Facebook “parties” are popular in the book community, but hosting your own takeover can be daunting. Here are 20 ideas to help make your takeover time a success.
Note: Always check with the Terms of Service for the involved site(s) before using these suggestions.
For the Fun
- Pick a theme that is related to the book you’re promoting. Ask guests to comment with pictures of that theme. For example, if your book is about a witch, ask for pictures of witches. After a set amount of time, choose a random winner.
- Ask a question about the guests related to the book you’re promoting. For example, for The Deepest Black, I asked when they had done something that seemed unimportant but had big consequences. After a set amount of time, choose a random winner.
- “Caption This” contests are almost always a hit. Post a picture, preferably something related, unique, or funny, and ask for captions. After a set amount of time, choose a random winner.
- Post a scrambled word or phrase, especially one related to the book. Guests comment with attempts to unscramble it. First correct answer wins.
- Play a modified version of “Hangman,” using underscores for unsolved letters, X’s for guesses, and the Facebook “edit post” feature to update as guesses are made in the comments section. Consider test running this one with some friends so you’re comfortable with it before participating in an event. The first to solve the puzzle wins.
- Pick a random object, especially one related to the book—but not too obvious. Don’t tell what it is, but have the guests ask yes/no questions in the comments. Answer each one correctly. First to figure out what the random object is wins.
- Ask your guests to post one random fact about themselves. Interact with them. After a set amount of time, choose a random winner.
For the Promo
- Create a public post on your Facebook page or profile. Post the permalink to the event with directions to like, comment, and share that promo post. After a set amount of time, choose a random winner of the people who participated.
- Pick a social network (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest). Ask them to follow on it, and then comment on the event post when they’re done. After a set amount of time, choose a random winner.
- Post a link to your current HeadTalker or Thunderclap campaign. Ask the guests to support the link and then post a screenshot showing they supported it. After a set amount of time, choose a random winner.
- Post a link to your YouTube video, such as for your book trailer. Ask for people to “thumbs up” the video and then comment on the event post with the number of “thumbs up” they are. After a set amount of time, choose a random winner.
- Ask them to subscribe to your newsletter, and then comment on the event post when done. After a set amount of time, choose a random winner. (They are allowed to unsubscribe later, so make sure your newsletter content is great enough to keep them engaged.)
For the Visibility
- The very first line of your post should be something short and catchy that shows it’s a giveaway. “Giveaway time!” or “Easy giveaway!” tend to work well.
- Don’t bury the giveaway among rambling. Be happy and excited, but get right to your point.
- Clearly state what the prize is.
- Clearly state how long the giveaway will last and how a winner will be chosen. (Favorite answer, random selection, etc.)
- Provide easy-to-follow steps. Remember, people are in a variety of situations: they might not know how these events work; they might be watching the kids or cooking dinner; or they might be mobile, which makes following along a little difficult sometimes. Keep it simple with Step 1, Step 2, etc.
- Related to the above, include all necessary links. Don’t say “follow on Instagram” without actually sharing your Instagram link on the same post. The more you make people dig for what should be accessible, the more frustrated they will be and the less interaction you’ll receive.
- Include liking the post and tagging a friend as part of the steps to enter the giveaway. This will help boost the visibility of the post.
- Make the prizes great! It should go without saying not to “give away” something they could have gotten for free without participating. Prizes don’t have to be huge to be valuable. A book, a $5 Amazon gift card, or even small “swag” items to be delivered in the mail are all reasonable incentives for readers to participate in your takeover.
Do you know of other activities that are great for online book related events?