Facebook 'events' is one of the most powerful tools for local businesses looking to enhance their social profile online. Imagine being able to set up an event and invite everyone and more - guaranteeing success before the event has even been held. You'll be able to make accurate preparations based on the RSVP list, or cancel the event if there is not enough public interest. So, how do you use events properly?
Working With Invites
Once you've selected your image and done a write up of the event - you need to invite people - directly on Facebook. Send out as many invites as you can, and encourage all those that are attending to forward invites onto their friendship network. When you are setting up your event, remember to select the option that displays who is attending and who isn't. This is very important to the growth of an event.
Pay special attention to the people that click 'maybe' on your events page. These potential attendees are just one click away from being at your event. To encourage these folks to change their RSVP to attending - run promotions straight from your events wall. These could include real-life specials, coupon giveaways or Facebook-specific promos. Your goal is always to make your list want to attend your event.
A quick and effective promo to run from your event wall is the old image tagging competition. Make the prize something location based, to encourage excitement for the event day. Put aside 5 images and ask your fans to tag themselves in them. As one image fills up, move onto the next. Then select a random winner. The key here is to give your attendees enough time to enter and tell other people about the promo.
Do something special the day before the event, to remind your community that the date is imminent. Create a memorable message and send it to your Facebook RSVP list. If you want even more of a turn out - send each person a discount or coupon. Using events is a great way to get people in the door, but from the minute you post your event - you need to start giving them reasons to commit to coming.
Paid Advertising Notions
Events are best when they come with a supportive Facebook ad campaign. Get more people interested in your event by promoting it all around Facebook. You can adjust the campaign to suit your budget level, but make sure to increase it on the last few days of your event post. Community members are more likely to attend something that is still fresh in their minds.
Mari Smith suggests that you should set up a registration page outside Facebook - and include all relevant social media buttons to make it effective. She also states that offering your communities something for free doesn't hurt either. Be sure to create the event from your business fan page and not your personal profile.
Brainstorm various ways to get the word out about your event, and integrate it into your page campaign.
Have you ever run a Facebook event? What happened? We'd like to know!