Using bulletin boards can help any kind of company. Known also as a BBS, bulletin board systems have a list of uses that exceed social networking. That means BBS’ can do more just provide something fun for visitors. They can also be used as a tool that helps a business grow.
Benefits of Using Bulletin Boards
Using bulletin boards can actually increase a site’s SEO factor. Not only do search engines look at content, they also look at how many pages a site contains. That means if you have a forum or bulletin board that’s popular, it makes you look larger in the eyes of a search engine.
Bulletin boards can also help your business provide information creatively. More companies today are using bulletin boards as an inexpensive solution to online customer support. Rather than hiring someone to answer questions, they use a BBS for things such as frequently asked questions or as a tool for fellow users to help each other.
Many businesses today, particularly in the IT field, are using bulletin boards so Internet customers can download the necessary software updates, or documentation they need for products or services. But other businesses, across all industries, are using bulletin boards for things like:
Providing new product information
Engaging customers to create a marketing buzz
Getting feedback from customers
Pros and Cons of Bulletin Board
One of the benefits of BBS is the fact they are easy to implement on a site. Many bulletin board brands offer templates so users who don’t need to know anything about programming or web design can get their BBS up and running quickly. Creators of bulletin boards can also manage their BBS from a very user-friendly interface. They can delete users, edit posts or set parameters like turning off a thread. Some BBS even allow for ‘pruning’ so outdated posts are automaticly deleted to save server space, if that’s what’s desired.
But despite all these benefits, there can be shortcomings. A BBS isn’t as narrowly focused as, say, a blog. Board users can post regarding an array of topics and there is no immediate control over the content (as long as it doesn’t violate forbidden word usages). User topics aside though, the most prevalent problem with BBS’ is spam. However, more BBS systems today take this into account and they offer downloads to combat this problem. Such updates are easy to install, so it’s best to research the steps required for upgrading prior to incorporating a BBS into a site.
Different Bulletin Board Systems Avaliable
Just as with graphic design or word processing software, there are different choices in bulletin board systems. One of the more popular choices is called phpBB (www.phpbb.com). Aside from being a message board, users can also:
- Send Private messages to other members
- Search within topics on the forum
- Recieive updates when a new post in a thread is made
Although phpBB is popular, other makers do exist and include:
Why Use Bulletin Boards?
Again, for businesses that want instant customer support and a way to increase SEO with little work, using bulletin boards is a key way to achieve both. Not only will patrons appreciate it, but it also has benefits to a business’ staff. Using bulletin boards has the potential to free up time that can be used to promote and grow a business in other ways.