Monday, September 22, 2014

How to Advertise Your Event on Facebook

Image courtesy of hywards / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


This past weekend we had the opportunity to take in Ottawa's Nuit Blanche. One of our friends, Marcia Lea of Davis Art School had her paintings at The Rectory where her art school is also located.  We had a short conversation about how the evening was going with a steady flow of visitors coming through.

Our conversation eventually evolved around to Facebook. One of Marcia's questions was how to properly advertise an event using Facebook.  She had created a Facebook event page but couldn't figure out how to invite those that liked the The Davis Art School's Facebook page to the event.

Marcia's query is a one we get periodically. How to use Facebook to promote an upcoming event properly?

Done in the right order, Facebook features can be quite effective in promoting an event.

Before posting an event answer the following questions:

1. Are you going to charge admission for the event?

2. If "Yes" to #1, are you going to handle the ticketing yourself or would you like some help?

3. Are you going to have a limited number of attendees thus requiring reserving spots but still not charging admission?

If "Yes" to both #1 and #2 or to #3 in the above and would like some assistance your best bet is to start over at Evenbrite.

EVENTBRITE

Eventbrite lets build a process of creating an event admissions, promoting your event on Facebook (and other social media platforms) and provides ticketing for admissions.  The best part is if it is a
free event, Eventbrite doesn't charge any fees.

If you are charging fees for admissions to your event, Eventbrite does charge fees.  So be sure to check their fees page before moving forward with them.

TIP: Even if you don't need ticketing and are offering a free event, still list with Eventbrite as Eventbrite will list your event on their page for free.  Thereby, your event gets free publicity.

1. From Eventbrite's main page, select "Create an Event" in the top right corner.

2. a) If you have an account: click "Log in" and follow the login process.

OR

b) If you do not have an account follow the prompts to create your account and login.

3. After finishing the login process, follow the instructions on the Eventbrite page here.

4. During the process, make sure to tap into Eventbrite's Social Media options to post to your company page to let your company's followers know.
EXAMPLE: A great example of how this will appear on Facebook is eSAX where Jarrod Goldsmith created his event ticketing using Eventbrite and shared it onto Facebook here.

5. Forgot to share your event to Facebook from Eventbrite? Here is how to do that.

6. Don't forget to share your event onto your personal page after the fact.  More on how to do that below.

Don't want to use an online ticketing agency like Eventbrite but still want to use Facebook to promote an event?

FACEBOOK EVENT PAGES

To Create a Facebook event page, if you haven't done so with Eventbrite above, is quite easy.

1. After logging into Facebook, search "Events" and select the "Events" app.

2. The next page should show a listing of events in your local area with events you have confirmed attendance at the top of the list. At the top of the page click on the "Create" button.
TIP: If you are holding an event at a popular location, slowly enter the address and a drop down menu will appear with possible listings. Choose your location when it appears.

3. On the next screen, fill in the spaces for the name of the event, event details, where it takes place and what date and time the event takes place on and click "Create".

4. A new page with your event should appear.

5. Add an event photo to the top of the page which could be a prominent photo from a previous edition of the event or a customized event poster for the upcoming one by clicking on "Add Event Photo" and following the prompts in the drop down menu.
EXAMPLE: Event Photo: eSAX
EXAMPLE: Event Poster: Spark Street's RibtoberFest.

6.  In the right hand column, you will see a list of guests to invite.  This list is drawn from the personal Facebook account of whomever is logged in. Go through the list and invite people to your event.
TIP: Many Facebook friends may not be interested in your area due to geographical distance.  So if your event is in New York City and a Facebook friend is in Toronto, chances are they are not interested.  Inviting them will more than likely aggravate them especially if done repeatedly.

7. Use the posting area for any news or updates.  So if a performer has just confirmed, provide a short update and, if available, a photo there.
TIP: For event updates, it is better to roll them out over several days so your event is kept top of mind by being seen regularly by those attending and those contemplating attending.

SHARE THE EVENT TO COMPANY & PERSONAL PAGES

Now that the event is created on Eventbrite and/or Facebook, why not share it widely so more people are likely to see it and possibly share it themselves with their followers?

1. Open either your company Facebook page or your personal Facebook page.

2. In the "Update Status" or "Status" section paste the website URL (website address) into blank and let the event details auto-populate.

3. Add any additional information to the post you wish and click "Post.
TIP: If you are going to the event and wish to promote it, mention in the post that you are going and would love to see others there.

4. Don't forget to share your company page's post to your timeline.  This way those that friend you on Facebook will also see your event as well.

As for Marcia's question: How to invite those who like your company page to the event?  Unfortunately, there is not a way to do that.  We have field tested a couple of possible ways and have, admittedly, come up empty. However, hopefully the above will provide more enough opportunities to promote your event on Facebook.

Promoting your event on Facebook is pretty easy yet economical to do.  Along with Eventbrite's options for ticketing, the admissions logistics are even easier to manage.

Have an event you need promoted? Suddcorp Solutions can help with promoting your event on Facebook as well as on 20+ event calendars within the Ottawa area.