Millions of people worldwide use Facebook almost constantly, and not just for posting photos of their holidays, parties or what they’re having for their tea. Millions of people view public events every day. And yet many businesses are not aware of the power of Facebook, and how its Events function can be used to boost your social media marketing campaign for a special launch or occasion.
Of course you can base an entire marketing campaign around Facebook, but the Events functionality is specifically useful for one-off occasions. It allows you to:
- Connect directly with potential customers and attendees
- Sell tickets for an event directly through the Facebook page
- Impart your brand and the product/service on attendees before the event
Events can be a big pull on resources, particularly with a small business. There is a lot of planning and delegating involved in the event space, logistics, materials and invites even before considering the specifics of the event itself. Marketing is just one part of this, but as it effectively dictates who turns up, it is a pretty important part. And using Facebook to raise awareness and boost attendance is a great way of using new media in a creative way that targets direct consumers, instead of relying on traditional mediums like local radio or local newspapers.
How do I create a Facebook Event?
A key action plan for creating a Facebook Event is:
- Click the ‘Event’ button on your Facebook business page
- Upload an image or video, which should be engaging and attractive to make the event standout
- Give your event a name, keeping it clear and concise
- Add the event details, such as location, description, date/time etc. Use keywords to aid searchability and give people an idea what the event is, but essentially, this is a fantastic tool to impart lots of information for potential attendees
- Add a frequency- i.e., whether this is a recurring event or a one-off (you can set the Event up to repeat itself to save you time in the future)
- Promote the event organically.
Boosting attendance for a Facebook event
Once created you can invite friends and share the post, including on other social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. You can very easily gain traction for an event through using your existing social network of friends, to spread the link very quickly. Your event can appear in “events you may like” sections and “popular with friends” sections just through your friends clicking ‘interested’ or ‘attending’. This may be sufficient to get the attendance figures you need, and it won’t have cost you a penny.
You can also share updates before the event, to keep it ‘live’, create anticipation and boost its popularity. You can also include co-hosts in the Event set-up if you are collaborating with someone, this allows both of you to promote the event in the same way, and hence ‘double-up’ on the potential attendees.
Additional attendance-boosting options
- Pay to ‘boost’ the event on Facebook and target an audience
- Use Ads Manager, which can offer more control than the ‘Boost’ option
- Add the URL of the ticketing platform to the Facebook Event to sell tickets directly from the Event page. This makes sales easier for people and is often appreciated by attendees
- After that, there are various tools that Facebook provides by which you can measure the market response to your actions.