If you have ever lived or visited the city of Bangkok in Thailand you would be marveled with the grandeur of it all. A bustling lifestyle with plenty to do, where a blend of culture, food and an untamed nightlife makes it tricky for even the most seasoned travelers to sink it all in. Bangkok is also home to a promising startup and tech community full of talented and ambitious Thais and expats.
But in the midst of it all, it is sometimes quite difficult to connect and become part of this community. Everyone is doing something or the other and if you’re an entrepreneur new to the city, chances are you’re lost and don’t know where to start.
I’m here to help you with that. Just like in any other city, there are online and social network platforms where communities are engaged and willing to help each other out. Whether you’re looking for professionals in the tech industry or passionate foodies who might be interested in your new restaurant, here are some ways to connect with them.
Bangkok Meetup Groups
Meetup groups are an excellent way to meet like-minded and passionate individuals. In Bangkok alone there are dozens of meetup groups . across a wide range of interests and industries. A true way of building your business is being in your business. By that I simply mean, not being disconnected from your target audience while you promote your business from your desk. You have to go out and meet people and connect with them on a personal level. Groups like Bangkok Entrepreneurs, Bangkok Expats Meetup and Bangkok Afterwork are just some of the networking groups that can help you and your business grow. It will take time but it is definitely worth putting the effort into.
Desperately Seeking on Facebook
A few years back, Samantha Vivin, a serial entrepreneur started a very interesting group called Desperately Seeking Bangkok that boasts over 27,500 members! It is by far the most successful, active and fastest growing Bangkok network, classifieds and forum group on Facebook. Here you can sell, seek, buy and post just about anything related to Bangkok.
Looking for an apartment? No problem. Hiring staff? Be ready to get tons of replies. Increasing your professional artwork? Sure!
But the Desperately Seeking is more than that and it’s not just Bangkok. It’s becoming a brand in itself – the DS. You can also find extended community groups under:
Desperately Seeking Social Space – group/forum about Thailand, current news, opinions, funny pictures and blogs. It’s not intended for business or commercial purposes but a great platform to connect and learn things about industries.
Desperately Seeking Gadget Geeks – if you’re in the tech industry, this group is a jackpot. Here post any relevant and genuine updates about I.T, Tech, Gadgets. Businesses are welcome to promote only from time to time according to the admin. Reach and engage with close to 5,000 members.
Desperately Seeking Promo – here is where business can go crazy with promoting themselves but mind you, there’s a chance your ads will turn on deaf ears. There is so much bad advertisement in this group, it’s easy to tune out and maybe even turn off all notifications. My advise is to write good copy, captivating artwork and great value offer. Also be patient. It’s a good idea to lay the foundation of yourself as an industry expert, tell stories, be helpful and BAM then promote your product.
Desperately Seeking Active – in the health & fitness industry? This is the group for you. Again businesses are welcome to share their promotions only from time to time and must be relevant to the group. Perfect if you run a lifestyle and fitness blog for you to share your posts and connect with like-minded individuals.
The founder of DS series also founded Bangkok Foodies, which has over 5,000 active members who share their experiences, reviews and opinions of restaurants and food in Bangkok. This is a great place to subtly talk about your restaurant or your expertise in food.
Twitter in itself is a great networking and marketing tool to build your business or contacts but it gets very noisy and unorganized, especially if you are following over 1,000 people. This is where twitter lists become exceptionally useful as they allow you to create a group of Twitter users based on a particular industry, interest, location or category. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. Take a look at MrScottEddy’s twitter lists. He’s got over 1,200 different lists each categorized perfectly!
Once you have created a specific list, it not only becomes easier to sift through content but it allows you to stay updated with what matters most and ultimately, connect with the right people at the right time. A practical example could be that you went to a certain event and you want to be able to connect with the attendees. Simply create a list by adding users who attended the event and see conversations and updates they are tweeting.
Check out 23 seldom-used ideas for Twitter lists by Buffer for more ideas.
Loads of Networking Events
On Facebook, if you’ve joined any of the groups from DS or from Meetups, you’ll be exposed to a mega world of networking events in Bangkok. Attend one and more will pop up in your newsfeed. You will start a cycle of liking or joining more pages that host networking events. A Facebook group not to ignore is the Asian Business Network that shares plenty of events and also DrinkEntrepreneurs group that hosts frequent events.
Also be sure to check out BangkokNetworking.com as they share an entire month of upcoming networking events in Bangkok, mostly hosted by American, Australian and British Chambers of Commerce.
What are some of the ways to connect with your community in Bangkok or elsewhere? What interests are you looking for? I hope these tips and resources are helpful. If you have more ideas, do let me know in the comments below.