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The Social Media Marketing Book by Dan Zarrella

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Protocol

Forums are one of the oldest forms of web-based social media, and each one has its own culture and rules. Most forum platforms include a number of software features. This section will cover those features.

A forum profile typically includes a short bio and some simple personal information.

Figure 8-2. A forum profile typically includes a short bio and some simple personal information.

Profiles

Your profile on a forum is a representation of who you are. You'll typically be able to write a short bio about yourself and provide some simple personal information (see Figure 8-2).

The most important part of profile setup is your avatar. This is an image that will be displayed next to every post you make, so choose it wisely. If your account will represent you personally, you should choose a good personal photo for your avatar, perhaps the same image you use on Twitter. Otherwise, you should make your avatar an extension of the brand you're promoting, by using a logo or similar colors. But remember: profiles are best used for individuals, not companies.

Lurking

I know it sounds creepy, but it's not. Lurking simply means spending a lot of time reading posts and observing how the community operates before you start contributing. This is a good idea, and forum rules and site owners usually suggest it.

Posting

You communicate on a forum by writing posts. A post is traditionally a short text-based piece of content, but some types of forum software allow you to upload and attach ...

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