There are over 1 billion active users on Facebook monthly. This first sentence alone should be a dead giveaway as to why event organizers go through the trouble of listing their events on the social network.
Apart from Facebook’s ever growing global reach and popularity, there are other important benefits and implications of using Facebook for your events.
This comprehensive guide is for amateur, upcoming and professional event organizers who use Facebook events.
1. The Basics
Fine tune the Details
In the “Details” section start with a link to your event’s website. If attendees need to register elsewhere make sure you explain that clearly. Always add the necessary links.
All essential information about the event should also be at the top of the “Details” section before there is a “See More” drop down. You want maximum conversion.
Add a call to action to encourage registration at each paragraph.
Add some secrecy and mystery about some of the event details. Be secretive about a special guest, catering detail, prize, goodie bag gift. Create some suspense.
Add more hosts (Sponsors!)
Click “Edit” at the top right of the event and then add the names of the additional hosts or sponsors to the “Host” field.
Why not add the sponsors as hosts? The sponsors will be happy and will feel obliged to be active on the event page (more on that below).
Add the Venue, Not the address
If you want attendees to be able to get directions to your event, instead of typing a physical address, add the physical venue in the “Where” field. This will also optimize your event for searches and will make it more likely to appear on people’s feeds.
In the “Tickets” field add your Weemss event webpage address or your own website if you are accepting registrations with an embedded ticket shop.
Take note: Pages cannot invite people to attend an event, you will need to switch to your personal profile in order to invite attendees. When inviting people to your event do not go overboard with the numbers. Facebook events with large guest lists can get reported as spam.
The maximum number of people you can invite to an event depends on a variety of factors, including whether the invited guests are likely to respond and attend. You should only invite people you know or people you know are interested in the event to help make it a positive experience for both event hosts and guests.” Facebook Help Centre
Do tick “Show guest list” so people can see who is going, Facebook is social.
Don’t tick “Only admins can post to the event wall.” You want everyone to be active on the event page, organizers, sponsors and attendees (more on that below).
2. Get Social
There’s a reason people are on Facebook. They are there to mingle, chat and socialize. Even those considered introverts can be seen sharing their colourful personalities freely on the network.
Make the most out of this social phenomenon by engaging users on the event page.
– Encourage conversation. Post questions, polls and ask for opinions;
– Observe. Give attendees the floor, let them talk amongst themselves and listen. Let them develop their own community on the event page.
– Engage. Engage in the conversation when and if necessary.
3. Post engaging content
You need to be posting engaging content twice a day at the very least.
If you want to make your posts engaging, make them:
– Visual: use Pictures, Graphics or Video;
– Relevant to the event and event topic;
– Useful to the attendees;
– Emotion inducing:
– Positive rather than negative.
Yes, unlike traditional media positive works better than negative on social media.
4. Measure Interest
Ok, so it is possible to have 1,000 people “attending” your event on Facebook, only to welcome about 150 at the door. Nevertheless, looking at the number of “attendees” you can see the potential interest for your event.
Again, ask questions and add polls. Engage your audience and get their point of view. You can even switch-up some event details according to feedback, if it is strong enough.
5. Marketing on a zero budget
“Like and Share this post to WIN a Free Pass” sound familiar? Well, it’s actually forbidden according to Facebook rules. (You can’t make people share information on their personal profiles).
You CAN ask attendees to “Like” a page or post, to share something on the event page or your organization’s wall. Why not ask attendees to share an original photo, past experience, to write an original haiku? Be creative and let them be creative in turn. We humans love any chance to get creative!
Make sure you explain the rules of any competition clearly.
Note: Facebook rules get changed and updated often and so it is worthwhile to always have a look at their comprehensive help page.
6. Get the sponsors and speakers involved
For an even greater opportunity for likes, shares and comments on your event’s page get the sponsors involved.
Tag sponsor companies and speakers in your posts. Encourage their activity – prize draws, updates, conversation, you should know all this by now.
7. Always follow-up
Follow-up the event with pictures, ask people to share their memories. Say “Thank you to all that attended”. Why not create a follow-up prize draw? Will there be a second edition event? Give some hints. Treat this event as you would your brand, don’t reduce it to a one-off sale.
8. You are the King of Your Castle
Facebook lets you promote your own brand the way you want it being promoted. You are in complete control of your voice and message. Use it wisely and meaningfully. Tailor it to your broader marketing goals and activities.
Facebook events are not for everyone. Truth is not everyone is on Facebook and though we have all seen our fair share of them posted there, it may not be appropriate to list business and professional events. Consider everything carefully and don’t create an event on the platform if you don’t have the time or resources to manage it.
Featured image by PublicDomainPictures licenesd under CC0 1.0