written by Rita Wade
After finishing the holiday season and now just past the Valentine’s Day LIVE events I have seen more and more challenges with some of the LIVE events in that the owners are sometimes not seeing the results that they hoped for… And JUST LIKE an event you are going to have in the store… There needs to be what I call “The Ground Game!”
I know, you all thought going LIVE was just hitting a button… and YES, it is, but so many folks are doing it that NOW you must be INTENTIONAL with your strategy to get EYES on your LIVE experience. I cannot stress this enough with folks… This is a VIRTUAL window into your store and your business. Think about what you do every day to open the doors to your hopeful shoppers… The SAME is true with your virtual shoppers… When you get to your stores you have spent, in many cases, thousands of dollars every month just to turn the lights on and set the jewelry out in hopes that someone will walk in the door. A Virtual Experience requires a strategy and an appeal for folks to be willing to walk into your virtual door and it certainly requires a ground game!
What does a “Ground Game” look like?
Four Weeks Before Your NEXT LIVE Event!
- Get your Staff Involved in promoting your event!
- During your next STORE MEETING share with your staff and HAND Out a Press Release, in a sense, of the next LIVE event.
- Your press release should include what the “Theme” of the event is
- Who is doing the event – In this case the Hosts of the show
- Coach them on WHO to invite.
- Coach them on HOW to invite their customers! (Phone, Text, Messenger, Flier, Postcard or Personal Note) When I offer my services to my stores I am always willing to walk folks through with a tutorial on how to share the event in Messenger that personalizes the invitation for friends that they would invite to this event.
- REWARD them for their efforts. For every person they invite their name goes into a drawing for CASH. Meaning if they invite 30 friends, then allow them to put their name in the drawing 30 times and the more they invite the higher the chances they will WIN. Have them write the customers’ name on one side and theirs on the other and reward that customer with something! Makes them feel like they are helping their favorite sales associate out. You choose the rules but make them crystal clear during your store meeting! What do you have them WIN…? I always say CASH and Photograph whatever amount of money you will be giving away and put it on the bulletin board in the break room with REMINDERS (I say folks will always work for a $100 Bill.) Maybe even keep a tally so that folks will be motivated by others.
- REMIND them when the LIVE show starts even though they are not working and ask them to JOIN the show through comments to customers. Ask folks to be engaged in the show through the comments. OFFER to pay them during the LIVE show at home in the comforts of their home.
- ASK your STAFF to create a WATCH PARTY and tell them HOW to do it. If it is streamed, you can see if they are watching… how long they watched. If they share it as a “Watch Party” to their OWN personal profile pages give them something for this as well… Extra Pay or Extra name in the drawing! This means simply to LIKE and SHARE to their personal PROFILES! This can be done EVEN AFTER the show ends! You can share this LIVE video and increase your engagement exponentially if you would simply share to your personal profiles for your friends to watch!
- Print is NOT DEAD!
- Print a Flier to place on the counters to SHARE with your customers on how to join the LIVE events. Start telling them a minimum of 2 weeks before the show that you are GOING LIVE and Show them HOW to do it and when to join. Folks are turning notifications off so in some cases if there were no reminders sent then it is not coming up on their phone that you were LIVE. Sadly, when I see a LOW number of watchers early in the show, I know that no one bothered to do the “Ground Game.” I know then that the only way folks will see it is if they are scrolling through their feed that they “stumbled” upon it. You need to LEAD and REMIND folks to join the LIVE well in advance. This can be done with CLEAR directions on a flier! EXAMPLE: First visit our Facebook Page – List the HANDLE of your page, follow us (Show them what that button looks like – use an ICON) then on the DAY of the SHOW set your clock to remind you of the show. Even setting your page up in their preferences to “See First” will help it to pop up in their notifications.
- SEND a Postcard to your BEST customers! I worked with a store that did a show this week that sent out 250 cards to their best customers. It cost us VERY little to print their cards and they averaged far more watchers by doing this!
- MORE Calls-to-action
- Trivia or BLINGO Questions need CLEAR instructions for the giveaways.
- Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Bridal Shows, and other Holiday Events should have BIG partnership giveaways to GET people to WATCH, encourage participation, and give your audience a reason to STAY watching until the end. LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE opens you up to reaching more people organically (FREE) and provides LOTS of future reasons for following. My stores that do not spend a good amount of time researching desirable giveaways for their trivia questions or just saying… you will get a prize for participation is just WAY too “Nilly Willy” and a bummer to the folks watching. Be NOTICEABLY clear on what the prizes are and work on getting those arranged farther in advance.
- Give your customer a “Virtual Party” experience. I am recommending doing “Goody or Swag Bags” that they pick up before the show. We are doing Eventbrite tickets to reserve their SWAG bags and they pick them up in the store before the night of the show. (Every show I have done like this has had overwhelming responses with up to 75 or more swag bags reserved and running out…) Everything from a mini bottle of bubbly, popcorn, something sweet, information about your entire promotion and possibly a RAFFLE ticket that you would call a WINNER at the end of the show. If they do not watch the show to the end there will be no chance for them to know if they won, the Raffle! I had last week a store that had two other local businesses want to put things for FREE in their SWAG bags and we did a little sponsorship for them i.e., a little commercial for them. All this guaranteeing more participation…
- Why is all this so important? LIVE shows DO convert to sales! They can convert on the NIGHT of the show and they create momentum on your social media as well as offer folk’s inspiration for walking in the door. LIVE shows rank 85% higher than any other content on social media. If done RIGHT, it can be even higher than that and it is FAR LESS expensive advertising than just about anything else. Yes, when you look at the cost of doing a LIVE streamed event you say… You paid staff a couple extra hours, you paid me to build the show, and you paid for a few ads. When done with a bit more ground game this should turn into thousands of dollars of TRACKABLE SALES!
- Your GROUND GAME should always support Your DIGITAL Game
- Social Media and email marketing is an essential element to the event WITH paid boosting, events pages, and lots of posts driving them to the event. Do not be afraid of starting about 4 weeks out… but 2 to 3 weeks is standard for an ONLINE only event. Your events page should go up first and your theme should be consistent throughout all social media. I encourage for a LIVE event for approximately 1 to 2 posts per week for the first couple weeks and then 3 to 4 posts in pre-week before the event and then daily for the week of the event. Again, remember to remind them WHERE to go to participate, WHEN you are going LIVE, HOW to LOG in and WHAT they might WIN that night.
There you have it: everything you need to run a successful LIVE Facebook Event! There are many ways you can make this a fun experience that improves the overall responses from your audience… The key is to be PREPARED for it! I would LOVE to watch your LIVE events so shoot me a message and count me in as one of your crowd-fluencers!
As always, I believe in you! Now Go Be GREAT!
If you want more information on doing a LIVE EVENT, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org