This year’s SXSW created another must-have bright shiny object in the form of GroupMe and millions of people are grouping together and texting about it as you read this. I can hear your inner voice screaming - Another group to join? Another social channel to manage? Another community to create content for? I already use Yahoo! Groups, Google Groups, Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, Groupon... How can another GROUP help me or my business?
Many apps add things to your fragmented digital life - more content to create, more games to play, more people to follow - GroupMe tends to simplify things by creating a useful layer on top of the way we interact already. GroupMe lets you group text/chat with a group of people on any phone. It allows people to maintain relationships in clusters and stay privately connected to friends, colleagues, family, travel groups, teammates, businesses, parent teacher associations, conference and event attendees and now brands.
Today GroupMe launched “Featured Groups” and gave us a glimpse into how they will work with brands. Brands can connect to private “Fan Clubs” and offer exclusive benefits to these intimate groups. Their initial brand partners include MTV "Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew.", Oxygen “Bad Girls Club”, Bon Jovi, and the Bonnaroo and Coachella music festivals. Brands will be able to engage the private GroupMe groups by sending messages, answering fans’ questions, sharing photos or posting special promotions, among other possible activities. Sounds a lot like a Facebook page right? They say that the you will not become part of some huge group about Bonnaroo, but it will only include the people that you or your friends invite to the group. The “brand” can join your conversation and keep you all informed as needed. Imagine you are with your friends at a concert and Jon Bon Jovi himself stops by to say “hi” to just your group. For example: MTV promises that a few lucky groups will receive a "visit" each week from one of the crew members at its show "Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew."
In a world of millions of fans and followers GroupMe is a great way to personalize and reward your strongest advocates. Create a group for your blogger ambassadors, create a group for your exclusive media launch partners - provide intimate behind the scenes content and connection for a select group of VIP’s, create a group for clients and business contacts, the sky is the limit and public Facebook Pages are not always an option.
What do you think? Useful? Have you seen any other brands using this service well?