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Got room for 450 million extra guests at your next event? Well if every single Facebook Events user shows up, you’ll need the space. This feature has grown to be one of the big F’s most powerful up-and-coming features. Starting on June 27th, 2016, Events has vaulted into an even more important position on the world’s biggest social media platform.
Let’s dig into the details behind this feature, and find out the best way use Facebook Events feature. Online event marketing and management pros take notice.
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Increased Emphasis on Events
Your exposure to Facebook Events might be limited to getting invited to a birthday party or baby shower once in awhile. Not too long ago, the feature wasn’t given much attention. But as interest and use grew so did Facebook’s commitment. In fact, the number of events showing up in user News Feeds and Notifications has ballooned – on purpose. Since FB knows what your preferences are, it shows you events you might be interested in.
As Facebook continues to invest in the Events feature, the newest development is human curators researching local art, entertainment, family, festival, fitness, food & drink, learning, community, music, and sports events. A select few that can accept extra guests are then featured in strategic positions for users to see and sign up. For now, the human generated feature is only available in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. If all goes well a broader rollout is likely.
Platform Wide Shift
Even though the non-computer curated data is not available everywhere, Facebook has already given increased weight to public events. Think about it. Facebook is all about social signals and linking friends with like interests. This uber-social sensibility naturally translates into the event space.
For big events, the company will likely try to monetize the service, but for now the emphasis is still on providing another way for you to find what they like and establish social connections. No doubt about it, it’s just another way FB wants to become the place to discover and search, and this goes for events too. It’s no wonder that when you type “events today” in the FB search bar it shows over 86K people talking about this.
How serious is Facebook’s Event commitment? Company CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced back in July 2015 that the feature has over 450 million users. Newer estimates show 550 million users as of late June 2016. In response to this, the company opened up a portal that makes online event marketing more effective. The tool is quite user friendly and powerful.
The steps to get started on Facebook Events are:
- Name your event
- Add event location
- Choose co-hosts
- Add a ticket link
- Give details
- Pick an event photo
Once this basic structure is set up you can:
- Engage attendees
- Share your event on your timeline
- Manage your event calendar
- Reach people with ads
- Sell event tickets
- Get subscribers
- Tap into attendees’ networks
As you can see, each step contains wide potential to improve and leverage any event. Let’s take a look at a few steps that deserve further mention.
When at all possible, use the Facebook autocomplete when choosing your event venue. This makes finding your event more likely and automatic. Don’t forget to reach out to the venue itself and see if they are willing to promote your event on their FB page or website.
By giving you a chance to add co-hosts, you can tap into the popularity and audience of an event partner. Remember, these can include sponsors, presenters, publications, providers, media outlets, local government entities, authorities, influencers, logistics, or anyone else involved in the event process. Communicate this as a way of giving kudos to other participants, instead of looking for a free publicity ride.
Don’t forget the virtual space when looking for co-hosts. Are there any bloggers out there with a particular interest in your event niche? How about YouTubers? Invite as many as you can to be co-hosts if they fit your profile.
In many instances, this step gets too little attention. People want details. The who, what, why, where, and when deserve stating and repeating in this section. Take up as much space as you require to completely describe your event. If users click “About”, it’s because they want more than just the title and date. This is your big chance to tell them why they should be interested.
If you have an event website, you might want to craft content original to Facebook Events. Not only does this avoid any duplicate content issues, but it also recognizes that people read on FB differently than they read web pages. The limitations of FB display and layout should be considered.
When setting up your event there’s also a step that adds keywords. Similar to location, let FB’s autocomplete choose relevant keywords already recognized by the platform.
Reach People With Ads
Facebook boasts an up to 30x return on ad spend by using innovative ad tools such as processings social, interest, and behavioral data. Other tools like Custom Audiences allow you to upload and invite previous attendees to invite them again. By using this data, Lookalike Audiences can be generated to create new lists of potential attendees.
Read the details of the Umbel online event marketing success story here.
Make Sure You Complete All Fields
Facebook, like any platform, crawls its own pages to be able to present them to a wider audience. If your event page is sparse, there’s less chance that FB can identify who would like to attend. If you complete every step and fill in every content box, all this data increases your potential reach to different audiences.
Facebook suggests friends with similar friends, likes, interests, and browsing habits. Events are suggested in the same manner. The more detailed the data, the more likely your event will be suggested to interested parties.
Don’t Just Set It and Forget It
Make sure you go back to your event page regularly and post updates with images. Remind people to invite others and share your event. Build buzz, announce updates, set up giveaways – anything to create contagious excitement.
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