I frequently get friend requests from people on Goodreads and then within a day or two receive multiple invites to groups they’re running, even after I’ve already declined an invite (or several). I get that this may be an easy way to get people to learn about your group without having to write tons of personalized messages and dedicate hours and hours to getting the word out about your group. But here’s the thing: there is nothing that will get me less interested in your group than spamming with me invites. So I wanted to brainstorm a few different ways that may help you get the word out about your group and that also won’t be annoying and make people hate you. 😉
Advertise it on Social Media Accounts
Social media is a must for anyone who’s trying to advertise anything. For the book community, I always recommend posting things to Twitter if you want to get people involved because Twitter has a huge and very interactive group of book-lovers. So if you have a new group and are looking for members, try posting about it on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc. Don’t obsessively send out new tweets every few hours about the group. I’d say at the most, you should Tweet about it once a day. You can pin the tweet to your profile so it’s the first tweet anyone sees when they come to your profile. But mentioning it on social media (especially if you know how to make the most of hashtags) can be a great way to help people to find out about your group.
Talk About it on Your Blog
This is similar to social media advertising, but has a couple of different advantages/disadvantages. First of all, it’s assumed that anyone who visits or follows your blog is interested in at least some of the same things you’re interested in. So it’s highly likely that followers of your book blog would be interested in a book-centered group. This may not always be the case on social media, depending on whether your profiles are specifically tailored to books or are more of a mix of books and other interests. Secondly, you can make a blog post that focuses on your new group and what it’s about. This allows you to go into a lot more detail than a social media post would. Even after you write a big post about it, you can attach a small little memo onto the end of your other posts about it, similar to what I do with my social media accounts (take a look at the bottom of this post if you don’t know what I’m talking about). The main disadvantage to this strategy is that you’ll have a more limited reach. Your blog may only have a few hundred followers whereas a social media account has the potential to reach millions of different people.
Get People You Know Involved
It can also be super helpful to get other people involved in getting the word out. They may have a bigger reach on their blog or social media accounts than you do. Even if they don’t, they’re sure to have some followers that don’t follow you. Asking them to send out a tweet or to mention it on their blog can be a great way to reach people you wouldn’t otherwise. The one thing that I would really recommend about this though is making sure the people you’re asking to help with promotion are people that you’re familiar with. It’ll probably come across as a bit rude if you just message random people and ask them to promote something for you. If you’re asking other bloggers that you talk to frequently or are close with, it won’t have that same effect.
Get Yourself Involved in the Community
The same way that commenting and interacting with other bloggers will drive traffic to your blog, interacting with other people who are interested in books (if that’s what your group is about) is a great way to get more members. If you’re talking to a lot of different people, 1.) they’ll be interested in what you’re doing and want to learn more about any projects you may have and 2.) it can come up naturally in a conversation. Maybe they’re looking to join an online book club and you can recommend yours. It won’t seem forced. I always recommend getting involved with the community that you’re trying to connect with. It’s a foolproof way to find people who are interested in the same things you are and therefore find people who may be interested in what you’re doing. Just make sure you’re not only talking to people to push your group on them.
These are just a few ways that you might be able to get more interest in your new group that doesn’t involve spamming people with group invites every day (or every hour). Keep in mind that some people may not be interested in your group or in groups in general. So if they don’t join, don’t be offended. It’s likely not anything personal. There are still tons of people out there who would love to be a part of your group – you just have to find them. 🙂