, you should note that forums are primarily beneficial for driving human traffic to your website. Search engine rankings follow closely and with a signature link with every post, you are assured greater visibility in the search engines too.

Here’s how you can take advantage of internet forums to drive traffic to your website:

Introduce Yourself: Begin by participating in the ‘Introduce Yourself’ section of the forum. Also, don’t forget to welcome new members!

Become an Active Member: You could choose forums or topics, which interest you or are closely related to your business or service and actively participate in the discussions. Try solving problems and offer help and advice when required. Don’t underestimate yourself and believe that you cannot become a moderator. The effort that you put in to become a moderator on a forum is worth it and you are assured increased visits to your blog as visitors already believe you are a subject matter expert.

Your Signature Tells All: A well-defined signature, with linked text to your URL, is essential if you want visitors to notice your link. Here’s an example:

Your website and SEO: Do you know you can drastically increase your traffic with the help of forum postings?
Michelle Crossley, studio1c

Say NO to SPAM: Drop your links in the posts you visit or reply at. But, not in a spammy way! If you are dropping links before you establish yourself as an active contributor, it won’t take you long to be ignored or banned!

Know the Forum Rules: Different forums have different and specific rules. Make sure that you have read them thoroughly (usually you can find a post on the forum rules prominently displayed in the forum index) so you aren’t banned after you have posted.

Check for typos and missing words before you click ‘Submit’.

While you work hard to increase free website traffic, you should ensure that users find relevant information on your forum posts too!

Submit Website Articles or Blogs to Top Article Directories

Try posting your website articles or blog to any of these top article submission sites.

If you have had luck with any other Article submission sites, please let us know! We'll add it to our list.

Top 5 Location-Based Social Media Sites

local social media marketingThe writing is on the wall. Let's acknowledge that location based social media sites or LBS are here to stay. They are not only cool, they are profitably cool. If you have not started using any of these social media sites to promote your business, it is high time that you do so. These sites make it possible for you to stay in touch with prospective buyers. There are a hoard of location based social media, and it is quite tough to choose the right one among them. So, here's our list of top 5 location based social media sites, and the gist of what they can do for you business.

Foursquare: Right now it is the most popular mobile application around. Thanks to the ever increasing user list of this location based social media site, you can connect with a lot of people. This is perfect for those who have just started using LBS or have a newly opened business. You can use the sites reward point facilities and “mayor of the venue” offer to your benefit. Foursquare is always open to the suggestion of providing badges for your brand of business. This is a chance for you to suggest your brand name and get a badge, which your frequent visitors can get and display on their own individual pages.

Facebook Places: As obvious, Facebook too has also come up with its own location based site - Facebook Places. If you want to inform the world about your arrival, then this is the right application to use. Right now, it is best suited for iPhone users; however, it is believed that the company will bring out different versions for Android and BlackBerry phones as well.

Groupon: Use this location based social media site to advertise your brand name, special deals, discounts, and reward points. Groupon is, undoubtedly, a great place to get immediate attention of your customers. Moreover, you can also use the referral scheme to encourage your buyers to ask their friends to check in as well.

Blippy: Set your Blippy account and quite instantly, you will know what people think about your products. People post the reviews of products that they have purchased or the movie they have seen. This makes the site an ideal tool for knowing the pulse of the population. Open your page and find out what people are saying about your offerings or what improvements and changes, if any, they expect. The application allows it to be merged with Facebook updates too.

Loopt: Amongst the hordes of location-based social media sites, Loopt is another site that you can depend on. This is a good site to stay updated about people within your vicinity, a good tool to stay connected with your friends and contacts. Moreover, you can announce rewards and make promotional moves highlighting location-based discounts. Another facility is the ability to use Loopt Star Facebook game to let people win coupons.

Instagram vs Pinterest - which is ideal for your tourism business?

instagram-vs-pinterest

As consumers are increasingly using various social networking platforms to know about and buy from brands, marketers too have changed their strategies to leverage the power of such media. Thus, it’s no wonder that visual social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest have become extremely popular among both the consumers and the brands. This is primarily because the human brain not only likes visuals, but is way more impacted by them as compared to mere texts. In fact, some research results have shown that as compared to text, people process pictures 60,000 times faster. What’s more, 90% of the information transmitted to a human brain falls under the visual category.

In the travel and tourism industry, many business owners are using photo sharing sites like Instagram and Pinterest to drive more business their way. Perhaps you too would love to join the bandwagon but are a little confused about making a choice between the two. While there is no harm in utilizing both of these extremely useful platforms, you might not have enough bandwidth to do the same always. This is where comes the question of deciding between the two. Here is a comparative study of Instagram and Pinterest that might be of help ­

Why should you choose Instagram?

  • After you take a photo or select a photo from the ones saved in your phone, you can edit and reedit the image. You can even use the multiple filters and applications to modify the final image of a destination to make it look more appealing to the prospective travelers.
  • While analyzing Instagram photo searches, you will be able to understand your target clientele better. Interact with your target audience, discuss about some particular images and thus, you can reach and tap into a hitherto untouched digital community.
  • Instagram is useful at each stage of a travel cycle, and not just for the stays. The images shared provide encouragement, guidance and inspiration during the stage of planning and even when the tour is in progress.
  • You can use Instagram to encourage people to share their travel photos. These images can then be broadcasted back to travelers who may be dreaming of a trip to that particular place one day, those who have just finished a tour there, or those who are yet to decide if they want to visit or not.
  • Tourism operators who are featured on Instagram posts can get a huge amount of additional enquiries, interests and bookings.

Things to consider:

  • With Instagram, you don't get any API access. As a result of this, you can't use any separate tools to publish.
  • In the Instagram pictures, links don't work in captions. This makes it a bit difficult for you to drive users to your website.
  • Instagram has limited integration capabilities with other social media platforms. This can cause problems when you want to link and share your Instagram pictures with other social media networks.
  • Another disadvantage of using Instagram is that it has limited scopes of advertising. Only big brands seem to be able to afford Instagram advertisements.

Why should you choose Pinterest?

  • It is already the third most popular social network, which attracts more than 1.3 million visitors every day.
  • It drives more referral traffic than the combined traffic of LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube, and therefore, is an ideal tool for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  • It increases the visibility of your tourism business through the lively photos of different destinations.
  • With Place Pins, you can now add value to your boards by introducing new places to the prospective travelers and encouraging them to visit by giving the contact info that they can call for details or use to book a stay directly.

As a member of the travel and tourism industry, you can cash in on Pinterest, which focuses on the emotions and experiences of the travelers. This platform lets you offer better and information packed interactive maps and tourist guides to the travelers, many of whom may eventually become your clients.

Things to consider:

  • One of the toughest facts that you have to accept before jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon is that you just can’t talk only about your business and promote it unabashedly. You have to be completely discreet and subtle about your products or services while you focus on helping the travelers plan their tours.
  • Pinterest can't serve as the solitary social media site for your business. You can enjoy its benefits the best when you use it together with Facebook and Twitter. At present, it doesn't have the ability to go viral like other social media posts. You need to use travel related hashtags or a website link to make it reach your target audience quickly.

Thus, the final choice rests with you, but now can make an educated choice on selecting on what suits your travel and tourism business the best. Often, it’s the wisest to use both, if possible, and leverage the dual benefits that Pinterest and Instagram have to offer.

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What Our Clients Say

  • We've had the pleasure of working with Michelle at Studio 1c for the last year and have watched our business grow thru the strong development of a diverse advertising program. Thank you for your dedication, guidance, artistry and professionalism.

    —Rebecca Carder

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