By Michele Weisman Communicating with your friends, followers or connections online is useful, but it can never replace face-to-face human contact. There is a great tool that helps the social networker achieve some sort of balance in the form of live get-togethers.
Meetup allows the user to plan an event through the Internet, where people meet, eat, drink, network, and even listen to a guest speaker in person. Creating a Meetup helps establish yourself or your business as a respected member of your industry. Here are four necessary steps to create a successful Meetup:
1. Pick A Day: Pick a day--any day. Even make up your own holiday! Mashable created Social Media Day, which acknowledged and celebrated the revolution of online interaction.
2. Pick A Simple Hook: It is important to have a theme for your Meetup. This month, I had the pleasure of attending an inaugural Community Managers Meetup in New York City. I was able to interact with approximately 60 community managers, each responsible for his or her respective company’s social media strategy and planning. This particular Meetup allowed many social media professionals to gather at the same venue for an impromptu exchange of ideas.
3. Get the Word Out: Once you have picked a day and a purpose to your Meetup, it is crucial to publicize the event. The Meetup organizer should blog, tweet, and create a hashtag. For example, Seth Godin announced “Linchpin Day” on his blog. This led to a bunch of simultaneous gatherings of more than 900 cities worldwide, with nearly 6,000 participants.
4. Celebrate Success: Once the Meetup has passed, it is critical to stay connected with your members. You can do this through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and/or the Meetup group page. You should encourage members to continue the conversation and to plan future Meetups.
It is important to remember that creating a successful Meetup takes a lot of planning. Organizing any type of event, small or large, takes a lot of time and effort. Do YOU have tips for creating a successful Meetup?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!