How to Create a Forum With Verint Community

Jon Allen February 21, 2021

Forums are one of the original online social communities. They’ve been a part of internet culture long before social media and Web 2.0. Far from showing their age, discussion forums have evolved with the web and continue to be one of today’s most immersive, interactive, and valuable community platforms.

Learning how to create a forum is essential for companies’ customer service engagement. These online communities can provide benefits like:

  • Building customer trust
  • Increasing productivity
  • Driving traffic to your website

If you’re looking for advice on how to create an online forumthis guide is for you. We’ll explain how to build a forum and customize it based on our community forum software, Verint Community – an API-first, white-labeled, fully customizable community application that can be used to create complex, intricate, and integrated forums.

We can offer advice on how to build a forum. Request a demo of Verint Community here.


How Forums Can Benefit Your Website

Now that you have a deeper understanding of what a forum is let’s explore the significant benefits they provide to your business. We briefly discussed how a forum can build trust, increase productivity, and drive traffic to your site. Let’s explore these benefits in more detail below.

Building Customer Trust                    

Online forums provide a platform for customers to engage with your business and other users within the community. By actively participating in the forum, businesses can demonstrate their expertise, responsiveness, and commitment to customer satisfaction. Addressing customer concerns, providing valuable insights, and fostering open communication can help build trust and strengthen your customer relationships.

Increasing Productivity

Figuring out how to create a forum provides your company with a knowledge base where customers can find answers to common questions, troubleshoot issues, and share tips and tricks. Businesses can crowdsource solutions and reduce the strain on customer support resources by encouraging users to contribute to the forum. This can increase productivity as customer service representatives can focus on more complex issues while customers self-serve for basic inquiries.

Driving Traffic to Your Website

Your online community can be a powerful tool for driving traffic to your website. By providing a platform for engaging discussions, businesses can attract users interested in their products or services. Furthermore, forums can be optimized for search engines, making it easier for potential customers to discover the business’s website through relevant forum posts and discussions.


How to Figure Out What Your Online Forum Will Be About

As outlined in our guide on how to build a social intranet for Sitecore, the initial step in creating a forum is deciding its purpose and primary function. Once you have an idea, you can begin to name your forum.

The first step in how to create a community forum is considering your forum’s potential audience. Take time to think about what you expect them to discuss and, perhaps most importantly, how you’d like to harness the information gathered through user-generated content (UGC).

Businesses can get the most out of this UGC data in any one of the following ways:

  • Web scraping companies – software applications that crawl forum posts, comments, and pages to deliver relevant business information in a more structured format.
  • API integration – some application program interfaces (APIs) allow users to access forum data programmatically. These tools enable companies to access forum data in real time or in structured reports they can pull at scheduled intervals.
  • Third-party forum data providers – forum data aggregators use various methods to farm relevant information for businesses. With a combination of APIs, web scraping, and other tools, these firms specialize in extracting the most insightful data for business goals and performance targets.
  • Manual data collection – in some scenarios, it makes sense for companies to use human analysts to sift through and collect forum data manually. Businesses may choose this method if they’re searching for more complex data sets or for more intricate insights into community behavior.

What type of forum threads will it include?

Forums contain threads, which are essentially conversations. One main hallmark of great forums that function successfully is that they have unique threads for each topic of conversation.

With Verint Community, you’ll have the option to decide whether your forum is set up to accept discussion forumsquestion and answer forums, or both. Wondering what the difference is? Discussion threads encourage community members and users to publish content for a number of reasons, even though they won’t necessarily always be searching for a definitive answer. In fact, they’re more likely to be looking for an open discussion in which other members can provide varying, subjective, and experiential opinions.

Question and answer threads are another option. These threads differ from standard discussion threads in that they can include suggested and verified answers. Verified answers will appear at the top of that particular thread, helping any users that land on the page from external searches. Find out more about the different types of forum threads.

Once you’ve decided your forum’s purpose, you can name it and add a description.


How to Create an Online Forum 

It’s easy to see that learning to create a forum can have multiple benefits for your business’s customer base. But where do you start? Fortunately, we’ve distilled how to create a forum into the following simple 10-step process:

  1. Choose a Forum Software: Select a forum software platform that meets your requirements. Verint Community adeptly combines the technology and human elements of managing customer communities to increase social selling opportunities, deliver social customer service, and bring new depth to your customer relationships.
  2. Register a Domain Name: Register a domain name that represents your forum’s topic or brand. This will be the web address where visitors can access your forum.
  3. Secure Web Hosting: Choose a reliable web hosting provider that offers support for your chosen forum software. Consider factors like storage space, bandwidth, uptime, and server performance.
  4. Install the Forum Software: Follow the installation instructions provided by your forum software to set it up on your web server. This typically involves uploading the software files, creating a database, and configuring the necessary settings.
  5. Customize the Appearance: Personalize the look and feel of your forum by choosing a theme or template that matches your brand’s identity.
  6. Configure Forum Settings: Set up your forum’s settings, such as categories, sub-forums, permissions, moderation tools, and user registration options. This step involves defining the structure and rules that will govern your online community.
  7. Create Initial Content: Seed your forum with some initial content to make it look active and inviting for new users. This can include introductory posts, forum guidelines, and sample discussions.
  8. Promote and Invite Users: Spread the word about your new online forum through various channels, such as social media, email newsletters, and relevant online communities. Invite friends, colleagues, or industry contacts to join and contribute to your forum.
  9. Moderate and Manage: Once your forum is up and running, actively participate in discussions, moderate user-generated content, and manage the community to ensure a positive and productive environment.
  10. Analyze and Improve: Monitor forum analytics, gather user feedback, and continuously improve the forum’s features, usability, and content based on user engagement and feedback.

Remember, creating a successful online forum also involves fostering a friendly and inclusive community, encouraging active participation, and providing ongoing moderation and support to keep the discussions engaging and valuable for members.

Features that Make a Good Community Forum

Here are some of the most impactful features of good online forums and communities:

  • Active moderation to enforce rules and foster a positive environment
  • Promote engagement through regular interaction and encouraging knowledge sharing
  • Provide valuable and relevant content to meet members’ needs
  • Promote a sense of belonging and connection within the community
  • Maintain consistency and persistence in participation and content updates


Looking for professional advice on how to create a forum?

Although it’s simple enough to get started creating a forum with Verint Community out-of-the-box, we know that a little professional guidance and training can go a long way. That’s why Verint offers professional services to make harnessing the power of online communities as simple as possible.

Are you ready to transform your customer engagement? Our team is standing by to help streamline the process of how to create a forum with Verint Community’s features. There’s nothing but happier customers and a better business waiting on the other side.



How do you structure a forum?

To structure a forum properly, start with a broad foundation. This would be your basic categorization of posts and topics. Next, add sub-categories that are under each primary category to create more specification. Finally, within each category you can have sub-communities for higher organization. Forum moderators who feel that model is too complex can also go with something more straightforward, like a flat categorization model.

What makes a good forum?

A good forum starts with good questions. You want to ask questions that spark conversation and foster engagement – which is the other factor of creating a good forum. Ultimately, your forum should be a place where customers feel welcome, valued, and can get the information they need quickly and succinctly.