[Superpost] How to Use Facebook to Promote Your Event
No marketer can ignore Facebook. It has the largest potential reach of any social channel at 1.71 billion monthly active users and growing (at time of writing). If you want your audience to know about your event, you need to use Facebook. Even if you’re sure your audience is not on Facebook, chances are that those that influence your target audience are on Facebook. The great irony is that this potential reach is limited due to the News Feed algorithm and Facebook is largely becoming a paid social channel as organic reach continues to drop for pages. There are, however, many opportunities to leverage and some features of Facebook that are particularly suited to event marketing.
You will need to promote your event on Facebook using both a Facebook Page and a Facebook Event. If possible use your existing brand Facebook Page to promote your event rather than dividing your time, effort and community management between two pages. By promoting the event from your brand page you are able to reach the audience you have already have a relationship with and also benefit from the closer association between your brand and the event.
In this example Social Media Examiner promotes Social Media Success Summit from their existing page.
If you do set up a separate page for your event or if your brand and event are one and the same, remember a Facebook Page is not just for an event, it’s for life! If the event re-occurs, keep the same page and change the cover photo, profile image and About information to reflect the upcoming event. Keep your page title and URL the same so it can continue to be used for each version of the event.
Leverage Facebook’s Call-to-Action buttons for pages to drive Facebook traffic to your event registration page by using a ‘Book Now’ or ‘Learn More’ call to action button. When your event tickets sell out use the call to action button for other important audience generation tactics like a newsletter subscription.Use Facebook’s Call-to-Action button to drive Facebook traffic to your event registration page.Click To Tweet
Facebook Events are a Facebook feature specifically designed for event promotion. An Event can be created directly from your Facebook Page. In the same area that you post a status update, photo or video, Facebook has a third option to post an Offer, Event, Milestone or Note.
The process is very easy, just choose Event and fill in the form. Facebook invites you to enter the event name, description, location, date, time, co-hosts (which can include other pages or friends) and ticket URL. You decide if everyone can write on the event wall or only event hosts. You can also add an event photo 1920 x 1080 pixels in size.
Promoting Your Facebook Event
When you publish your Facebook Event, it will automatically be shared from your page. The Facebook Event shared on the page will show the event image, title, and date and a call to action button to allow people to show they are ‘Interested’ or ‘Going’ to the event. In this example, some fans of Spiderworking.com on Facebook get notified that they have added an event.
Facebook’s News Feed algorithm means that not every fan will see this post so remember to share it again from your fan page a few other times by posting the link to the Event from your Page.
Promote this post to ensure that as many of your page fans as possible see the event. You can also promote this post to non-page fans using all of the great targeting options available in Facebook ads.Facebook’s News Feed algorithm means that not every fan will see your Page's Facebook Events.Click To Tweet
Encourage Fans to Subscribe to Your Facebook Events
Once you add at least one Event to your Page, the Events tab will appear on the left sidebar menu of you Facebook Page. You can move the Event tab up on the menu (using the Manage Tabs option available to Page Admins) to make it more prominent and easy for people to find the list of your events. The Events tab actually has its own URL so you can add this link to your website if you want. In this example the Events tab on Krishna De’s Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/KrishnaDe/events. This brings users to a list of all previous and upcoming events and gives users the option to Subscribe. Users that Subscribe to your Page’s Events will be notified every time you create a new Facebook Event from your Page.
Many Facebook users do not know about this feature so publish a post to your Page to show your fans how to subscribe to your events and consider paid promotion for this post. Once your Page fans subscribe to your Events they will see all Events you post and their friends will be able to see that they’re subscribed, giving you extra reach to their friend’s news feed.
Ask your event speakers, partners and any social influencers you work with to also share the event on their fan page and even from their own personal profile. They can even add the Event to their own Facebook Page so it will also appear under their own list of Events. This will ensure the event reaches the maximum number of people organically and before you invest any budget in paid promotion. Once the event is shared on your fan page you can also choose to pin it to the top of the page so that anyone that comes to the page will see the event details.
The Magic of Facebook Events
People that see your Facebook Event can choose to RSVP in one click, as Interested or Going to the event. When someone RSVPs to the event, this shows up on the Facebook News Feed of their friends without them even sharing it. This is what makes Facebook Events especially great for event promotion. You get the same reach as if that person had shared the event on their timeline along with the social proof of them saying that they are going to the event. This is fantastic for helping your event reach a wider audience and encouraging them to also attend. Encourage all attendees to RSVP to the Facebook Event as Going. When they purchase tickets to the event from your website, on the thank you page encourage them to visit the Facebook Event and RSVP as Going. This helps attendees as it allows them to keep up to date with event announcements but for you it means you can use your existing attendees to help reach new ones through Facebook.On your ticket purchase thank you page ask attendees to RSVP to your Facebook Event as Going.Click To Tweet
While you should have just one Facebook Page, you should create a new Facebook Event for every event so you can leverage the viral nature of the Event RSVP functionality.
Sending Messages to Event Attendees
Facebook Event admins can send custom messages to three distinct groups: attendees, maybes and non-responders. Facebook Event ‘attendees’ may not have have actually purchased a ticket so you should send them a message with a ticket coupon discount, or a buy one get one free offer. You can do the same for non-responders and maybes, changing the percentage discount for each as you wish. If you’re the host of a public event rather than a private event, you may not be able to message your guest list if your event is larger than a certain size. In this case, Facebook recommends that you use your event’s Wall to get in touch with the people you’ve invited to your event.
Posting Content to your Facebook Page and Event
Facebook Events are like Facebook Pages in that you can post updates including text, video and photos from the event. Facebook doesn’t yet allow for a lot of customisation for Events, so an active Timeline is your best-selling tool. Use the Facebook Event to keep all of your event info in one place for all guests to see.
If you also have a Facebook Page for the event you will need to have a content calendar for both the Facebook Page and the Facebook Event and avoid posting the exact same content on both. A good approach is to use the Facebook Page to post content aimed at prospects for the event and use the Facebook Event to post content aimed at those interested and attending. Only Fans of the Page will see your page posts and only those that indicated they were interested or attending will see the Event posts but it is still a good idea to not duplicate your posts across your Page and Event.If you have a Facebook Page and a Facebook Event you need a content calendar for both.Click To Tweet
When something interests your Facebook Page fans, they may comment (which their connections may see) or they may share it (which their connections will see in their News Feed). This way both the Facebook Page and Facebook Event are complimentary to each other and both will help to grow your audience and number of event attendees. To sustain both the Facebook Event and Page you will need great content but more about that in another post coming soon.
So many of the features of Facebook are under used by event organisers. Facebook Live video and Facebook Events are particular suited to help you promote your event. Given the nature of events and the opportunity to gather personalised content like photos of attendees, you have the opportunity to create event content that is widely shared on Facebook. This is unique to events and something that many other Facebook Page owners would jump at the chance to leverage. Make sure you’re ready to take advantage of the massive opportunity that Facebook provides to promote your event.
- Facebook’s own Playbook for using Facebook Events is available here.
- Facebook Help Centre for creating and editing Events
- Facebook Lets Event Organisers Sell Tickets Directly from Its Site and Apps
- For more tips and advice on Social Media For Events buy Trending: The Complete Guide to Social Media for Events.