My author pal, Kristin Kisska, was my partner in crime when we organized and planned a Twitter party for our mystery anthology, 50 Shades of Cabernet. She provided great ideas and insights. I had never attended one before. Here's what I learned...
- Agree on a hashtag for your event and include it in all your marketing. Ours was #50SoC. Participants searched for that hashtag and followed along with all our tweets and contests.
- You may want to search your hashtag choice to see what others are using it for. Will it fit your brand? Chances are, you won't get a hashtag that's yours alone, but you could get lucky.
- For contests, assign everyone who's hosting the party a number. When they ask a question for their give-away, they need to preface their tweet with Q and their number. (Example: If I am number 1, my question tweet would be Q1: What is your favorite....) Anyone who wants to participate in the give-away, tweets A and the correct number. This helps the hosts easily identify the participants.
- Choose a couple of hours for your party. Long timespans are hard unless you have lots of folks hosting and tweeting. Make sure to keep time zones in mind when scheduling. We had multiple authors sign up for 30-minute hosting timeslots. It made it easier. And some hung around for the entire event.
- Make sure that you have some topics planned for discussion. You'll want to keep the conversation going, and you'll want to have material to fill in the lulls. We were promoting our mystery anthology that was wine-themed. We talked about mysteries, sleuths, wines, and our stories.
- Start publicizing your event early. Include the time, time zone, and hashtag. Make sure you market it on multiple social media sites (multiple times).
- Be social. Make sure to include as many folks as possible in the conversation.
- If you're doing give-aways, decide on the rules up front (e.g. who picks the winner? how do you pick a winner?) We let each author who gave away a gift decide how he/she wanted to choose the lucky person.
- If you're doing give-aways, choose prizes that are easy (and inexpensive) to mail. I get a lot of my give-away on Etsy. I've found cute bookish wine charms, stickers, and buttons there.
When you see an interesting Twitter party, stop in and visit. The conversation is good, and you may even win a prize. Happy Tweeting!