Your Facebook Party has come a long way, baby. A bold idea to bring the home party to an online format on Facebook (which is on the way to 2 billion users) has helped many direct sales companies explode with amazing growth. It makes sense. Work-at-home moms are embracing the flexibility of being able to build a business right from their smartphone, which is already an extension of their life. I know this because my daughters send me an average of 3 -5 “snaps” (via snapchat) daily, sharing details of their life as it’s happening.
Even old-school direct sales companies are realizing a smart Facebook Party strategy can save the party during weather-related slowdowns, and attract a new generation of Consultants who want to do business on their terms. While I may not be a millennial (we’ll just say I’m 39…again), I’ve jumped into the online party phenom with both feet…and I love it. Done well, an online party builds relationships and is just as much fun as partying in someone’s home. You can even drink wine. And share a selfie of you drinking wine.
Stay ahead of the curve and observe best practices with this guideline of what’s in and what’s out for 2017:
FACEBOOK PARTY 2017 – WHAT’S OUT:
Borrowing (stealing) graphics: Borrowing original graphics from Consultants without their permission – or via Google search – might be violating copyright laws. Yikes. Thanks to apps like Canva, Photofy, WordSwag and Bitmoji, making your own graphics is easy to do from your smartphone and ensures you’re not stealing copyrighted material. You’ll get more engagement with original photos too!
Spamming: Cover photos that look like ads, adding people to groups without their consent (not cool), tagging people who have not replied “Going” and posting multiple times in the same day are all super spammy techniques. Don’t do it. Instead of auto-adding friends & Customers to your Facebook Group invite people to request to join. Once they get there share how-to’s, tips and “group member exclusives” that are so awesome they want to stick around.
Copy/pasting posts and comments: Facebook flags copy/paste posts, photos, comments and even messages, which could land you in Facebook Jail. Stop looking for the perfect “verbiage” and speak in your own voice, as if you were speaking to someone who was right in front of you. You do you.
Suggesting ‘PJs to party’: After testing out my new strategy by holding 40 Facebook Parties in 90 days, I realized women attend Facebook parties from anywhere and everywhere – because we multi-task like that. While we might be wearing yoga pants, jeans or leggings – we’re probably not wearing PJ’s. Except for Christmas morning when matching jammies are required in my family.
Hoping guests see they’re invited in the “notifications” tab: Yeah. That’s not happening. In case you didn’t notice, the latest Facebook update limits how many notifications you see. You have to click on “All notifications” to see the rest. That’s why no one knows about your Facebook Party and your engagement might be down, too. Boo.
FACEBOOK PARTY 2017 – WHAT’S IN:
Shorter event titles: Use a title that adds value and gives your invited guests a reason to go to the party. Your Facebook Party title should sound more like a blog or class. Here are a few examples: 5 Organizing Hacks; 3 Fab Lash Looks; Top 2017 Decor Trends…you get the idea.
Personal invites from the Hostess: Those hidden notifications are your opportunity to coach your Hostess to personally invite her guests before you create the Facebook event. Use an app like Red Stamp to create an invite that can easily be sent via text message, and your Hostess could have advance YES RSVPs. Hooray!
Cover photos that evoke a feeling or depict a benefit: Did you know Facebook does not like photos that have more than 20% text? They don’t. Facebook wants their newsfeed to be pretty – and who can blame them? Canva is my go-to website to create beautiful cover photos that welcome guests to ‘come on in’.
Less posting and more live-streaming: Facebook Live has totally changed the Facebook Party for 2017. Go live to introduce yourself, go live to party and go live to pick your prize winners. Live videos get priority in the newsfeed and are being pushed into your view as a thumbnail video, which is your notifications work-around. Even if guests can’t tune in live, they can come back to watch the replay. Basically, Facebook Live is the new Facebook Party for 2017. P.S. Shoot your video in landscape so your video fills the entire space.
Calls-to-action that generate sales, parties and sponsoring leads: Include my top CTAs – Pick a Date, Pick a Prize and Ask Me a ? About My Job – during your Facebook Live party to get max results. As in, parties booked while you’re going live and sponsoring leads. Schedule your virtual Door Prize Slip to post 5 minutes after your live video is published to generate more leads for parties and potential sponsors.
The good news is an authentic online Facebook Party is exactly like doing a home party. Stop the pitchy posts and instead, listen in. Focus on finding out what your party guests’ needs are and look to solve their problems. Then over-deliver and provide awesome customer service.
You’ll totally nail it.
Ready to really rock your direct sales biz? Join my VIP Group for direct sellers and get 2 free gifts: What to post on your Facebook Page to book more Facebook parties and Facebook Party Tips & Tools – with the CEO and Creative Director of CinchShare. Learn more.
Lynn Bardowski is an award-winning entrepreneur and bestselling author of Success Secrets of a Million Dollar Party Girl. She speaks to global audiences about Direct Sales Success, Women’s Empowerment, and Social Selling and is a resource for press, media and bloggers. Like her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and subscribe to her YouTube channel.