My blog contains tons of tips to help you attract people to your FaceBook Page. Some of my most popular posts in this regard are here and here. But here's the thing, once you get people there, what do you do next? The more people at your Page, the more popular you and your products appear to be. But that does not always translate into sales leads. To make that happen, you have to engage with the people who are there, and one way to do that is via a FaceBook Party.
I'm not talking about anything complicated or fancy either. Anyone can follow these tips for hosting a fun FaceBook Party that helps people learn more about what you have to offer. Here are the basic steps to follow.
- Check your insights. The right column of your FaceBook Page contains a link called Page Insights. Click that to see basic information about interaction on your page. Pay special attention to the Interactions statistics, which reflect the days your Page enjoys the most interactions. My insights reflect the most Interactions on Mondays and Thursdays, so for me, those are the best days to consider hosting an event.
Depending on how deep you want to go, you can see even more statistics, including daily active users, number of UNLIKEs per day, number of content LIKEs and more. Go as far as you want, but to keep things easy, just use the Interactions insights and pick a day that your Page gets the most interaction
Even though the Interactions may not be beautifully predictable, this is a good starting point.
- Pick a day and time frame. Once you see what day your Page generally gets the most Interactions, pick the best time for an event. According to some FaceBook gurus, 11:00am EST is a popular time for people to be on FaceBook. While statistics are great, the truth is that they are just statistics. They may not reflect real life on your FaceBook Page.
Dump the statistics if they don't reflect your reality.
Check your insights to see the time of day that's most popular on your Page. Honestly, mine are all over the place, so when I host an event, I use Interactions to pick the best day, and my own schedule and raw instinct to pick the best time.
An important note about time: create a specific start time and a specific end time. You have to value your time and others's time, and sticking to a start and end time does that. It also ensures that your LIKERs know exactly when the event starts and when it ends. This allows people to schedule it into their busy day and frees you up to be present for the entire event. I suggest starting with a 15-minute long event. It's long enough to be significant, but short enough so you're not stuck for an hour if no one shows up. It also lets your LIKERs know that you are only expected a limited amount of their time.
- Pick a theme. Select something that syncs with your LIKERs's interests. It may take some time to figure this out, but it's not hard. As you post to your Page, you'll begin to see patterns of response. Select 5 or 6 topic areas and begin to post to your Page regularly about those topics. Watch for a month or so to see what people respond to and what they ignore. Those are clues to what a good event theme will be.
As Cyndi Lauper said, “Girl just wanna have fun!” “Fun” will be defined differently depending on your particular business. Generally, people love contests and games. They also love learning new things and getting useful commentary from you about the news and information of the day. Depending your business, you have many options.
– An aromatherapy expert could host a wellness party
– A business consultant could host a business book club meeting
– A fitness expert could host a 15-minute exercise program
You might even do what IBN Member Dawn Fitch did at her Pooka Page — she hosted a Pooka Oscar Party and invited people to vote for which of three Pooka products should win the Oscar. People posted votes, and the winning product went on sale a few days later. You can see the all the fun they had here.
Note that people RSVP'd to attend the event, creating even more buzz when their RSVP posted to their news feed! And how cool is it that FaceBook maintains an event archive so you can remind people of how much fun your events are. This also makes it easy to blog about the event — just link to the FaceBook event archive.
What would suit your business? A Wimbledon Party? Teen Choice? A party around a specific television series? A live virtual conference you are attending? The possibilities are endless.
Just let your LIKERs's be your guide!
Make sure you select a theme that is meaningful and fun for them. If the first theme you select is a dud, don't give up. Ask them what they want, and then give it to them. Once they see that you are committed to sharing with them in ways that make a difference in their lives, they will generally be more than happy to critique your efforts and tell you what they like and what they don't like — but they must see you giving it your best before they will give it theirs.
- Announce it. Once you've selected the date, time frame and theme, it's time to announce the event. This is the easiest part. Now, you could go crazy and announce it in a billion different places, but don't drive yourself nuts with that. I suggest announcing it in at least these places:
-The FaceBook Page itself (so obvious)
– On Twitter (use a scheduler like HootSuite or CoTweet to schedule announcements in advance)
– At your blog (if you have one)
-At the INDIE Social Events Calendar— if you are an IBN member, you can promote your events to the 7,000 people there, and the INDIE Team will help you spread the word.
Use a graphic if you can, either one you create or an inexpensive image from someplace like Fotolia.
- Plan it. Once you decide on a theme, planning is not hard at all. The first thing you want to do is make sure you ask your personal friends to join the event for a few minutes so your event is not a ghost town. Select people who support your business, and will take a few minutes of time to rally around you to make your event a success. Send them a reminder the day before the event, and 30 minutes before the event to help them remember. Offer a discount code as incentive if you need to.
If your event is 15 minutes long, show up a few minutes early and start the fun by letting everyone know you're there. Plan a few theme-related questions in advance, and then throw them out to the group. Engage the people who respond and have fun with it! Start with something short, like 15 minutes, so if the event is not well attended, you end it on your own terms, and not because no one showed up.
This is admittedly basic, but that's the whole point. No two businesses are alike, so if you follow these simple steps, your FaceBook LIKERs will eventually tell you what they like and don't like. They'll literally take all the guesswork out of the process by telling you what they want to see next.
So, after a bit of a startup learning curve, you'll be able to easily host an event at your FaceBook Page. You'll even be able to use video, as I have done previously. But that's for another post. You have to start with the basics, and this is pretty basic.
Now, Back To The Sales
So back to the original point — generating more sales. Once you have entertained people for a bit, there's nothing at all wrong with ending things with a link to your site or blog where they can access information about your products and services, or even better, a link to where they can subscribe to your newsletter. In fact, if you don't do this, you're missing out.
Make sure you end things with a call to action so people can take an action you want them to take after your event ends.