You found the perfect host for your next Tee Party. She is motivated, communicating with you the entire week leading up to her party. If you assign a task, she knocks it out of the park. You have scheduled your entire party and curated the perfect products for her. She invites her friends. First scheduled post rolls out explaining what a Tee Party is... crickets. 🤔 (Maybe all the guests are still working). The second scheduled post hits the party, asking them a fun question... crickets again. 🤔 (Maybe they are already in bed). The next morning rolls around... still crickets. Your host messages you and is upset about her friends not participating.
*insert instant panic*
Time to ⚠️ activate ⚠️ the Hype Team! Better yet, I want you to embed the Hype Team before they are even needed (think of them as secret Tee Party submarines in hiding). But, first, let me provide some context...
You arrive at your middle school dance. You have your fancy shoes on, bangs straight gelled to your forehead, hair is crimped and crunchy, and no one can tell you or your friends anything because you just got the new Motorolla Razr and your lip gloss is poppin’. But, the dance floor is dead. Literally, soooo awkward. Ain't no way you are going out there.
🎵a scrub is a guy that thinks he's fly🎵
You start to notice all your classmates looking around. Everyone is looking at the dance floor, but no one has taken the initiative. Then, the school class clown runs out and starts break dancing. Next thing you know, another person joins. And another. Before you know it, you know it you are screaming with your friends...
🎵hangin' out the passenger side of his best friend's ride, trying to holla at me🎵
(at this point, the only thing you have driven is a go-cart at your 11th birthday party)
What just happened?
"The bandwagon effect is a psychological phenomenon whereby people do something primarily because other people are doing it" (Hagan, 2017).
There was a sense of FOMO (Fear of missing out) if you and your friends didn't join. Also, the dance set the social stage for what was acceptable to do at the dance. Imagine if you showed up on a dance floor that was already busy, you wouldn't have wasted time standing off to the side; you would have joined in right away.
This is the atmosphere you want to create in your Tee Party. Your guests may wish to engage or support the host but aren't exactly sure what they should be doing (yes, even sometimes if you have a call-to-action that tells them what you would like them to be doing and they still don’t act). Your hype team will start strong by liking and commenting on your posts to set the social norm for the party. However, the other party guests will *think* that your Hype Team is just another customer.
Build your Hype Team
I recommend building a hype team of 3-5 ladies to keep in rotation. They can be consistent customers, top contributors or friends, and family. Many of you may already have a brand rep program in which it would be great to dual use your reps as your Hype Team. Assign 1-2 Hype Team members to a party. Inform your host that the Hype Team is there to help get the party going. I suggest doing this, so she isn't thrown off by these seeming wedding crashers who are strangers in the middle of her party.
Rewarding your Hype Team
Your Hype Team should be your All-Star team. You have to take care of them. They need to know they are valued. While it seems steep, I recommend giving them a free tee for every party they hype, if they are active on every post and every day of the party. Potentially, six days of hype for a $10 cost to you for the tee; I don't think it is a bad deal at all. Your fan girls make up your Hype Team. They love your brand, so getting a free tee to show up to help a business they support is a no-brainer for them. Remind them of the requirements if you notice a Hype Team member's participation is slacking. Remember that your Hype Team has a life outside of social media. Don't overbook them. Two parties a month is plenty per Hype Team member. This will keep them fresh, energized, and ready to show up to the party!
Need help building your team?
I don't recommend making a public post in your group to recruit members for this role. To start, you don't want everyone to know this program exists. It should be invite-only. Further, you know who supports your business, no questions asked. Pull your top engagement metrics to see who is already active in your VIP group. Making a post to offer FREE tees typically only attracts freeloaders whose efforts are short-lived. 🥺 We want those who are genuine and already doing what you need them to do without being asked. As a bonus, now they will be rewarded.
Some things are quite frankly out of your control and your host's control... the party guests' engagement being one. You can alleviate a slow party start or a party going sour by preparing your team to take action. If you walk into a party with bomb decor (graphics), catchy music (captions), and fun attendees (hype team), it's somewhat hard not to want to get involved.
Podcast Episode: "11 | Hype Team Activated: Embedded Tee Party Engagement Strategy"
This blog post was updated and converted into a Podcast episode on Aug 10, 2023.
Consider all of the work that goes into creating, scheduling and coordinating your Tee Party just to be meet with flat engagement which translates into lower sales. We put too much stake in the host's guests bringing the fun with them. That needs to change. A Hype Team is the secret ingredient to turn around lackluster engagement.
Leverage the Bandwagon Effect
Picture a middle school dance. No one is dancing which encourages everyone to hold up the wall. Now picture walking into a dance where everyone is dancing. You are more encouraged to join when you see "everyone" is doing it.
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a powerful phenomenon that can be used to encourage more participation in your parties. The Hype Team can get the engagement going strong from the moment doors open.
Building Your Hype Team
The ideal Hype Team members are either:
- Consistent Customers
- Active Contributors
- Friends or Family
- Brand Reps
The Hype Team members will guide guests through what the Tee Party normal behavior looks like such as being active, participating or even making their own posts to the party.
Nurturing Your Hype Team
It is crucial that your Hype Team members are compensated for their efforts. The best type of business relationships for the long haul are transactional.
Ideas for rewards:
- Steeper party discount
- Free Tee from Party
- Store Credit to shop
Keep a pulse on your Hype Team members. If they are starting to get burned out or slowing down on their engagement, it is worth addressing. They may need to take on less.
Selective Recruitment for Authentic Engagement
I do not recommend making a public post to have members sign up to Hype. You might get people joining with their eyes on the incentive only. They may not have what is required to be a product Hype Team member.
I recommend the invite-only approach by privately messaging those that you know already exude the qualities you desire for Hype Team members.
Don't wait for the host to hopefully bring fun friends. Get ahead of your party's success by carefully curating your own Party Team.
Virtual Party Decor (Graphics) + Catchy Content (Tee Party Planner + Engaged Audience (Hype Team) = Increased Likelihood of Party Sales!
Take Action --> Share your own experiences and strategies for building and nurturing Hype Teams in our Facebook group community here.
Links mentioned in this episode
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