Of the social media platforms of the internet age, Facebook is the clear king. They brag regularly that they have around 2 billion active monthly users across the world. That isn’t a number to laugh at, especially when you realize Twitter only reported around 328 million monthly users last year. With such a massive audience, Facebook event marketing is a crucial part of any event marketing strategy.
You, as an organizer, should have a page for your brand on Facebook. This page will be the center of your Facebook event marketing strategy, and from here you can posts statuses and set up events.
Standing out on Facebook is difficult though. Every event organizer uses it, every event has a page, and everyone’s news feeds are filled with event organizers screaming for their attention. If you want users to see you in this sea of content, you need to have a concise strategy that targets potential attendees with things that they want to see. Here are 5 ways that you can turn some heads.
1. Use Facebook Events
Facebook events have quickly become the most effect way to communicate the details of an event to potential attendees. Setting up a Facebook event doesn’t have to take more than a few minutes, but this effort is a crucial part of any Facebook social media strategy. Use the description of your event to explain all the awesome parts of your event. Make sure you are also including a captivating cover photo which will stop scrolling eyes in their tracks.
Once the Facebook event is live, there are tons of ways to get it in front of people. The most basic way is to directly invite people through the “share” tab. You can try inviting everyone who went to another event of yours. However, direct invites can appear to be spam to many potential attendees, and quickly ignored. Rather than directly inviting, use your brand’s page to post the event to your followers and let them see it on their own time.
The best way to spread your event is to let your attendees share it for you. If your event is set to public (which it probably should be), every time someone RSVP’s their friends will see it. Your attendees will also be able to share the event directly with their friends. These recommendations will yield way more conversions than anything you can say.
Facebook also does you the favor of reminding users of events before they come up. Facebook keeps a personalized calendar for each user which tells them about all the events they have shown interest in. Combined with your own postings on the event page, these reminders will keep people excited and aware of your event.
2. Steady Flow of Content
The key to any social media strategy is to keep your page updated with quality and engaging content. A Facebook event marketing strategy is no exception to this rule. When someone follows your page or clicks “going” on your event, they shouldn’t forget that they did. Your brand should be appearing in their newsfeed and notifications AT LEAST a couple of times a week. More is better, as long as the content is fresh and original. This does not mean you should repost the same thing repeatedly throughout the week however. Remember, there is a gaping valley of difference between quality content and spam. Don’t end up on the wrong side of that valley.
Allowing this flow to stop is the most destructive thing you can do to your Facebook event marketing strategy. A dead page becomes lost to the sea of memory fast. Once you have been forgotten, it can be near impossible to build back up the engagements and following you used to enjoy.
3. Use page to engage with attendees
A steady stream of content is not enough. Your content needs to catch eyes. It needs to draw more people to your page while delighting those who follow you. Remember, the more eyes on your page, the more people will see your events. The more people who see your events, the more people who go to your event. The more people who go to your events, the larger your brand grows.
Facebook is a social network, so be social with your page. People on Facebook love to hear themselves talk, and love to see pictures of themselves spread to others. The whole system is a constant battle for ten seconds of fame, and you can be that battleground. Ask people who went to your event to post pictures to the page that you can use as promotional material. Tell them to write a post about their experience which can score them likes and shares.
Your page and events can also be where followers both contract and cure their FOMO (“fear of missing out”, for those who aren’t up on their acronyms). Leading up to your event, you should be pumping your followers full of how awful it would be to miss the big show. Realistically though, not everyone who wants to come will make it. Their FOMO will be something you can play with during the event through pictures and videos of all the cool things happening as they happen. The next time your event comes around, they surely will no better than to make the same mistake twice.
Even in your off season, it is crucial to stay engaged. Check out this article for more ideas on how to stay engaged post event.
4. Videos catch the most eyes
Facebook is not a print medium. Your poster that is stapled to telephone poles across the city will not be enough to capture the attention of a Facebook scroller. This is an issue that we see frequently with event organizers, and it is a result of a rift between the old and the new. There is simply so much more you can do with Facebook, such as short and pointed videos.
Facebook auto plays videos, which means that anyone who finds themselves looking at the video will end up watching at least some of it. Their attention may not be held for very long however, so cater your video towards the audience. According to Facebook, about half of all views of videos last at least 30 seconds. Another study Facebook performed discovered that the most influential part of a video ad is the first ten seconds. The implications of this are clear, shorter videos will do better.
The majority of videos watched on Facebook are auto played, and auto played videos do not have sound unless the user clicks on them. So a whole lot of people are going to watch your video without sound, unless you give them a compelling reason to turn it on. Even then, think about the situations where people are scrolling their Facebook feeds. Someone on the bus would have to take out their headphones to turn on sound (unless they are just that guy on the bus). We all like to browse our social media every now and then at work, and such a covert operation is quickly ended by sound.
The lesson here is that the best videos on Facebook will be short, and not rely on audio to convey the message. There is however, no perfect formula for a video. In order to stand out, your videos need to be original and customized to the audience. To figure out what works best with your followers, experiment with different lengths and types of videos and see which get the most engagements or conversions.
5. Create Ads
If you have a good marketing budget for your event, you should consider taking things a step further and utilizing Facebook ads. Even if you don’t have that large of a budget, a little bit can go a long way with a well targeted Facebook ad campaign.
The content you upload into a Facebook ad is not very different from what you would keep on your page or event. Short videos or images will run the best, and the purpose should be gaining attention and click-throughs. The advantages Facebook ads offer however is getting this content in front of more people in a less obtrusive, non-spamy way. Facebook has set up three different kinds of audiences that you can utilize for targeted campaigns.
- Core Audiences– Allows you to manually set your “perfect audience” based off demographics and location. Core Audiences can also target people based on their purchase history and interests. This targeting strategy is as old as marketing, and is not the most effective way to find new customer. Just because someone is 25 and lives in Chicago does not mean they want to go to the Chicago Film Festival. That isn’t to say that Core Audiences doesn’t have its role in a Facebook Event Marketing strategy, and when budgets are tight the simplest campaigns can be the most effective.
- Custom Audiences– Facebook allows you to upload your existing email lists or other connections and target those specific people. This way, you can target your ads towards people who you know are already interested in your product, and drive more conversions.
- Lookalike Audiences– This is by far the most interesting of the audience options. Through this tool, Facebook takes a list of existing customers and contacts and finds more potential customers like them. Though this feature, you can put your ads and content in front of fresh eyes who are likely to appreciate it.
The best thing about Facebook ads is that they appear in the newsfeed along with all the rest of the customized content. Facebook users frequently will start to watch an auto played video from an ad without realizing it is sponsored content. We live in a society that constantly bombards us with advertisements, and most of us put our guard up the second we smell an ad. Any opportunity to present a message without having to break past those walls is one that should be taken advantage of.
Of course, any effective event marketing strategy needs to utilize as many forms of social media as possible in order to reach the most potential attendees. We would also like to know what strategies have worked for you! Tell us about them in the comments below.
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