The Forex industry is a large community with clients from every corner of the globe. Because of its expansiveness various Blogs, Forums, and Chat Rooms have been designed to offer clients a place to meet and freely discuss topics with fellow traders. These internet hubs allow clients to discuss many positive and beneficial things for traders including: trading experiences with established brokers, info on new brokers, IB’s and what benefits they have to offer, trade execution, pricing/spreads, new industry products, posting valid grievances, and much more. They are also home to some of the seedier activity by providing a place for clients to dish industry gossip, make erroneous claims, and anonymously vilify partners /brokers by commenting only on certain aspects of a specific trade situation, or manipulating stories in their favor.
This information can serve as a wealth of knowledge for IB’s and brokers looking for new business, the hottest products, and retail market sentiment but can also be huge pitfall if you are not careful where you post and about what. Based on our own experience, we’ve put together a short list of ideas, tips, and general “do’s and don’ts” when getting involved. We hope it helps you successfully navigate these forums.
1. Carefully read and monitor the right forums for you to join for your company or role.
2. Establish yourself by registering and introducing yourself to the moderator.
3. Keep it transparent (let them know who you are and who you represent)
4. Try not to push products unless asked
5. Be helpful, and participate in discussions
When participating on a…
1. Know the forum’s typical audience;
a) Is this a technical analysis forum?
b) Is it for Expert Advisor and Algorithmic traders only?
c) Multi-asset traders
* i.e. Equities, Futures, Options, Metals, with a little bit of FX. If so it doesn’t make sense to create a strong presence or put a lot of stock into it if you don’t offer what the end clients focus on.
d) Are the forum participants newbies or pros
2. Take a look at what other brokers have posted and see what their results have been
3. Do not attempt to “blend in” by creating an alter-ego or false identity
a) When you are discovered, and you will be, the fallout is typically harsh and not easy to recover from.
b) Oftentimes forums will have brokers create an “official” broker representative account before posting. It is better to be transparent and maybe the moderator will make an intro to help you in a particular field.
4. If the forum has specific rules or “stickies” (which is a term used by forums to describe rules associated with specific sections of the forum)– read them carefully and pay attention to them or you may get blacklisted.
5. It’s often wise to introduce yourself to the moderator or site owner and ask permission before posting (see 3b).
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6. If you post on a forum as an IB or brokerage, expect multiple responses and keep up to date with the day-to-day postings.
a) Nothing is worse than when a broker posts an introduction, then when forum participants ask some questions the broker rep is nowhere to be found. Forums can involve a lot of maintenance and if you are looking to get in and out reading not posting is the best solution.
7. If you start receiving negative or critical response, do not retaliate or “lose your cool” – this is counter-productive and will often hurt your personal reputation and your broker’s reputation. You will receive some negative feedback and unnecessary criticism. Realize that the same guys do this to everybody and don’t play into their trap, it is a mob mentality. Focus on the members who are interested in what you have to say and ask legitimate questions because they want more info.
8. If you’re posting in a topic that is not started by you:
a) Do not attempt to “hard sell” forum participants by offering rebates or undercutting competitors.
b) Do not bad mouth other firms in the forum – despite any truths behind your claims, forum participants are often turned off by it, and it is just bad business.
Forex Traders’ Chat room
1. If this is a chat room hosted by your firm stay on top of participants and the discussion;
a) The chat may need to be “perked up” so have some questions and talking points ready to go. The people participating in the chat want good answers and better material.
b) Even more so than on forums – make sure you are monitoring the room, there’s nothing worse than a room full of potential clients pitching questions at a broker and the representative is nowhere to be found.
c) If it’s a webinar or the room has a definite end-time – make sure you give clients a reason to come back to your site/product. Whether it’s a discount/promo or another webinar/chat in a week you have a great opportunity to sell to a large amount of traders whom are qualified leads.
2. If this is a chat room hosted by a third-party;
a) Be respectful of the hosts wishes
b) Don’t counter-sell to any clients if the host is pitching a product to the room
c) It’s okay to speak of complimentary products/offerings, but don’t get carried away
d) Again, don’t try to mask your identity – announce who you are and what you’re representing