A helper managing your PM social media

Social media will absolutely help you grow your local PM. Through consistent social media usage, when combined with consistently holding meetings, Sydney PM meeting attendance has grown from a motley crew of ~6 people 18 months ago to a venue busting 25 last month.

Attendance was so unexpectedly large we had to move out of our hosts board room (thanks Broadbean) to their general staff area. Thankfully their wall mounted status TV was quickly re-purposed for presenters and the show went on smoothly.

Social media for us has been Facebook and our pm.org email list, with Meetup being recently reinvigorated along with #australia on irc.per.org (does that count as social media?)

Heres a strategy: Facebook is very good at gently reaching out to people who can be convinced to play around with perl and come along to your meetings. They might not have used perl in a while, or at all, and everything in between. These people can be gradually enticed to come along via your PM's Facebook page.

By posting perl-centric and perl-related content regularly, people in your PM will 'like' and comment on your posts. Their friends will see this activity and engage in 'the conversation' from time to time. Once you have a few likes on a post, page admins can click and view the list of likers - then invite them to like your PM page.

They are now in regular contact with your PM and the process of convincing them to try out perl stuff and attend a meeting has begun. Very regular posts with a mix of content is all that it takes

Heres a handy tool: Recently I was told about Buffer.com. It is completely free for our purposes, and allows you to schedule posts to your Facebook pages, groups, accounts etc along with Twitter, Linkedin etc.

Facebook pages do allow you to schedule posts themselves. An advantage of Buffer is that it suggests times to post, posts across social media platforms and has a browser plugin to make it super easy to send interesting content to Facebook etc.

Other social media? I'm not hugely convinced Twitter is much help, although i post about Sydney PM stuff via my PerlDean account. LinkedIn is much the same. G+ isnt hugely popular in Australia, so I haven't pursued that at all. If other groups have tried Pinterest, Flickr etc I would be interested to learn more.

I have found that Meetup.com is bringing new people to our PM. You do pay for it, but it does actively promote your group and your events when you publish them. We made up T-shirts to fund it.

Am I totally wrong? You've got something better? Please post it in the comments below. Let's learn from each other :)

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About Dean

user-pic I blog about Perl. I am now in California