How to Promote Your Event on Facebook
On January 12, 2018 Mark Zuckerberg made an announcement that shook the marketing world.
“We're making a major change to how we build Facebook,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. “I'm changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.
“As we roll this out, you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard -- it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
Dun, dun, dunnnnnnnn.
Brands, especially ones that spent years gathering a substantial amount of Likes and Follows, were apoplectic. Still, several months later, marketers are still reaching their audience (and waiting for the full effects of this announcement to take place). The good news for event marketers is that Facebook remains a fantastic place to promote an event – as long as you know the steps to take.
Elevate Your Event’s Facebook Page
This is the heart of your Facebook promotion, so you need to make sure this page is set up perfectly.
Start by choosing a title for your event. You’re going to want something that is kind of short because most people use their mobile devices to browse Facebook, and longer titles don’t fare so well on the small screen. Still, you want to make sure that it will resonate with your intended audience and seize their attention. So, short and catchy.
Next, select a cover photo. This should be something attention-grabbing that encapsulates the feel of your event. The image will need to be 1920x1080 pixels. That’s so when the image is loaded or the link is shared, it doesn’t wind up looking pixilated and weird.
Now you can start filling in the information about your event: it’s location, date, duration, start time, etc. This is all key information that will help Facebook’s algorithm recommend your event to users. Also, add any tags (phrases that are frequently searched and relevant to your event) to help search engines find your event page.
Photo Credit: Facebook Newsroom
You need to set up notifications for your page, but it’s advisable to use these sparingly. According to research commissioned by Facebook itself, people quickly turn off notifications when events overuse them. So, use other channels – email, your event app, etc. – to communicate with registered attendees.
The final step is to align your company’s Facebook page with your event’s page. This way everybody who is already invested in your products or services will be made aware of your upcoming event. There is an “Event” tab, which is usually kept under a drop-down menu. However, tabs on a company page can be reordered, so you can make this one much more noticeable on the page. Make sure to post all upcoming events to your company’s timeline.
In addition, on the left side of your company page there is an “Upcoming Events” module. This can be moved up or down as needed. Whenever you have an event to promote, simply fill the relevant information into this module and move it to the top of the left-side column.
Any partnerships you have formed (including catering, floral arrangements, etc.) can use this “Upcoming Events” module, as well. There is a “Hosts” feature on the events page that will allow you to add these partners. Once this is completed, their module will feature your event.
Facebook has designed a wide variety of ads to accommodate most budgets and marketing needs. When you are designing your ad, remember that the majority of users look at Facebook on a mobile device. So, your ads need to be optimized to look their best on a mobile device. Keep your copy clean, concise, and clickable and use uncluttered images that send an immediate message about your event.
There are six different types of Facebook ads.
1. Slideshow – A combination of text, animation, and images. These ads deliver a fun, carefree feeling, are less expensive than other options, and run well even for someone with a poor internet connection.
2. Photo – Similar to a print ad; it’s an image with text.
3. Video – Like an ad on TV, Facebook provides a variety of options for the length of your video.
4. Carousel – This is basically a combination of numbers 2 and 3. The carousel option enables you to cycle through a variety of images and videos within a single ad, and each can contain its own individual link. This is ideal for showcasing different aspects of the event, such as speakers, sessions, sponsors, etc.
5. Collection – This type of ad is often used by brand that are selling an assortment of products (like a line of clothes or furniture). A consumer can click a featured item and learn more about the product (and even buy it) without having to leave the Facebook app.
6. Messenger – These ads are placed in conversations in Facebook's Mobile Messenger app.
Photo Credit: WordStream
Facebook also can help you tailor your ad to meet three different functions:
- Collect Responses – These are simply designed to inform people about the event and generate buzz. The ads will include a button like “Interested” or “Going” to help you gauge interest.
- Drive Registrations – Ads targeted to get people to your event registration page. In this case, the button reads “Buy Tickets.”
- Reach New Audiences – These ads utilize Facebook’s advanced features to help you discover previously untapped potential attendees.
- Re-targeting Ads – Once someone visits your event page or website but doesn’t register, a bit of HTML code (provided by Facebook) will track that person so a reminder about your event will appear the next time he or she opens Facebook .
- Demographic Targeting – You can filter through a number of specific demographics to target your exact audience, including age, gender, location, interests, and relationship status.
- Look Alike Targeting – Using emails of registered attendees, Facebook can send ads to users with similar demographics.
- Connections Based Ads – This sends a notification to the friends of someone who registered for your event letting them know about their friends interest or attendance.
Create Content to Share with Your Attendees
If you give attendees something to buzz about, they will want to share it with their Facebook friends.
People love to get behind-the-scenes info. This keeps them engaged and excited about the upcoming festivities. This is also exactly the type of content that your attendees can share to help spread the word of your event.
Creating video content is also a great idea because Facebook has made it pretty simple to integrate into the platform. Then, as the event draws near, it’s time to pull out the big gun: Facebook Live Video. Live video is a marketer’s dream, because it helps to capture all the excitement of the live event – or in this case, the run-up to the live event.
Facebook and events go hand in hand, so it is unlikely that any changes made by the social media giant will silence their promotion any time soon. The platform is a great way to generate buzz about your specific event, and Facebook’s tools make it easy to target the specific audience you are attempting to woo.
For even more info on setting up your trade show for success, give Event Architecture a call at 972-323-9433.