May be, most of you don’t know but I created a community in Facebook called “Interactive Marketing” about 2 years Interactive Marketing Logoback. Yes, that’s where even this blog’s name is derived (..and yeah I know that it’s a little less creative too). But what the heck – as long as it serves the purpose of grouping all interactive marketing professionals & amateurs on a single platform to share & learn.

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Initially the sole motto was use the platform to help my blog’s traffic as well as community grow (I guess during 2007, that was the whole & sole reason many groups in FB started). But now since its been more than two years into this and this blog’s traffic along with community has also grown somewhere to a respectable one without much help from that group. But in between I’ve lost to grow the community in Facebook.

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Now it’s not about the traffic or community or anything about me. Now I just want to create a seamless platform for all interactive marketing professionals & amateurs who can share and of course learn from others.

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Now this was the background.

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So what’s the status quo? How do I grow this community? How do I create such a platform for others like me who would like to share, learn & grow? How to go about marketing of this community? What is the right foot forward with such activities?

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Now these are couple of questions on top of my mind. Now couple of things, I’ve done till now are simple approaches like these:

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1. First of all, as usual I did a search in FB to find out how many such communities are there? Surprisingly, I didn’t see much of them.

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2. Then the most logical one according to FB even i.e. “Promote group with an Ad” approach. Though I’m kind of not Interactive Marketing Group Facebook Adso keen about going forward with it but surely I’ve created an ad (see below) which I may use if my other plans fail. But still I’m more than skeptic that this way to gain traction amongst fellow interactive marketers is not the right way since it doesn’t create any credibility (forget the community engagement even).

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3. Ask all my friends in different SNS like Twitter, Friendfeed, FB etc to join this group (which actually works) since some of my friends who are in this field have joined this group. But still satisfaction is due on this front. Hope in near future this strategy works.

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4. “Content is King” – yes, you might have heard this sentence if you’re in this business. Even I tried to use the same strategy. For the last few days, have tried to put as much time as possible to share good content which I find across the web from the digital & interactive marketing world and share it with fellow folks.

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5. Since time is limited at my front, so have tried to ask couple of my network friends to help me promote with utmost diligence, transparency & authenticity. Hope going forward, this works for all of us too!

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6. Still interaction in such communities is of utmost importance. Over the past couple of years (especially in groups like these in Orkut and even in Facebook), I’ve seen good communities lying flat since there isn’t much interaction amongst community users. So this issue has to be taken care off, especially from our front so that users are able to interact with different aspects in the group.

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7. Also, one of my learning’s over the years has been that, if anyone wants to drive any sort of activity in forms of conversations then it can easily happen over some discussion topics. Since FB allows to have discussion boards in each group, hence we should try to have more open questions to other community members to interaction and put forward their point of views. I’ve already put some topics but I’ve sure you guys can do better than me 🙂

8. I’ve also kept the group as open as possible (until & unless some malicious entity pollutes it with crap spam). Until then I guess I can keep the community open to everybody to publish any videos, pictures, links to interesting stories around the web or simply use the wall to speak-up something. But please ensure that these entities are not primarily used to promote any sort of product/service etc.

9. I’ve also seen that at the end of 2007 when Facebook announced the launch of Facebook Pages most of the groups have shifted to fan pages. Now since I created this group before that, so I never thought of joining the fan page bandwagon since I somehow feel that users can only become fans of something credible when some value is created in the first place. So hope in near future if this experiment becomes successful, then we can surely go ahead with “Interactive Marketing” fan pages 🙂

10. Lastly, till now the group has some 125+ members and growing quite steadily. Hope from all the above mentioned efforts, its able to garner much needed attention of you guys.

But apart from all this, I just hope there was a tool or widget in FB groups which allows it to transport it to other website sites like Fan pages have “Fan Box”. So community engagement becomes an issue of utter importance.

So hope you guys can share your thoughts on how to go about it effectively. If you would, then please do so since cumulatively I presume our brains can harness more solutions than mine alone. BTW, till now I saw some quite interesting people from the industry have joined IM group. Many thanks 🙂

So these are some of my thoughts. Going forward, I would definitely post more from IM Group. So hope to catch you there too. Thanks!

Group Details: Interactive Marketing Group