Printed 2017/08/18 11:50PM

User Group Marketing

By Ryan Adams, 2013/03/11

I blogged about this back in September of 2010, but technology changes so it’s time to revisit this again.  Now I’m not anything even close to a marketing expert, but I’ve been the Director of Logistics and Communications for the North Texas SQL Server User Group for the past 2 years (I just started a new 2 year term as the Director of Programs).  I’ve also been the Director of Marketing for the PASS Performance Virtual Chapter for the last year until becoming the President this year.  Since I started those positions, NTSSUG’s average has gone from around 50 to around 80 (in fact, we had 87 last month), and the virtual chapter went from 40 in January to 235 last month.  Now that’s what I call exciting.  I’ve helped put on a SQLRally, several SQLSaturdays, an all-day virtual training event, and currently serve as a PASS Regional Mentor for the South Central region.  So I’m not a marketing expert, but I have gained some experience with all my volunteer activities.

Here are the things that I have learned and work for both local user groups as well as virtual ones.  Remember that every group and area can be different and what works in one place might not in another, so your mileage may vary.

You’ll notice that I don’t have Facebook listed.  The reason is that I have only seen one group say that worked for them.  The main reason is that most professionals use Facebook for personal stuff and keep their professional life on LinkedIn.  This just goes to show that not every method works for every group or part of the country.  Go try it out and see if it works for you.  If it doesn’t work; just delete it.  Go try other things, and if you find one that really works then make sure to let me know.

I hope this post comes in handy and helps some folks out with growing their groups.  It takes time to see the benefits and it certainly takes time to do this every single month (I know, I did it for 2 chapters at the same time).  If your group grows as a result of these ideas then let me know.  Any time we have successes in the community I love to hear about it; it’s just encouraging.

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