A Meetup group is a great way to expand one‘s network. The main reason in creating or joining any Meetup group is to get to know new people whom one shares the same interests or goals with. It is also a great way to connect people with each other and socialize. It is a venue to talk about any subject or plan something. Being in one can even be a good way to learn more about things, as it promotes exchanging of ideas and having good conversations with other people.
It is a great learning opportunity for the founder of a group since it hones the person’s leadership skills. The founder can learn planning, organizational and interpersonal skills too. Whoever creates a group needs to learn how to plan each meeting carefully and how to carry it out effectively. The founder has to decide on the date, location and activities of the gathering. All of these things take courage and eventually take one out of the comfort zone.
There are a couple of things to consider before creating a Meetup group. Just like anything that one wants to start doing or building, it has essential foundations that could make or break it. I have narrowed them down to five and I’ll elaborate each further as I share them.
Starting a Meetup Group
First, choose a clear purpose. You have to know why you are creating the group, what you would like the group to be known for and what goals you will eventually reach, along with your future members. For example, I started a friendship group. There were a lot of business and networking groups out there but I wanted to create something different. I chose to create something that would be a break from the usual and something refreshing and fun.
Second, choose a good name for the group. It has to be short but says it all, something catchy and fancy. It also has to be something that explains the purpose of the group in a few words. I named mine Speedfriending. Concise yet enough to give people an idea of what it’s regarding. It always makes people laugh when I talk about it, and those who read it get as much fascinated and curious. It is because it is easy to associate it with speed dating but I chose it in purpose to catch people’s attention. Yes, pun intended.
After coming up with a good name, you have to write an even better description. It is important to let people know what they sign up for. They need to have a clear picture of who can and cannot join the group. They also need to know what type of people they will eventually hangout with. Do not forget to inform them about the schedule of the meetups, how often you will have to meet and how long the meetings would usually take. Lightly restate the main purpose of the group on your description so they would be reminded of why your group is the best there is.
Next, incorporate suitable pictures. Images that will give them an idea of what the Meetup group is about and why it will be nice to join it. Choose a picture that can help your group stand out and something that adds a flair to your page. Say it in a picture in the most picturesque way possible.
Lastly, yet very important, choose good keywords. This is one of the more technical sides of Meetup. It lets you choose different keywords that describe your group. Those keywords determine who meetup will notify when the group is up and running, just like how we use hashtags. They must work the same way as most hyperlinks and keywords in the internet do, a way to drive traffic and eventually lead target viewers, or in this case members, to where you would want them to be, in your group. These are sample keywords I chose for my group:
Grow Your Meetup Group
Now that you have finally created your magnificent Meetup group, you will need to find a way to grow it. When you build something, you will eventually have to expand it. Here are the things that helped me get over 100 members fast:
It starts with Meetup notifying existing members of the platform about the new group that has just been launched. That is the reason why you need to setup everything right by following my suggestions above. Choosing the right name, pictures and keywords mean getting noticed by the right people you would want to be in your group. Meetup notification will give you an initial boost and visibility, and getting 50 members in two days is proof that I did things right when I created Speedfriending.
Proceed with inviting people personally. Tell your friends and family about this amazing group you just launched in Meetup. Mention it in other Meetup groups you are already part of so they would know about it too. Just a friendly tip, make sure you customize your meetup URL so it is easier for you and others to remember and share it.
After letting people know of your new group, create events. Every event you make shows up on the main page of Meetup, just like Facebook’s Newsfeed. It is a great exposure for your group. There is no better place to have your group more visible to other members than on Meetup’s main page. The more events you create, the more often your group appears on the calendar or main page. The more people notice it, the more members you will attract.
Since I was aiming to get over a hundred members, I opted to use Facebook Ads. If you can afford it, you can do A/B Testing but you can stick with just one ad if you have a low budget. I had two different ads with two different pictures then I came up with a small A/B Test. I invested $20 then I decided to drop the other ad at the second day of running it. I continued to run just one ad. I spent $3 a day for one week. After just three days, and without spending much, I already had over 100 members on my Meetup group and I am hopeful that it will grow even bigger through time.