How to Use Facebook Strategy for Event PlanningAmanda ErdmannBlogger ExtraordinaireSimply Measured
Facebook: Do you love it or hate it? If you’re a business owner or marketer, no matter how you feel about Facebook, you need it. Facebook can be your strongest and best marketing tool when you’re planning an event — if used correctly.
No matter how strong your event marketing campaign is, you will have very few (if any) customers who visit your event website on a daily basis. If they’re not on your website, how will they know upcoming event information and updates?
With over one billion people logging into Facebook daily, Facebook can always reach the audience you need.
The Digital Age has completely changed the way you can communicate with your past, present, and future clients. Now it’s time to use your social audience to grow your business.
Don’t the opinions of your customers matter more than anyone else’s?
There are three key components of Facebook that make it great for event planning:
Audience Members – People who like and follow you on social media, and are interested in what you’re doing. They care about things going on with your business, and may potentially be customers already.
You won’t have to hope your ideal audience picks up the paper or reads a magazine — you can go straight to them.
2. Connections – Facebook helps you build stronger connections with your audience. You can even make your audience feel like it is a part of the event-planning process by asking for opinions.
3. Communication – Constantly keep your audience up-to-date on event details. Did the time of your event change? Just update the event on Facebook, and everyone will be notified.
Is the weather not cooperating, forcing you to use your rain date? Update everyone with a click of a button.
Not only can you get the word out about your upcoming event, but you can use Facebook to generate ideas for events, obtain feedback from attendees, and, most importantly, gain interest for future events you’re planning.
Initial Planning: Ask First, Then Plan
Before you even start planning an event, ask your audience what they think of the idea.
For example, a restaurant may ask, “Should we host an eating contest? What should the contestants eat?” At this point in your planning, you don’t need a solid event plan.
I just planned and executed a contest for a private preschool. Originally, they wanted to do a “Look-Alike” contest. When the families were presented with the idea, they immediately gave feedback that this wasn’t of interest to them.
The contest prize was tuition credit, so everyone wanted a fair shot at winning, and many parents felt they wouldn’t have a fair chance with that type of contest. One parent brought up a good point: adopted children wouldn’t necessarily have a fair chance.
Without comments like these generated from our Facebook poll, the contest wouldn’t have been as successful, or driven nearly as much positive engagement from the preschool’s customers.
Planning Your Event
Once your idea and event date are set, create an event invite on your Facebook business page. Your event will be public for all of your Facebook following to see. On your event page, you can communicate changes and exciting news to your audience to generate interest in your event.
A local winery I follow on Facebook has multiple events every month. Many of them are outside. Because weather can be unpredictable, they use the Facebook events to keep their followers updated on event changes, keeping their audience apprised of information for the event they’re excited to attend.
When a business updates an event or posts in an event, everyone who has been invited, has RSVP’d “yes,” or has shown interest in an event will get personally notified.
Repeat Events: Ask for Feedback
If your event occurs annually or two or three times a year, you should be asking attendees for feedback.
What did they love? What would they change? Facebook has made it easier than ever to do this.
I used to manage social media for a BBQ restaurant where the owners wanted to host a Rib Eating Contest.
We had the event. It was successful, and a lot of fun, so they decided they wanted to make it an annual event. When the time came around to start planning again, we got people excited by saying things like “The 2nd Annual Rib Eating Contest is coming soon!” Without even trying to, we received feedback on how to make the event better:
“You should open the contest up to 15 contestants instead of 10!”
“What about kids? You’re such a family-friendly place. Maybe there should be a kids contest, too.”
We even had one person email us to pitch the idea of a cooking contest instead of an eating contest.
Facebook turned the event into the community experience the restaurant was trying to host.
That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? You want your community, audience, and customers to communicate their needs and what they want from a business-hosted event.
Facebook can help you achieve this in the most simple way — talk to your customers and clients! That’s the key to planning a successful event using Facebook. If you need to re-up on your Facebook knowledge base, just download Simply Measured’s Facebook Guide below.
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A Jack of many trades, specializing in social media, marketing, and design, Amanda has a knack for nurturing online audiences for businesses of all sizes, and providing them with stellar websites. Beach lover. Socialite. Yogi.
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