ICBA Blog

Tips for Throwing a Stellar Online Party

Your guide to facilitating the best possible virtual bash

Creating a Facebook party to promote the products you sell may seem daunting, but social media is a great way to boost your sales, grow your network, and even have a little fun. Of course, there are some etiquette guidelines to follow as well as ways to increase attendance and engagement. Before you create a party, be sure to research any rules the product company may have on the subject to ensure you’re being compliant.

Hosts
You can host a party for your own connections, or, to broaden your network, you can select a host who will then engage people within his or her friend base. If you choose a host, be sure to do a little coaching before the person sends out invites.

Invites
Whether you’re hosting or you’ve selected a host, handle invites respectfully. Don’t invite all of your Facebook friends or let your host invite all of hers, for example. Choose a small, manageable selection of people whom you think will best engage with the party.

Event or group
Parties are typically done in one of two ways. You can either invite people to a private event or create a closed, secret Facebook group and add your prospective attendees to that group. Just be sure to immediately inform the group members you’ve just added how to leave the group or turn off notifications.

Timeframe
Keep your party to a short, manageable timeframe, like one hour. This creates urgency in attendance, post engagement, and product purchasing. Some people host all-day or even week-long events in the hopes of creating flexibility. People often flit in and out of these groups and you lose the chance for immediate engagement.

Posting
Even if you select a host for the party, you’re still in charge of managing the event. Create a lineup of scheduled posts that introduce you, the products, and the sweet deals. You’ll be busy engaging with guests during the virtual party, so use a social media scheduling app like Hootsuite to set up your posts in advance.

Engagement
Use pre-scheduled posts to create contests, games, and giveaways. While those posts are rolling in, be sure to engage with the guests. Respond to comments, send personal messages to thank someone for placing an order, answer product questions, and join in as people engage with each other. Ask guests to post fun photos of themselves as well.

Business
Your posts should share a little bit about how you got started in the business and where you’re at now. This is a great opportunity to showcase the fun of what you do. You can also encourage others to sign up to be your next party host and reap the benefits.

Follow-up
After the party, send a quick personal message to thank each attendee and ask if he or she wants to receive messages or notifications about products, promos, or events in the future. The follow-up is a great way to grow your network.