Today is a proud day for me, Pravin the group manager, achieved a milestone of 50000+ members that too from the Online Marketing niche!
The group started way back in March’08 , initially it was just an endeavor of ‘Karke Dekho’ (Hindi, meaning: give it a try).As expected it was just a once a week moderation, less to no promotion at start.
Next stage came when I got to know the members reached the 1000 mark on 5th Oct’09. At this time, I believed some potential of connecting search marketing professionals exist in my SEO SEM Social Media group. There were several ‘Big’ brands to compete. Digital Industry’s most known names had presence and it was hardly a USP for this group.
In the context of making the group special, useful and interactive I did a study by joining other groups (I’m still a member of few top online marketing groups online), saw and tried to learn the way the group is maintained.
There were several action items that came up, including:
– Creating basic rules for each member who wish to use this platform
– Strictly maintaining the ‘professional’ aspect of the group
– Keeping the group clean and SPAM free
– Focus on SEO, SEM, Mobile and Social media marketing has to be maintained
– Ensuring a good experience for each member
– Weeding out self-promotions, useless links and advertisements
– Moderating round the clock for quality
– Messages and responses to the relevant posts or to the members if needed
– Encouraging knowledge sharing and question-answers around internet marketing
– Raising flags for inappropriate comments
+ many more
Other milestones in terms of members connected were 6 June’11 (15K), 23 Jan’12 (25K), 27 Aug’12 (40K) and 11 Jan’13 (50K)… the journey is on.
As the members increased over time, there was a constant need of comment moderation (they are now in thousands per week) and advanced group/forum management. Using Linkedin tools of auto approvals, auto mail, settings for flagging profiles and asking members to let the group owner know if anyone is spamming or creating an unpleasant experience were a great gift.
Time management was a great issue to overcome as I could only get time after office hours. My wife helped me maintain the group and moderated religiously as per the best practices established.
Using other channels of promotion such as Social media (especially twitter, facebook and linkedin) helped a lot. The growing numbers added more numbers! A a point of time when the group was having negligible members, I had to use my promotion skills. Now its just Happening!
Today my group has crossed 50K, is among the top ‘SEO SEM Social Media’ group on Linkedin. The community is active and the experts really help the newbees to start the career path and it’s a fantastic mix of new and seasoned professionals across the world.
Glad to see, many friends offered to moderate the group voluntarily. Those whom I don’t know too showed support for community management and moderation.
During the popularity journey, started getting many invitations to join. Various conference and event organizers sent events and Free Passes too.
Many professionals started knowing me, Pravin Shivarkar is a known person among SEO’s worldwide 🙂
I wish to thank everyone and keep the good work going.
PS: By the way the link to join the #1 Group >> SEO SEM Social Media