Build a community with forum software

What is forum software?

Forum software is a platform on which companies create and nurture their online community. The software allows users to start discussions in which community members post questions, answers, comments and solutions about the products and services of the company that hosts the forum. The forum works like an expandable bulletin board that covers topics of most interest to the company's customers.

Zendesk includes software that strengthens customer engagement and connections on a customized, branded platform.

Customers can leave their mark

Happy users tell one person; unhappy users tell 10 persons. The main advantage of online forum software is that the company itself provides a venue in which discussions take place. Naturally, users must follow rules when they post, but all of the content ultimately belongs to the hosting company.

Rich rewards in content

Technology companies like to create discussion forums because software developers gravitate to them. Developers search for open source code samples as a way to speed up their own software development projects. Common projects discussed in forums include apps, plugins, integrations, interfaces and mobile app packages. Developers can reuse work they find there for free, then upload the code once they have updated it for their own needs.

The right time

Community forum software is often written in a language like PHP. It runs on an open-source database like MySQL. IT staff implementing a forum can usually obtain a free trial version of the software with simple documentation, and they can search for free support in user forums.

Because forums serve as a kind of bulletin board for members, they boost a company's social profile. A good time to implement forums is during ramp-up of social media efforts, when the community is first gaining traction.

The Zendesk solution for building community

Zendesk Guide fosters engagement and deepens connections on a platform that companies can customize and brand as their own. Conversations thrive in Guide, where users can participate in feedback forums, with easy transition from forum posts to tickets in Zendesk Support.

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