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Kunal SinhaContent Manager
Thursday, April 20 2023

The role of forums and discussion boards in online community engagement

To enhance your online community, it is crucial to focus on ways to increase community engagement. Community engagement denotes the level of involvement of your members in community activities and their interactions with other members. The value of your community is not just about its size, but the depth of engagement it fosters. A highly engaged community leads to higher membership acquisition and retention rates. Engaged members tend to renew their subscriptions, and even bring in new members. Additionally, increased engagement leads to greater brand or association loyalty. One effective way to promote engagement within your community is through the use of discussion boards. In this article, we will explore the benefits of using discussion boards to drive engagement.

What are Discussion boards?

Discussion boards, also known as forums or message boards, are online platforms where members can share and discuss ideas, ask questions, offer advice, and participate in conversations. Discussion boards typically feature various categories and topics, allowing members to find and contribute to conversations relevant to their interests or needs. Members can post messages, reply to others, and engage in ongoing discussions, creating a sense of community and shared knowledge. The content of a discussion board is usually organized by thread, which is a series of messages on a particular topic. Discussion boards can be moderated or unmoderated, and they can be public or private.

How to use discussion boards to increase engagement in your community?

Discussion boards must be used properly to enhance the experience of your members and increase community involvement. Here are a few strategies for using message boards.

1. Let users write and leave comments on trending topics

It's important for your discussion boards to offer your community members the ability to share their content, ask questions, and comment on trending topics. When there is something newsworthy or significant happening, people often look for forums to discuss it. As a result, you can enhance engagement within your community by providing a platform where members can post their content and interact with others by commenting on their posts.

Moreover, it's crucial to ensure that your discussion boards are easily accessible to your members. You can accomplish this by sending links to your discussion boards via regular email communications. This will enable your members to quickly locate the relevant discussion board if they want to participate in specific conversations.

2. Maintain community standards and moderate the comment areas

The comment sections in discussion forums can sometimes become contentious. It is therefore important to have the ability to moderate what people say in your community.

Your community should have a set of basic rules, and you must enforce them through moderation. Comments that are abusive, racist, or discriminatory in any way should be removed. When members know that community rules are enforced, they feel more secure and are more likely to engage with other members of the community.

3. Ask questions from the community

Asking questions that matter to your community can be an effective, yet underrated method of enhancing engagement. When you ask thoughtful questions on topics that your community cares about, you spark discussions and encourage members to participate.

To achieve this, you can ask questions that generate semi-personal responses, rather than generic ones. For instance, instead of asking, "Is building a community important?" you could ask, "What incredible things have you seen online communities accomplish?" This approach encourages members to share personal or semi-personal experiences, leading to more engaging and interesting discussions.

Build your discussion boards with NbliK

NbiK is an ideal platform for those seeking to create discussion boards for their online communities. With Raklet, you can effortlessly create multiple discussion boards for your members. You have the flexibility to control who can post content and comment on the posts. You can also assign different discussion boards to members based on their membership levels or make them invite-only, such as a board for sponsors or companies.

NbiK is an all-in-one platform designed to manage your community. It comes with all the necessary features to help you expand your community and ensure that your members remain engaged.

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