Dear Socially Stephanie,
My brothers and I own restaurants and nightclubs. We have an event we want to promote. Should we create one Facebook event page or create separate event pages through our main fan page, our Facebook group, and our personal pages?
Event Planning in Evansville
Dear Event Planning in Evansville,
You are talking to the right person. Want to know why? I have been active in planning many events throughout the years, so I have some tricks of the trade I'll share with you. Get your party hat on because things are about to get festive!
My general advice is this. To be successful you need to reach the depths of the Internet and get your event in front of as many people as possible. With that said, let's start off with Facebook. To answer your question, you should only create an event on your Facebook Fan page. While your personal page, your group page and your Fan page all have their own advantages and disadvantages, I think keeping one central page will be easier to manage, plus it will make the event look more popular in terms of RSVPs. 1,000 RSVPs to one event looks better than 100 here, 50 there, and so on. And it will help brand and grow your Fan page.
All Facebook events have a viral element built in. Virality on Facebook is all about the News Feed. No matter which page you create your event from, you are going to show up on the News Feed. And you want to hit it hard. On top of the initial News Feed reach, when someone says YES to the event, that too will show up on the News Feed for their friends, hopefully spurring more interest. That's what we like to call social proofing, and it's important. Lastly, your event will show up on the right hand sidebar under Birthdays. This is a great option to reach people for those last minute RSVPs.
So, create your event attached to your Fan page. The benefit here is that you can target it to different types of people and you can advertise it if you have a little dough to spend. The nice thing about event promotion on Facebook is that you can choose to spend only when someone RSVPs. This way you'll get more exposure but limit your costs. Remember what I said about RSVPs, it's viral gold. So in essence you're getting more for your money: an RSVP and a News Feed hit.
The disadvantage is that you can't directly invite people as a Page. However, there's a work-around. (Oh yes, Socially Stephanie has your back!) To promote an event from a personal page, you'll have to assign hosts. These should be your biggest fans, your brand ambassadors, event promoters, and of course yourself. This way you and the other hosts can invite people directly to your event, instead of having to share the event page via a status update over and over, which could get a little annoying.
Another disadvantage of the Fan page is the declining reach organic posts are seeing. To counteract this negative effect, you'll want to continually share your event as a status update and encourage people to invite their friends. If you need some more ideas on how to extend the life of a Facebook post, this article will do the trick. Or of course you can promote a post here and there to see some increased engagement and traction.
Alright, Facebook. Check. Now, let's go deeper. You'll want to really leverage your buzz through brand ambassadors and other people who are attending. Have a budget for free beverages? Might as well give some drinking credit to the most active social media users. The bottom line is that you want to get people talking about your event on social media. Hashtags, anyone?
Another great way to get further buzz going is to submit your event to socialized event listing sites like Eventbrite and eventful. Because these platforms are social by nature, they have built-in tools that allow your guests to share their interest socially.
Don't forget to get your local community involved. A little outreach to local bloggers to help spread the word can go a long way. (Did somebody say free drinks?)
People love to go to events; as long as you create the right atmosphere online and off, you should be the talk of the town. I'll drink to that!