So , it’s time to start your own Meetup group! Great! A lot of groups never really get going , and that’s a shame. Here are some tips that can help you get your new group up and running. I’ll be using the Learning Tai Chi in Rochester NY group as an example …
1. Research similar Meetup groups and their member interests.
If you haven’t done so already, do a quick search for the larger groups out there with a similar focus. Note what the interests are they have posted – these are the same ones your people are interested in. When you announce your group, Meetup will notify these people, and you will be more likely to show up in their suggested groups . Be broad here as people have all sorts of related interests .
I like to take a big list of all the interests and throw them into a word cloud generator to get a visual take on what the group might be interested in . Another way to do this is to scoop up all the interests from the profiles of ideal members and analyze the same way.
Know your audience! This is a quick cloud I did for some friends that were doing a Tai Chi Meetup . Note that the interests are pretty widespread for these groups.
2. Be mindful in naming your Meetup group , and titles for your sessions.
The majority of your visitors may come directly from Meetup, but a large part may come from Google searches as well. Your titles are the main clues for search engines for what your group is about . Try to include local city/town names in your descriptions as search engines want to give back local results where possible. This is a clue to Google that this is a local event and you will rank much higher.
Here is a look at where visitors come from using Google Analytics – Yes you can easily hook it up to your meetup group.
3. Schedule SOMETHING!
Make sure you schedule a location ,not just a date (or vice versa) . Your meetup events get special markup and can be seen and clicked on through google searches that way.
Note that your events will not show up in calendar listings unless you have a time and a location. Even people who have joined the group may not see changes or discussions about the event on mobile unless it has a location and date . It is better to change date and location if needed than to leave these empty.
4. Schedule More Meetups!
Be consistent, but not boring, in your event naming – Schedule a few sessions ahead so people know you are not just “one and done”. Try to set up a base cadence, a rhythm for scheduling – you can always add more “Special” sessions . Try to get a little variation in your descriptions so sessions do seem a little unique and special . The schedule may be automatically added to the search results pages as you see below.
5. Engage your audience and new Meetup members.
When starting up , reach out to everyone who signs up . Ask them about their interests and what they would like to get out of the group. I do this at sign up , but it is more effective to do it individually unless you just get tons of people.
6. Promote your group through other channels .
If you are Facebook savvy set up a Facebook page for the group. A private group is also a good idea . Post your meetups there also. If you are into Twitter … Tweet! Try to get other sites to link to your meetup . You can link to your sites for more detailed information from inside Meetup too. Links are very important for search engine results.
7. Make sure to ask for reviews!
Ask for reviews , not just for a single event, but for the group as well. These are a great form of social evidence and can go a long way to convincing others to try your group.
8. Take some pictures of the group.
People want to go to things they see others doing . Encourage your members to do the same and post out on social media if possible.
9 . Establish relationships with other Meetups and groups.
Your group won’t be for everyone and referring to other people you trust is important. People will respect you for being linked into the larger community.
Do you have tips to help our new Meetup organizers? Questions? Join the discussion!