Did you know that over 1.37 billion people check Facebook every single day?
Social media continues to grow in popularity, and Facebook continues to be the dominant player despite a myriad of other platforms competing for market share.
Not only do millennials love browsing their Facebook feeds, but so do older generations. In fact, 62% of adults over the age of 65 use Facebook.
Among many reasons to use Facebook for business, it’s the ideal platform for promoting live in-person or online events so that you get maximum attendance. Higher attendance at events results in more leads, sales, repeat customers, and referrals.
Even if you haven’t already used a feature called “Facebook Events,” you’ve probably noticed that when you log into your business Facebook Page, along the left hand side, there’s a menu item for Events. As you’d expect, this is where you can create a dedicated page for any event.
Keep reading to discover the seven steps for creating an awesome event.
1. Add a Fitted Cover Photo (Size 714x264 pixels)
Attention spans are getting shorter. You need to make a great first impression and grab people’s attention within a few seconds. To get people to notice your event and want to learn more, you need a great cover photo.
It’s called a “Cover Photo” but it doesn’t need to be a photograph; it can be graphic design or a combination of real images and artwork. Either way, it needs to be crisp, clear, and really pop off the page. If it blends in, it will get overlooked.
Upload an image that accurately shows what type of event you are hosting. For example, if you are planning a margarita party, use event art such as the the image below (from Canva):
A strong cover image makes it clear to people what type of event you’re hosting, and make them want to attend.
Canva is a great free tool that you can use to create your own unique image. Neither design skills nor technical expertise is required to use Canva. Canva even has plenty of Facebook Events Cover Photo templates that you can use. Simply change the text and maybe a few colors or images, and you’re all set.
2. Cross Promote Your Event
Your Facebook friend list is the low-hanging fruit when it comes to attracting strong attendance.
However, if you want to draw maximum attention, cross promote the event leveraging other social media platforms as well. Once you share your event on Facebook, continue to share it on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and so on. If you have an email list, of course, send it to them as well.
Don’t forget offline marketing as well. We all get distracted by the shiny new object sometimes, but there’s no school like the old school. Direct mail still works, often better than digital channels. Get listed in the calendar of events in the local papers, send out a press release, and ask local libraries and coffee shops if they’d be willing to put your flyers up.
If the event is something people are passionate about, they will share it with their friends and it could potentially go viral.
3. Give the Event a Short Title
Another tip we can offer you is to include a short and sweet title to describe your Facebook event. Leave out details such as the location and driving directions, as additional info will be provided once someone clicks on the event.
Nearly 20 years removed from college, I still remember “Drinkin’ with Lincoln” where you’d get a pint of beer for a penny. It was punchy, memorable, and you knew what type of event it was just by the name.
A few other noteworthy examples:
- Traffic & Conversion Summit
- Unleash the Power Within
- Greenwich Wine & Food Festival
- The Retirement Income Blueprint
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be clever. If you’re hosting a potluck at your house, there’s nothing wrong with calling your event “Potluck at Sherry’s.”
It’s better to be direct and to the point than overly hypey. People will see through the hype and may perceive it as spam.
4. Keep Posting Updates On the Event Page
Get some momentum going with your impending event.
You want to see a good turn out, right? That means investing time and energy into promoting the event as much as you can.
Set aside time to post videos and images to get people ready to have the best time when your event rolls around. Include funny memes or GIFs to let people know the event is right around the corner.
Start a conversation on the event page, too. Once people start liking and commentating on your event page, it has the chance to go viral! That’s how the friends of your current fans will learn about your event.
Below is an example; an event looks a lot more fun and enticing to potential attendees when people are actually talking about it rather than it being just a stale page:
Ask specific people questions when they click that they are attending the event. Inquire about what people are going to wear and who they are going to bring. Establish a sense of community.
Talking about the event on your personal Facebook page is also a must. Share updates to the event page onto your personal Facebook account to give more people a chance to attend the event. Even people who are interested initially will forget about it unless you keep it top of mind.
5. Add Ticketing Info to Your Description
The description section of the event page should include all relevant information someone would need to decide if they want to attend. Focus on what’s in it for them, and show passion and enthusiasm!
You also need to be very clear about what you want them to do. Do they need to buy tickets from an outside website? Be explicit about that and include a clear call to action, like “CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP AT EVENTBRITE.COM.”
Add helpful information in the description area such as:
1. The address of the event
2. The hours of the event
3. The hosts of the event
4. The cost of the event
5. What people can expect from the event (food, drinks, etc)
6. Embrace The Viral Effect
The more people who show interest in attending your event, the greater the chance it has to go viral.
Offer an incentive to people to click the buttons that show they are either going or “interested in going,” and the viral effect is now in place: when somone indicates that they are interested in an event, their Facebook friends see it in their news feeds. The event now becomes a huge billboard that grabs the attention of everyone they know. (See below):
Promote engagement on your event page by getting people to comment on your event posts. To start conversations initially, tag people you know when posing interesting questions. You can also encourage them to tag others, so that you’re always expanding your reach and drawing new people in.
It may feel like an uphill battle at first, like you’re pulling teeth just to get a few comments. Once the ball starts rolling and you gain momentum, however, the conversation and buzz can take on a life of it’s own. You become the moderator moreso than the driver of conversation.
7. Promote Your Facebook Event Through Targeted Ads
Truth be told…organic reach only gets you so far.
Unless you have hundreds of thousands or millions of followers, chances are, in order to get the kind of attendance you want at your event, you’re going to have to pay for real advertising.
Fortunately, Facebook’s ad platform allows you to reach the exact audience most likely to attend your event and become a paying customer.
For example, you can upload an email list or phone list of current customers or previous attendees and reach those people with Facebook ads.
You can also create “Lookalike” audiences of those lists where Facebook finds other people who are just like those you’ve already done business with; these people are likely to buy from you as well!
Targeting may be the most important element of your ad campaign, but it’s certainly not the only important aspect.
Your ad creative, including the copy and the image or video, must be effective at bringing your audience through the classical AIDA model (attention, interest, desire, and action). You’ve got to stand out, quickly communicate the benefits of attending, and make it crystal clear how to sign up.
Lastly, the event itself must be well thought out and add genuine value to attendees. This should go without saying, but it’s important to remember that you’re competing with people’s favorite televisions shows, sporting events, books they want to read, and anything else going on in town at the time of your event!
In summary, to make your Facebook Events ad successful, you need all of the traditional elements of a great ad campaign: the right audience to target, a great offer, and killer creative.
Build a Complete Facebook Marketing System
Facebook is an ideal platform to promote your events, and much more.
If you’d like to learn more about maximizing Facebook for your business, download our free guide, The 7-Step Facebook Marketing Playbook.
You’ll learn how to get more repeat business, bring in new customers, and get your fans to promote your brand to all of their friends and family on social media. Click here now to download the free PDF!