We can't all know everything. In fact, that's the beauty of forums! When you're on a large team, you don't need to be the expert on everything. But what if you are pretty knowledgeable about one thing in particular? Is there a category or brand that your customers and co-workers know to ask you about before they ask anyone else? You, my friend, will do well here.

 

Here are 5 tips for establishing yourself as the expert on your favorite subject in the forum.

 

 

1. BUILD YOUR NETWORK

Experts have a following. You can establish a start a few different ways. The easiest way is to follow your co-workers. That will cue them to follow you back. Also, be sure to add your expertise to the "Skills and Expertise" section of your profile. The words you choose will act as tags for your profile, making you searchable under those terms.

Learn more here: Connecting to Other Users (Jive 7) , Adding Skills and Expertise to Your Profile (Jive 7)

 

2. FIND QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR AREA OF EXPERTISE

The best way to be recognized in the community is to consistently answer questions that arise in your niche of expertise and answer them correctly. Start by following all of the places that pertain to your expertise and create a special activity stream just for that subject. You can also learn more about relative subjects by adding people that are also experts and/or belong to the corporate team for your area of expertise.

                  Learn more here: Creating a Custom Stream (Jive 7)

 

3. GIVE HELPFUL AND CORRECT ANSWERS

Answering questions is great, but giving the right kinds of answers is what will set you apart from the rest. Be sure that your answers are detailed, thorough, cite link sources if necessary, tag relative content when needed, and are … well … correct and helpful. Only one answer per question can be marked correct, but several may be marked as helpful. The more of each you get, the more you're remembered and followed by other users.

Learn more here: Marking Helpful Collaboration and Decisions (Jive 7)

 

4. LOG IN OFTEN

Being marked as THE correct answerer to a question is more likely if you are able to produce the correct answer first. Timeliness is easy when you're plugged in to the community on a regular basis to check your inbox, favorite spaces, and custom streams.

 

5. START A BLOG

Once you've collected some klout and followers, you'll probably be found on a few activity streams. Now you have an audience , and you must give the people what they want! Unlike documents, a blog post is more of a story, opinion or thought leadership. Good examples of blog posts are as follows:

  • 3 Ways To Make Your Customer Smile
  • A Day in the Life of a CMO
  • Sold Out!: Our Black Friday Story

A great blog will be shared by your readers, exposing your expertise to users across the community and further engraining your expert statu

Learn more here: Creating Blog Posts (Jive 7)

 

Establishing oneself as an expert is no easy task, and it takes time! If you've had success in any of these or other strategies, comment below and add your two cents on best practices.