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Meetup 101 for Marketers

in Social Media with tags , , , ,

At 360i, when we’re engaging communities and sparking conversations around our clients’ brands, there’s one constant – the initial interaction starts online. With so much emphasis on the digital world, marketers can sometimes overlook the thousands of individuals who choose to talk about their shared passions face-to-face using the Meetup.com platform.

Meetup.com is an online social networking platform that helps facilitate offline meetings around varied interests, ranging from activism to Zen poetry. Though Meetup has been around since 2001, its creators have recently made it easier for brands to use the service to harness their extremely active members. Today, I met with Carrie Seifer, the Director of Sales and Sponsorship at Meetup, to discuss her site’s newest opportunities for marketers.

Carrie explained that brands can help offset the costs of monthly fees associated with hosting Meetup groups, or they can participate in sampling opportunities and give members access to their products and services. Brands can also survey members on their experiences, encouraging them to provide feedback and insights into the brand experience. This might prove especially helpful for entertainment brands looking for early screeners and consumer package goods brands who want to glean insight through product sampling.

Though much of social marketing’s focus centers on virtual interactions, Meetup’s innovative blend of virtual and real-world conversations should not be overlooked by marketers seeking to increase brand awareness and improve CRM.