Using Facebook Events Effectively

Each of the social media platforms has their strengths. Facebook is particularly good for promoting events. However, many organizations don’t take advantage of these features. They may choose to simply share an event flyer or an external link on social media, but this misses the unique advantages offered through Facebook’s native events.

How Facebook Events Work

If you don’t use Facebook or only use it rarely, you are still probably at least familiar with the news feed, which shows users a scrolling list of recent photos, updates and articles posted by friends and pages that they like. But Facebook also allows individuals and businesses to create events right within the app. Some of the advantages of creating a Facebook event rather than simply sharing a link or a graphic include:

· Your event will be more likely to show up for someone searching for events, especially local events since the location is embedded in it.

· Interested parties can click “Going” or “Interested” and then they will get automatic reminders leading up to the date.

· You can post updates and further information in the discussion area and all those who are “Interested” or “Going” to the event will be notified, helping to generate buzz and excitement.

· Anyone can invite others with the click of a button.

· A map is automatically generated based on the location address, so attendees can easily see the location.

How to Use Facebook Events and Get Results

Take advantage of the “co-hosts” feature.

One of the nicest features of Facebook events is the ability to have more than one host. If there are several key people or organizations involved in planning, managing or partnering on your event, invite them to co-host (there is a “Co-hosts” field where you can enter the name or Facebook page of the person/organization/business who will be co-hosting with you). Be sure to follow up with them if they don’t accept the invite right away to make sure they’ve seen it. Once they accept their role as co-host, if they are a page (rather than an individual), it should automatically show up on their page as an Upcoming Event. Encourage your co-hosts to help you promote it.

Invite as many people as possible.

Use the invite feature to directly invite members, staff, volunteers and others who might be interested in your event. Encourage your staff, board and membership to do the same and share the event widely on their own feeds.

Post updates and encourage discussion.

The discussion section of Facebook events is frequently underused, which is a lost opportunity. When you post a video, photo or updates in your Facebook event, it encourages discussion and will show up in the guests’ Facebook feeds. This keeps your event at top of mind for people who haven’t yet committed to going and builds excitement. It helps to get those fence-sitters to buy a ticket and encourages others to spread the word.

Size your cover image correctly.

A good image can make all the difference between whether someone stops and clicks on your event or ignores it. Too many businesses simply use whatever image has been created for other purposes such as a printed flyer, and it often isn’t in the correct dimensions to look good on your Facebook event, especially if it is vertically-oriented rather than horizontal. Take a few moments to crop the image so it will at least center correctly.

If you have an image that still doesn’t look good after cropping, you may need to make a graphic specifically formatted for Facebook events. The current recommended size for Facebook event cover images is 1920 x 1005 pixels (but social media changes constantly, so this may not be correct a year or two from now). You can use a smaller image that is the same ratio of 16:9, but the larger size will ensure that your image looks good regardless of the screen size.

For an event series, take advantage of the “Frequency” setting.

It’s not necessary or even recommended to reinvent the wheel if you have a summer concert series that occurs every Tuesday evening at the same time. If you create a separate event for each one of those, not only is that more work for you, but community residents interested in the entire series would have to seek out and find each event to express interest so that they can be sent reminders. Better to create a recurring event with the “Frequency” setting and list the individual bands that will be playing from week to week in the description.

Try to find the venue by name in the “location” field.

If your event is going to be at a public venue or business, try to find the venue by name in the “location” field rather than simply putting in the address. For instance, if you start typing “Woodland Park Zoo” in the location field, a listing for the Seattle zoo will pop up and you can click on it. It will automatically include the correct address and now Facebook’s algorithms will be more likely to show your event to anyone who is looking for zoo events or has shown an interest in happenings at the zoo.

Include the ticket link!

It’s not always necessary to include all the ticket pricing information in your Facebook event description, but be sure to include the ticket link or a link to a page where visitors can get all the information they need about registering or buying tickets. If the event is free, you’ll probably still want to include a link to direct guests to a page for more information about your organization or the event itself.

Spend a little money on boosting your event.

If after doing all of the above you are still not getting the ticket sales or registrations you were hoping for, consider spending a little money to “boost” your Facebook event. It can be well worth the investment. Visit this article for more information about creating Facebook ads.