You should only throw a party when you feel like celebrating. When you do feel like celebrating you can use your party as a slingshot to build strong relationships.
After a party is over I always like to follow the people who joined in because they usually enjoy the relationship building process. So when I hop on Twitter I take time to interact with people who’ve attended my parties. I like doing this because I get to learn more about them and they get to learn more about me. This bonding allows me to build trust.
Every touch point is a chance to deepen a connection. The more trust that you can build with a customer the more they want to learn more about what you do. They look forward to the interaction. Getting people to look forward to your tweets, Facebook posts, blog posts and other media means they are more likely to share it with their friends.
They may see an email, Twitter message or Facebook post that that you’ve sent and at this critical moment they decide to view it or not. If you haven’t created a positive interaction with them they aren’t going to open it. Now if you’ve created an online party that stirs happy memories they see this post and without a second thought they view it and pay attention to it. They remember the information that you taught or shared, the connection they created with someone at the party, and how they had a good time. You created a good feeling within them and they are now more willing to trust and buy from you.
It’s also a lot easier having a conversation in real life with someone you’ve hung out with on Twitter. I live in Austin and every year I attend the SXSW Interactive portion of the conference. I never feel like a stranger. I always connect with people that I’ve chatted with on Twitter and Facebook. Even if we’ve never met in person before I can ask them about their product launch, latest vacation or their kids. I know these details because of social media. These talking points allow me to build my network.
Your tribe, as it grows, wants this same interaction from you. They want to know that you will continue to support them.
People I meet at these live events will also tell me how they attended a party and won a prize or found a business soul mate. This is the beauty of creating a marketing event that is more than just “Here is my product. Don’t you want it?” approach. When you take the time to help them grow their business and build trust, you are deepening the bond with your customer.
Every business needs to find ways to develop positive interactions, from your local restaurant to your huge warehouse store. My wife refuses to shop at a certain warehouse store because it makes her feel depressed. She would rather spend an extra 10%-20% more because she prefers to shop at a warehouse store that makes her feel more welcome.
People choose to buy from you because they want to like you or you make them curious. They have a ton of choices. They don’t have to listen to you. They can go to another blog, website, conference or conversation so they can interact with someone that meets their needs. If you can’t build upon the three core principles of marketing (know, like, and trust) then they won’t want to build a relationship with you.
Engage and Connect
You have an opportunity to keep connecting with people after the party is over. They came to your party and told you that they are interested in what you do. This is better than a referral. This is the time to engage and connect with them.
If they are asking questions answer them. Hang out and interact with people. Make them feel like you are holding their hand.
I tell my clients that they can’t be something they aren’t. They need to be genuine and helpful. If you over do it, you’ll look desperate and end up pushing people away. Just like any interaction people need space. Think of that overbearing salesperson that you couldn’t deal with, so you left even though you may have wanted the product. You have to be willing to let people buy when they are ready. This is sales 101 advice.
You need to know how your personality interacts with other people’s personalities online. It’s similar, but a little different than in person. Your values are very important. As long as you are staying true to your values you’ll have no trouble building a following that wants to engage with your ideas.
Continue the Fun
You may want to throw only one party a year, but like any marketing consistency is the key. You have to find a way to keep people interested in who you are and what you do. I had a client who threw a party for her conference and she loved it so much she is talking about doing it again next year. I suggested that she do one every four to six months to keep the conversation going with her tribe.
People want to know that you are going to be consistent and keep the connection with your community strong. You can’t fall off the face of the map and expect people to come back and buy into when you’ve created a new product. You have to keep people talking even when you don’t have anything new to sell. Some of the most successful parties I’ve thrown were used to build the company’s brand, not just to sell something.
You have an opportunity to connect with people like no other time in history. The lack of fostering this connection will be the downfall of some businesses. While others who create deep connections will raise their businesses to a whole new level.
Now go forth and use this amazing resource to throw your own virtual party and allow it to slingshot your business forward!
You now know the basics of throwing an online party you just need to give it a go and create an event that gets people excited. If you have any questions or want to hire me to throw a Twitter party or another virtual party then just let me know and and we’ll create something amazing.
* Images courtesy of andré.luís, justmakeit and tanjila.