In Monday’s blog, Does Social Media Marketing on Facebook Increase Business? I mentioned the EAT OUT Columbia City fund raiser I helped Country Doctor Community Health Centers promote. One of the more helpful and obvious tools available in Facebook is the Events tab. It is fairly straightforward to set up an event in Facebook. For more information check the Facebook Help section on setting up events. Once you have an event set up what can you do to promote it? Here are five suggestions.
1. Update Your Fans: When you are using Facebook as a page or logged in as the page administrator go to your event. In the upper right hand corner is the tab: Update Fans of “your page name.” Press this tab and you will be able to compose a message directly to the users of your page. You can even target the message according to location, age and sex. That way only those who would be able to attend the event will get a direct message about the event.
2. Share the Event: While logged in as yourself, not logged in as the page, you can go to the event and right under the title of the event you will see 3 blue buttons saying: “I’m Attending,” “Maybe,” and “No.” Under these buttons you will see “Share.” Click share and a dialogue box will open with a space to write a personal message. In the upper left you will see “Share: On your own Wall.” Selecting this you will have the option of posting to “your own Wall, ” “On a friend’s Wall,” “In a group,” and “On your Page.” If you pick “Group” or “Page” you’ll be able to select any group you belong to or any page you administer. Write your message then press the “Share Event” button.
3. Tag other pages: If you want to promote your event in a subtle way to other pages or groups you like then tag them in an update. For example in promoting a fundraising event I posted “thank yous” to the event sponsors. I posted a link to their websites then in the message I tagged their Facebook Page. To do this you must first make sure their page is one of your page’s “Favorites.” When you are using Facebook as your page navigate to their page. On the right side under their “Likes” section you will see “Add to My Page’s Favorites.” When you add their page it will show up under the “Likes” on your page. When you write a message type their page like this: @Other Page Name. Their name will now show up as a blue link to their page in the message but the best part the entire message will show up in their page’s WALL and visible to all of their fans. While you are at it use the “Featured” function under the “Page Edit” section to choose which pages that “Like” you will be featured at the top of your “Likes” list.
4. Custom Link: Use a link shortening tool like the free bitly to shorten you event’s URL and insert it in your Facebook Posts, tweets, blogs and web pages. By using the customize function on bitly you can change the random characters into something that makes a bit more sense. For example the URL for a workshop being given in July by Get Your Business on Course was shortened to http://on.fb.me/GYBOC-July27.
5. Promote with an Ad. I believe that most of the time you can get a lot of mileage out of Facebook without advertising but if you want to get the most out of your advertising buck Facebook is a good way to go. You can target your audience with laser sharp accuracy and you only pay for click throughs. For more detailed information go to Facebook’s Ad page.
This is a good start to using and promoting Facebook’s Events function. Set up an event and start trying it out and let me know how it works for you. At Image Media Partners we work with companies, nonprofits and organizations and help them with social media and inbound marketing. Let us know if you would like a free analysis of your social media marketing plan.
Photo Credit: Royce Bair's Vintage Stock Solutions