Thursdays with Amanda: What is a Twitter Party
Amanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent.
Some readers of this blog have mentioned that they don’t really know what Twitter Parties are, let alone how to run one. So let’s unpack this very useful promo strategy and then next week we can go over what makes Twitter Parties successful.
A Twitter party is exactly what it sounds. It is an online party that takes place on Twitter.
Here’s how it works…
An author or a company or someone who wants to promote awareness or buzz for their product, sends out party invitations through blogs, forums, Facebook, etc. They give the party a specific time, as well as a hashtag, and they advertise prizes.
Those who want to participate (usually to win free stuff), merely need to log on to Twitter during the hours of the party and begin watching for that particular hashtag (they can do a hashtag search on Twitter, which will pull show them the Tweets that include that hashtag in real time, or they can set it up through whatever Twitter program they use to filter Tweets). But anyway, the idea is that people join the party using the provided hashtag.
The host(s) of the party will keep things moving along, chatting with participants and running giveaways and interviews with featured guests. The key, though, is that every Tweet must have the party’s hashtag within it. Otherwise, the Tweets won’t make it to the party-goers’ feeds.
Still with me?
Eventually, after an hour or so of fun and chatting and giveaways and interviews, the party ends and the hosts sign off.
Why does this work?
It gets people talking about whatever you want them to talk about! Let’s say the focus of the party is your book’s release. If you advertise enough and plan it out, you could very well have hundreds of people talking about your book via Twitter for 1 or 2 hours! During this time, you can give them links and ask them to RT things. This way, you aren’t only reaching them, but their followers as well. So it’s a nice way to get buzz. And if you really hit it big, your hashtag could very well begin trending on Twitter. That means that random people on Twitter would see it and possibly enter in on the conversation.
The downside is it can get expensive. But that’s why you have to be creative with your incentives. Don’t always give away gift cards and electronics. Invite experts in for a Q&A or use the time to “live stream” a favorite tv show, making Twitter comments on the show as it airs and then doing giveaways every commercial break.
I realize I’m just skimming the surface here, and we’ll go more in depth next week, but what questions do you have? Have you found success with Twitter parties?
I’d love to see a post with ideas for the give-always at various price points. The more low cost ideas the better. Thanks!
Thanks for the explanation. Now I get it!
I’ve participated in a couple of what the hosts called Twitter chats. They didn’t give away anything, but it was a time for their followers, all interested in the same topic, to get on Twitter for the same hour and discuss said topic. It was a terrific opportunity to ask questions and get them answered immediately. Plus, I benefited from the questions that others asked. Thanks for the explanation, Amanda, and I’m looking forward to learning more next week.
Just read the tweet, “Next twenty to retweet entered in a giveaway for a free book” and I thought-well, that’s really smart! 🙂 -raj
The only time I participated in a party like this, the host had us use some sort of software through facebook, I think. It was actually in Twitter, but I didn’t have to keep searching for the hashtag over and over. It automatically put the hashtag on the end of every tweet I wanted to send, and it constantly updated the stream. Any idea what I’m talking about? It was fairly simple to figure out on the user end. If you don’t know, I can try to remember who hosted it. 😛
Can’t wait to hear more next week!
Thank you. I was hoping you’d do a post on this. And you did!