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Forum as Focus Group: 8 Key Features for Feedback

Posted by Adrian Speyer on Sep 25, 2014 12:34:26 PM
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3 minute read

In an earlier post, we gave 5 reasons a community forum is the ultimate focus group. In this post, we highlight some of features in Vanilla that can come in handy if you are looking to use Vanilla to gather customer feedback:

1) Reactions:

reactions-magnified

Reactions allow community members to share how they feel about posted content. Reactions can be positive or negative. When you see a post with a lot of Reactions, you know that it's a topic that your customers really care about. Also, members whose comments get the most positive reactions earn reputation points and rise in rank on the leaderboard.

2) Bookmarking and Notifications

notify-bookmarked

If you see a discussion of interest, you can bookmark it, and set your notifications to be notified of new content. This is especially great for following discussions where you want to know about new additions or changes. For example, a thread asking for a review of a product. You will be notified each time a new comment is added. This is a great way to stay informed on the content in the community that matters to you.

3) Profile Extender:  

Profile_Fields

With the Profile Extender plugin, you can have users fill in more information on their user profile. By having members fill in more about themselves, you can create context to the comments they make. This can help you identify certain members in your community you may want to include in a specific discussions or have join in exclusive groups.

4) Roles & Category Permissions

Permissions

With Roles and Permissions, you can create special roles and categories that allow you to funnel feedback into specific categories of your creation. It's also possible to use this as a way to create a private space to discuss and get feedback from members you choose in private.

5) Polls

With the polls plugin, you can survey the community and get their opinion simply by adding a poll to any new discussion. Administrators of the community can also control who has the ability to create polls. Voters' identities can be made public or private.

6) Social Groups

Tesla_Owner_Group

With the Social Groups application, groups can be created around any topic you choose. This can be a great way to segment users into a private area on the fly. They can be made public or private by group creators, and they can invite community members to join. Forum Administrators can also control who can create groups.

7) Mobile ready

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Regardless of if members are on a desktop or a mobile device, they can easily share feedback with you and the community. The mobile theme we created has been purposely built to modern, with large buttons for mobile touch, and includes the kind of features members have come to expect from a mobile experience.

8) API

With our Simple API, you can integrate community feedback and data into your site or application. This can be a great way to get the rich data of customer profiles into your marketing automation or CRM system for further use in identifying influencers or taste makers in your community.

Summary

With Vanilla powering your community, you can create private categories, segment members, create social groups, allow members to vote on content or ask poll questions. This makes it even easier to get the kind of feedback you need from your community. We hope this list inspires your creativity.

Vanilla Forums offers a cloud based solution which focuses on engagement to make it easy for you to connect with your fans, supporters and customers. Try Vanilla Forums Cloud Solution free for 30-days.

Topics: Community, Marketing, News

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