Why are forums a good investment?

We hosted a discussion on Forum Strategy and explored some answers to questions.

This one was: why are forums a good investment:

  • Long tail seo
  • They become a knowledge base for your community to help with new member onboarding, retention, and SEO
  • There’s no rush to answer
  • You can make it open or closed
  • They can live somewhere you own vs. somewhere you rent (social media)
  • People can (often) see their contributions over time (badges, points, etc)
  • No algorithm
  • You can do AMAs that have a long term value
  • They are an archive/history of your community/industry
  • You can use it for community discovery
  • You can pin/highlight top replies to quickly feature answers

What else would you add to this list?

This is a wiki post, feel free to edit this list directly or add a comment. :blush:

6 Likes

I am 100% biased but owning your own data, more control over UI and building up an archive of content is priceless when you compare it to a social media or an app based platform like Slack/Discord.

3 Likes

All of the above!

I would add: our forum is serving as a single source of truth for all things support, feature request, and bug report related. Everything is out there in the open, which I love for transparency sake.

Also, one random feature i love in Discourse specifically is the suggested answer feature while you are typing. This helps prevent the same questions getting asked every day. Brilliant.

4 Likes

The ability for our community members to connect with each other and build those relationships over time.