I think Facebook Watch Parties are the most exciting new feature for direct sellers to hit Facebook in the last 2 years.
If you don’t want to go Live on Facebook but still want to experience the benefits of a Live video…you will love Watch Parties.
Facebook has openly said that YouTube is their main competitor, so they are focusing much more of their attention on the video components of Facebook. The algorithm already massively favors video, especially Live video. But if you don’t want to go Live, you can still get all the benefits from the algorithm and more with Watch Parties!
An algorithm is a formula or set of steps to achieve something or solve a problem. In Facebook, the algorithm decides what to show you in your newsfeed and in which order. Everybody’s newsfeed is different because the algorithm takes your own behavior as well as other bits of information into account.
So when you open Facebook, the algorithm looks at all the stories posted by your friends and by the pages that you follow. The algorithm then looks at things like who posted the story and how often they publish, any negative feedback on that author, what time it is now, what device you’re on, what engagement stories already have (the more engagement they have the more likely it is that you’ll see it in your feed), if a friend has already commented, and much more.
The Facebook algorithm uses all that information to make some predictions, such as how likely you are to click on a story, watch a video, share a story, etc. This helps the algorithm decide what to show you in your newsfeed and in what order.
How do you get the algorithm to like you as a publisher? Here are some general recommendations:
- Complete your Facebook profile.
- Publish regularly.
- Create content likely to elicit positive feedback from your audience (positive comments, likes, or reactions. Reactions affect post ranking slightly more than likes). But do not ask for shares or likes – this is frowned upon by the algorithm.
- When you want to post a video use Facebook Live or upload videos to Facebook directly, instead of linking to YouTube.
- Publish content that promotes engagement and an investment of time from your audience (video content or polls are great for that).
- Post content that’s informative and shareable.
So what’s so awesome about Facebook Watch Parties?
Awesome thing #1: You can stream any video that’s publicly available on Facebook
When you start a Watch Party, Facebook will stream the video live and treats it as though it’s a Facebook Live.
This means that you can stream a company recruitment video, for example, as though it’s your live video. Previously, if you shared a video from another page or group, its reach was very limited.
The other advantage is for people who are not fond of doing live videos. You can pre-record your videos and then use them in a Watch Party and still get the benefits of a Facebook Live. The Facebook algorithm will give your Watch Party the same priority and reach as if you’re doing a Live!
Awesome thing #2: You can invite people to your Watch Party
You can invite people to join your Watch Party, which increases the chances they’ll join. You can’t do this for a Facebook Live!
This is a powerful feature because people will get a notification about your Watch Party when it’s about to start.
Awesome thing #3: You can comment during the video
When you’re doing a Facebook Live, you can’t also type comments at the same time. When you’re doing a Watch Party you can be there and comment and chat with your leads, online party guests or customers.
This increases interaction and engagement with the video which the algorithm loves. And when the algorithm learns that people like your content, your content will show up in their newsfeeds more!
Awesome thing #4: You can schedule your Watch Parties
You can’t schedule a Facebook Live unless you use a third-party service such as BeLive. But you can schedule your Watch Party, so you can announce it in advance in your group or on your page.
Awesome thing #5: You can put multiple videos in your Watch Party
You can create a ‘playlist’ of videos in your Watch Party. This might come in handy if you have a series of product videos that go together, for example. And you can add videos during the Watch Party!
Limitations of Watch Parties
When people miss the ‘screening’ they cannot replay it. Watch Parties are not like Netflix but more like broadcast television. Once the show is over, it’s over. However, your videos will still be visible as a post. So although the live interactive component is not accessible afterwards, people can still watch the videos of the Watch Party.
You can only use videos that are publicly available on Facebook. That means that videos you’ve shared in closed groups or secret groups cannot be used outside of those groups. You can create a Watch Party inside the group and use videos that you shared inside that group, you just can’t take it out of the group.
When you invite people to your Watch Party, they don’t get that invite until it begins. This means people who are invited aren’t notified in advance even if you’ve scheduled the party. You could manually message people separately to alert them ahead of time but that’s a lot of work.
How you can use Watch Parties in your direct sales business
Here are some ideas on how to use Watch Parties in your Facebook groups or Facebook business page:
- Pre-record a welcome video for your Facebook parties and invite all guests to the Watch Party. This will be a great reminder that the Facebook party is happening now and you can re-use the video for other parties instead of going live every time.
- Pre-record a product demonstration. You can then use this in your customer group, Facebook parties, on your business page, etc. Invite guests or group members to your Watch Party and be sure to interact in the comments.
- When you’re doing an online recruiting event, you can use your company recruitment video or pre-record your own recruiting video. Invite your leads to watch the video with you in the Watch Party.
- Pre-record a video with your monthly specials or offers. Create a Watch Party in your customer group, invite members and make sure you’re interacting in the comments for questions, bookings or sales.
- In your team Facebook group you can create a Watch Party for training videos. You can be in the comments to clarify things. This is a great way to get the team together to learn a new feature or get brand new teamies together doing training with you online. With your invites you can target the team members you would like to ‘attend’.
I hope you can see the potential of Watch Parties for your business. I’m also curious how you guys are using Watch Parties, so please comment below.