Modern conferences have come a long way since the days of email blasts and mailer campaigns. Any quick google search will tell you that the most popular way of marketing a conference is through social media – one of the biggest of which is Facebook.
And Facebook has a free tool called Facebook Events that will reach an audience you never dreamed possible – without taking a bite (or even nibble) out of your budget!
You can find the official (and very simplified) instructions to set up a Facebook Event here. There are also plenty of helpful videos all over the internet that will walk you through setting up a Facebook Events page.
We’ve taken a moment to lay out the important details and create a successful Facebook event below:
An Event by Any Other Name…
It’s important to keep the name short. As David Epstein explains on The Bizzabo Blog, “According to Facebook’s events team, events with longer names tend to perform worse on the platform. One reason for this might be that 54% of all users only use Facebook through a mobile device – longer titles typically won’t look good on smaller screens.”
We’ll use Earle Brown as an example, here. If we were to host, say, an annual wine tasting event, we wouldn’t want to name the Facebook event, “The 14th Annual Earle Brown Heritage Center Wine Tasting Event” because the title is far too long. It also takes too long to get to the real point of the event.
Especially when marketing a conference, information like how long the event is taking place, where it will be, when it will take place, and how to register can all be added to the event’s description. Instead, title it something simple, like “Wine Tasting Gala” and save the details for later on.
Optimizing the Details Section
In contrast, the details section should include a lot of information – anything that you might have. Cover the general conference information, such as date, time, location, registration information, and so forth. If it is an annual event, include info about last year’s gathering, if possible. Photos from earlier events are a big plus, too.
You should also add relevant keywords in your tags section. These will help attract the right audience to your event and allow Facebook to recommend your event to users based on their interests.
Check the box if this event below the keywords section to include if the event is kid-friendly or not. Whenever possible, allow guests to ask you questions about the event (the default feature is not allowed). You can also add a link to purchase tickets, when available or necessary.
Picking the Right Images
It used to be pretty difficult to know the proper size of a Facebook event page. Now, Facebook has a fixed 16 x 9 ratio, meaning you should use an image that is 1920 pixels x 1080 pixels. It’s also a good idea to limit the text on the graphic. Again, this info can be added to the info section – it doesn’t need to be on the graphic! Too much text will not get as big of a reach on Facebook – especially organically – as the platform sees it as “spammy”.
If you’re not sure how to get the exact size or don’t have access to any sort of photo editing software, try Canva.com. All you’ll need is an email address, and you can edit an image, add a logo, and make sure it is in the proper proportions.
Inviting Guests to Your Event
Inviting guests is a big part of setting up a successful Facebook event. You don’t, however, want to add everyone on your friends list! Facebook will mark this as spam and will likely limit the number of people you can invite if you start taking this route. Instead, invite only those that you think will be genuinely interested.
Be sure to invite any staff or volunteers to the event and encourage them to mark their status as “Going”. This makes your event seem popular right off the bat and gives you a good base for sharing the event to a larger audience. Ask these staff/volunteers to share the event with their friends, as well!
Posting and Promoting Your Conference
Once your event is created, be sure to post about it. Create social media posts on your Facebook Business page or personal page that link to the event. Invite others to engage with the event and share it with their friends.
It’s also a good idea to post a comment on the event page as an added update. Encourage those who have been invited to engage with the event by asking probing and relevant questions. Using the wine example again, we could post something to that event’s page like, “We are excited to sample wine from all over the state of Minnesota. We’ll have many types to sample. Which is your favorite, red or white?”
These tips just scratch the surface of what you can do with Facebook Events, but they outline a great way to get started. For more ideas on promoting, creating ads, and other ideas, visit socialmediaexaminer.com.
And, of course, we would love it if you would Like us on Facebook!