The internet and social media are an endless resource of articles, reviews and opinions. But how do you make sure they are genuine? How do you find friends or other local people to recommend someone they trust? Kylie Reid asked herself the same question and she took action by creating a simple Facebook group for other women to offer advice and recommendation to each other. Now, a year and a half later, the group has 5,600 members and over 2,000 pending, plus an impressive number of businesses that benefited from it. I have been a member of the group for 9 months and I am amazed by how supportive people that don’t know each other can be and by how many businesses get referred through the group. I wanted to hear more about the story of ‘Edinburgh Gossip Girls’, so I kindly asked Kylie to offer me a short phone interview, to which she happily agreed.
- Tell me a bit about yourself
I moved back to Edinburgh from Glasgow 5 years ago. I live with my partner and my two and a half years daughter. I also have a full-time job as a Sales Manager at an amazing company, Cheeky Chompers, where I am mixing with entrepreneurs every day and I am inspired by their success stories.
- When did you start the group and what inspired you?
About a year and a half ago. After moving back to Edinburgh, I was looking for trusted recommendations on people to help with my house repairs, hairdressers and so on. That is when I thought that starting a group where people can help each other with recommendations on products and services would be a good idea.
- Have you had a strategy for increasing the number of members?
It was very slow to start. I had to text my friends and ask them to join and also post a lot of things myself so people could see how I though the group could be used. It took about 4 months for things to start picking up. Now the group has over 5,500 members and 2,500 of pending requests. I want to keep it at a small and manageable number so posts wouldn’t get missed.
- What are your plans for the future of the group?
I am planning on creating a website where to put together the things discussed on the group. I am also slowly building an Instagram page.
- How do you cope with the amount of time required for managing the group?
It almost manages itself as the members are very supportive of each other, lots of like minded people, mothers that help each other. The strategy of building it into something else is what takes time. I am being approached by quite a big number of local businesses to help them run competitions on our group. I would love to have more small businesses as well as other bloggers approaching me so I could help them grow through the group.
- Your views on the usefulness of social media?
It is clear through the group how effective a business can grow through social media and word of mouth. There are lots of success stories of businesses and bloggers who receive enquiries through the group and that makes me very happy as this was one of the important goals of the business; help local companies grow. I have also met someone the other day that recognised me from the group and said she was barely on Facebook before the group was built and now she is there all the time for advice and to help others (not sure how good that is though ).
- What are your wishes for the group?
To help as many small businesses as I can. I would love to be contacted by local businesses or bloggers and see if we can create a collaboration.
If you are a business owner, I heartily recommend getting in touch with Kylie and see how she can help your business grow in one of the friendliest groups I ever came across. You can check the group here. I would also recommend visiting EGG – sells for buying/selling in Edinburgh.