How leveraging Facebook and a group of inspiring women contributed to creating one of the local leading networking groups
Your Tribe Nelson is taking connections to another level. The B!Social interview series continues, this time bringing you some great tips from the founder of the group, Caron Proctor. Check out how Caron leveraged events, the amazing potential and engagement of a group of inspiring women to create one of the leading networking groups for business & social in Nelson.
We put the woman before the business.
This is definitely one of the keys to Caron’s huge success - with her guidance and facilitation, the women behind Tribe keep showing up, time after time, to support each other through Facebook, and then in the real world. So inspiring! So, are you ready to hear what works for her Tribe? :)
Click to watch the video or scroll down to read the full interview!
B!Social: Caron, tell us about your success with Social Media, how have you grown this amazing organisation into such a big group of inspiring women? When and how did you start?
Caron Proctor: I started in January 2016, just with an idea of how to be around really great people. I needed support, being lonely and isolated working from home. I just thought there has got to be other women that don’t want to network the old-fashioned way, that don’t want to swap a business card. So I just popped it on Facebook. I invited some contacts and clients, and that was it. Boom! 28 people showed up, and then the next month 40, 50, 60. Now we are at the highest point, 115!
B!Social: So let’s hear about how do you use Facebook in general as a tool to reach out to people, to these women, here in Nelson or let they be anywhere else in the world now?
Caron Proctor: I created a Facebook Page, initially a private Group Page just for the members, so the members felt safe. But then I realised what a silly thing that was, because it was a secret. What we are doing is so powerful and empowering that I was really keen to share it, and also get the women in Tribe to be able to share what they did. That was a real challenge!
So I started a public page - Your Tribe Nelson - and that grew quite a fast following of men and women all over the world. That happened quite quickly. This is where people can see what we are about, who are the members, what we are doing, what events we have.
B!Social: Tribe is organised around several key events, where the members have the possibility to meet and connect. These events can all be found on the Facebook page of Your Tribe Nelson, where you regularly post them. What are these meetings about?
Caron Proctor: To get the group together, we have big gatherings, twice a month at the moment, as it grew so big for the venue. That is for all the members, where they get some time to mix and mingle, sell a product, showcase something, and to be able to talk about their journey. We put the woman before the business; we are very mindful that it is not a business card swap.
We also have pow wows, which are mini intimate gatherings, with a little bit more business. One is going to be right here at the East Street Cafe in Nelson now, this is why we are here. We try to have those in a Tribe business as well - we are always giving and taking.
And then we have events and education with the Tribe members. If we haven’t got a Tribe member who can give us what we need, then we bring someone in.
All the events are on there, and this is also where the public can comment and engage. We have just done a huge fundraiser for a Tribe member, too. It was particularly powerful because a large group of people came to the event who are not Tribe members. They also donated and showed up on the night and spent money, which was amazing.
B!Social: Yes, the Shine Your Light event, a fundraiser you put together with the help of Tribe members for Whole Lotta Life Foundation, a charity supporting young adults diagnosed with cancer in New Zealand. How many people attended the event?
Caron Proctor: I think around 120, and I would say about 30 non-Tribe members who are our followers on social media.
B!Social: How did you reach out on Facebook to get help from the members to organise this huge event?
Caron Proctor: In front of the group, and mainly on Facebook. The whole thing would not have happened without Facebook because it all started with a picture I put of a Tribe business to guess where we are having coffee… then I met Kristin Paterson [the Director of WLLF], and fell in love with what she was trying to do. So it all started then. Without social media, the event would not have been half as successful.
B!Social: Are you on other platforms as well?
Caron Proctor: Yes, we are on Instagram, I am not quite sure about Instagram yet, we have a lot to learn. We have almost 700 followers there, most of them are local or New Zealand businesses. That’s awesome because they are very engaged.
B!Social: How do people find you? Does it spread by word of mouth? Do you use any advertising as well? What is your experience?
Caron Proctor: I am keen to boost a post if it is good. We share a lot of information and we work very much on the philosophy of sharing information, not selling. We promote good stories, and if I see it is getting lots of reach, then I will put a boost on it. For the Shine Your Light event, we probably spent a few hundred dollars on boosting it with different things, making videos. It was an absolute success, and it is the easiest and cheapest form of marketing I have ever tried. It is also the easiest way for us to attract new members.
B!Social: What is your experience with the engagement? People engaging with the posts. Do they like to like your posts, or comment on them, share them? How has it been going over the time?
Caron Proctor: Yes, it is a good question because at first it was a bit challenging, especially for the Tribe members, as we had the group page and the public page. There was a lot of confusion which was which, and a lot of fear about liking things in public. But we changed that this year, and now we get a lot more comments and likes, lots more of sharing, like someone had a coffee with someone, or bought a hair product. It is growing and we want to carry on facilitating. So I try to lead that fiercely and quite clearly, this is where to go, this is what we are doing. Lots of education, and we have got still a long way to go.
But we are already successful so I just wonder where is it going when we grow into understanding what the possibilities are. I also think the group has changed. We have started to attract women who get it. Also the way we are refining, as I said to you earlier - we have been a lot clearer and stronger about our values and what we stand for. We cannot stand for everything and everyone.
B!Social: Well that is amazing. We wish you a lot of success, and thank you Caron for sharing your experience with us.
If you would like to follow Tribe on Facebook, click here.
Hi, I'm Bea!