So yesterday, authors Sara Ella, S. D. Grimm, and I exploded the internet along with the help of about 270 readers and fans. 😛 In other words, we threw a Facebook Party to celebrate the release of A Time to Rise. And it ROCKED. So I thought I’d do a little How-To-Throw-A-Facebook-Party-In-A-Nutshell blog. Only a nutshell doesn’t have very much room so…
1. Plan the logistics.
Figure out the date, the time, etc. Observe other parties to see what works for them and which times seem to turn out the best attendance. Make sure the parties you observe are similar to what you’ll be throwing, though. You don’t want to take lessons from a Facebook Party for titanium spatulas when you’re throwing a party for a book release.
Here are my preferences:
– I like throwing my parties on Tuesdays. I’ve always done it on Tuesdays and it’s always worked. Weekends are when people are home with their families or they make fun plans. Weekdays seem to work best for people.
– I planned the party a few days after my book’s actual release, so that people who attend may have already read the book and will then be more enthusiastic about the party.
2. Create the party
The timing of creating the party is important. You don’t want to create it the day before the party because then you have no time to scream about it to the world. But you also don’t want to create it four months in advance because no one will remember it when it comes.
I haven’t found a perfect medium yet. With my most recent party, I created it a month in advance, but didn’t start promoting it until two weeks out. I think the two week mark is a good focal point.
3. Plan every single hour and minute
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP. Are you listening to me? Pull up a document and plan out every single post. This doesn’t mean you will be a robot on party day. I almost always adjust each post when I’m posting it to make it more personal and me. But you need to know what you’re going to post. Otherwise the party will get boring and people will be able to tell that you’re not prepared.
This also frees you to interact with people instead of scrambling to create an interesting graphic last-minute.
This includes creating the graphics that you’re going to use for the party, or the videos, or making sure you have all the right links. This may take you a day or two of work, but it will make your party that much more successful. Personally, I like to plan posts about 7-10 minutes apart.
4. Post in the party BEFORE the actual party time.
For some reason we seem to think that we’re not allowed to post in the party page until party day! Um…FALSE. I use the party page to build up FOR the party. For example:
This is my favorite way to promote the party because it engages people, it gives my readers fun rewards (like books!), and then it also builds the excitement…and the numbers. This was 4 days before the party. I posted this when “confirmed” attendance was around 145. We ended the party night with over 270 attendees. Need I say more?
5. Have giveaways.
Maybe this seems like a no brainer, but people…have giveaways. Go into this with a budget. Plan it out. But more importantly, make sure what you’re giving away is interesting to people.
The first two Facebook parties I threw, my grand prize was a Kindle. I thought it was cool. I mean, it’s a Kindle. But I found that people got most excited about physical copies of my book! (I would test this beforehand by saying things like, “Here are some of our prizes! Which one are you most excited about?”) So then this party I gave away so many books. And it was a blast.
But in past parties I’ve given away items that related to the story, but were still interesting to people. A wax table, some gloves, mugs mugs mugs, my favorite tea, etc. Get creative!
6. Make your giveaways work for you.
This is HUGE and I see so many people not doing this. If you have a giveaway, make that giveaway work for you! For example:
See what I did there? To enter, just go add my books to your “To Read” list on Goodreads. Simple as pie! And then people have logged your book in their Goodreads and they’re entered for a super awesome giveaway! You can do this with anything: “Go like my FB Page” or “Go add me on Twitter” etc. Otherwise…WHAT IS THIS PARTY DOING FOR YOU? Sure, it’s creating some more word of mouth, but what is going to keep those new people from forgetting about you? Social media.
However, be careful with this, because your friends and fans and readers don’t want to feel like they’ve showed up simply to jump around on your social media and serve you fresh grapes on golden platters. They are not your slaves. This party is for them. But it’s also to celebrate you. It’s a fine balance. They want to connect! That’s why they’re there! It’s your job to make it easy and fun for them to connect. But don’t drown them. And, um…don’t you want to connect with your readers? READERS ARE PRETTY MUCH THE BEST PEOPLE EVER. They are your tribe. Your life raft. Your some-other-fun-analogy. Aka: they rock and you need them, so be nice to them.
7. Make videos…to CONNECT WITH PEOPLE.
This is optional, but SO MUCH FUN. I loved making videos to share with people because then they got to know my face, my dorkiness, etc. They got to know me and it was a much more natural way to tell them about my books. I made a “welcome to the FB party” post as well as a blooper reel.
Also, these videos, if spaced evenly throughout the party, will allow you time to breathe. And that time is magical. When you post a 3 minute video, that then lets you go comment on some posts or answer questions while everyone’s busy watching your video! 🙂 Tricksy Nadine… 😛
8. Remember why you’re doing it.
This is for your readers. To connect with them. I know I touched on this earlier, but everything about marketing and promoting and social media is about connecting. Being real, being open, letting people get to know you and…getting to know them! This is the only reason why I throw FB parties. Sure, the boost in numbers looks nice on a proposal, but I’d much rather build a friendship and show my readers that I care about them MORE THAN OREOS. That’s a lot. 😉
So remember why you’re throwing the party. It’s about people. It’s about realness. Connection. And it can be amazing if you let it. ❤️
That’s it in a nutshell! I could write a book on this whole thing but, the moment I do then Facebook will change everything. 😛 A while back, I was interviewed on the Novel Marketing podcast (best podcast ever!) about throwing a party. I get much more detailed about what I did as well as provide a PDF of my “post schedule”for your perusing. 😛
What is your favorite part of a Facebook party?
Any questions, young padowan?