Wednesday, August 26, 2015

How to Create and Run a Local Moms Group

Back in April, I came up with the idea to create a local moms group on Facebook. We have gone from just a few members to 240 members in 4 months. Can you tell there was a serious need for this group? Yes, yes, yes. Where I'm from life can be isolating for new mothers and women who are new to the area. It's one of those towns where everybody has known each other or of each other (you know what I mean) since pre-K. So when I met a friend of mine for a playdate at the park, I told her I wanted to start a moms group for our area. Then I posted it to Instagram and got more positive feedback. Encouraged, I logged onto Facebook, created a graphic and began the group! 

As many of you bloggers who run groups know (looking at you Atlanta Bloggers Network and Peony Project) engagement and interaction help move the group along. A dead group is a boring one. As the group continues to grow and develop, I thought I'd share some lessons I've learned from it all so that maybe you can create a local mom group for your area. We are all in this together right?! 

5 Tips for a Local Moms Group

Set a goal

    • What is your goal for the group as a whole? My description for our group is "This is a private group for Milledgeville Mamas. Most of us are new to motherhood and need support in our local area. We share events, mom tips, and the occasional walking group." The goal I had in mind was being able to connect more moms together. I think we are only as strong as our weakest player and connecting a community together through our kids can only make a positive impact on our local communities. 
    • I have yet to see a support group that didn't have rules. Keep in mind what you would most enjoy out of a group and then do that, if things need to be modified then change it up.
    • Our rules are stated in a pinned post at the top of the group page. "To avoid frequent notifications in members feeds, please write under threads, unless asking for advice then a new thread would be created. Any soliciting/selling product threads will be deleted. Please report any offensive posts to admins. Posts that are outdated will be deleted to keep the wall clean and easy to read. Threads will be posted for monthly events in our area." 
    • Moms should feel comfortable sharing, make sure the group is private and becomes a happy, nurturing environment where they won't be bullied, patronized, and/or insulted. 

Be Active 
    • Don't take on the responsibility of a group if you can't handle a little sassiness, are uncomfortable with confrontation, or (and this might just be me) aren't tech savvy. There's a lot that goes into running a group on Facebook. 
    • Check in daily to make sure no offensive posts are reported.
    • Create events and share local activities (check local library, Chamber of Commerce, and other town websites to stay up to date) 
 Ask Questions 
    • Check in on the needs of the group. Are they connecting with one another? Does a new mom need help finding the local park? Is anyone feeling alienated within the group? 
    • I ask a discussion question once a week to keep the group talking. So far they have been simple questions like, what's your favorite TV show, what do you love most about our town. Help the moms who are a little shy or are too busy to get to any events be able to talk and interact online. 
Make a Difference
    • Generations of moms have made a difference, they brought change to their communities and to this country. Don't hold back from the source you have in a moms' group. 
    • Tap into the needs of your group and then branch out to the "higher  ups" around you. For example, our local river walk board are in discussions over whether or not to add a splash pad to the area. When I heard the news, I immediately contacted the local leader and let her know how important it would be to the many moms in our community. I offered my advice on how to raise funds and other thoughts. Use what you have for the betterment of your community. 
How do you connect with other moms in your area? 

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