For many direct sales marketers (think Scentsy, Origami Owl, Younique, Jamberry, Facebook parties have become an excellent alternative to in-home parties. Attendees can party without the need to leave their home, pay for a babysitter or even get dressed to go out. Party in your PJs has become the direct marketers battle cry!
Of course, some marketers have much more success than others and others are left to wonder why. If you’re not having as great a success at your online parties, perhaps you are making one (or more) of these 7 mistakes.
1. Making the event public.
Making the event public is just overwhelming for everyone. Choose to either create a private event and send a limited number of invitations or create or a closed, secret group and add your party guests to the group. I’m seeing many more direct marketers creating closed secret groups instead of events and having participated in a couple of them, I find them to be more effective.
If you choose to create a closed secret group, immediately inform the attendees that they have the option to leave the group (and that there will be no hard feelings on the part of the hostess or rep) and how to do it. Also advise them that they can turn off notifications if they’d rather not be notified of every post. Provide directions on how to do that, as well.
Brande Belanger of Younique states “I find that the participation in events has been less than ideal for me. I think primarily because invitees need to RSVP. Plus, as new products roll out or if there are some really cool things I’d love to show (off), I can pop back in the group at any time and post an update. And, by setting the groups to Closed or Secret, participants aren’t sharing their FB activities to the world.”
2. Not coaching your hostess.
Your hostess needs to know what is expected of her. Because she’s not in this business herself, she may not know the ins and outs of Facebook parties or of direct sales marketing itself. Advise her to give you a list of at least 25-30 people (the more the merrier) and show her how to get them excited during the event.
Also remember to coach the potential customer, as well. Let them know what to expect as far as length of party, what will be happening during the party, where to go to ask questions, etc.
3. Following the outline of your home shows.
Of course, Facebook parties are not the same as home parties.
Jamberry independent consultant, Rebecca Cantu notes that “the main difference I see between a Facebook party and a home party is the amount of time you have to cover all the desired content.
At a home party you focus mainly on the product and getting to know your audience. You have to do this in a short time so live demonstrations, one or two quick games and a drawing is usually all you can fit in.
With a Facebook party, you need to cover the same content, but it is spread out over a longer period of time (if you’re doing a longer event), so you have to build and keep interest. This usually involves a lot more creative ways, like games, to introduce your product as well as get to know your audience.”
4. Making the event too long.
There seems to be a discrepancy among direct marketing experts on this one. Some say that the event should be on one night and not last longer than an hour so as not to take up everyone’s time. Some say that they have better success with an event that lasts up to a week. Experiment between the two to find out what works best for you. I can only speak as an attendee but I don’t want to be stuck in front of Facebook for an hour. I’d rather have the information dripped to me at a slower pace.
5. Linking to your online site too soon.
If you’re holding an event with a specific start and stop time, don’t link to your website too soon, ESPECIALLY if you sell a lot of different product. Your potential purchaser might leave the party, begin clicking and never return. And then she may forget why she went there in the first place! It’s best to link to your website at the very end of your event.
6. Not using images.
Images convert at a much higher rate than plain text. Try to use an image each and every time you post. PicMonkey and Canva are great sites to use to create images. Apps such as WordSwag, PicCollage and Rhonna Designs are also fantastic. If you’re not good at image creation, Fiverr is a good place to find someone who is.
Do be careful that you are using your images legally. If not, you could be sued. (Attribution does not necessarily mean legal.) Check out this article for more information.
7. Being too salesy
We’ve all seen the over-zealous and apparently ill-informed direct sales marketers who post a photo of an item and say something like “check out this fabulous necklace combo. It’s one of our best sellers! Book your party now and it could be yours!”. No one wants to hear that.
A better option: “Check out this fabulous necklace combo. I’m sporting this at the opening day Angels game.” And that’s it! Nothing else need be said.
Bonus: Bugging your potential customers using the private message feature.
When hosting an event, you have the ability to reach out to your attendees with a private message. Use this feature for important “requested” information. DO NOT PRIVATE MESSAGE YOUR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS AND ASK THEM TO CHOOSE NUMBERS FOR THE BINGO GAME OR ASKING IF THEY’RE GOING TO PLACE AN ORDER! JUST DON’T.
Do let me know if these tips have helped at all. And if you have further questions about how to set up Facebook events or Facebook groups, feel free to ask.
Photo credit: DepositPhotos/vadimphoto1