October 08, 2012

Top tips to promote your event on Facebook

Despite many failed attempts by its networking competitors, Facebook remains the undefeated social media site. Boasting more than 900 million users, 3.2 billion “Likes” and 300 million photographs uploaded daily, Facebook screams marketing potential.

As Facebook continues to expand and adapt to the current social climate, it’s essential for marketers to keep up-to-date with any new functionality. With Facebook Timeline going live last year, exciting new marketing opportunities are being discovered every day. Here’s our round-up of Timeline’s hottest promotional practices to ensure your event is a success.

Timeline tour

With Facebook Timeline, you now have the option to upload a cover photo (a large image of 851 pixels x 315 pixels) to your page. Along with a profile picture, this layout allows you to create a strong brand presence, the result being you are increasingly recognisable to your customers. Furthermore, this layout highlights the number of “Likes” on your page and how many users are interacting with your event.

Ensure you have listed all relevant information regarding your company’s history, mission and achievements. This will provide your audience with an easily accessible and comprehensive corporate history. Functions such as “Milestone” entries allow you to highlight particular events in your company’s history such as winning an award, achieving a certain number of “Likes”, having an anniversary celebration or a band/artist performing at your event. As well as being able to highlight your company’s proudest moments, you also have the option to “Hide” stories you may consider more irrelevant so you can tailor all visible information for your customers.

The “Places” function is a great tool to create interest in an event happening right here and now. It allows visitors to check-in to your event, indicating to their network of contacts their whereabouts and encouraging others to come along to the event.

Ensure you schedule your posts. Assuming you have done your research, no-one knows your fans better than you. Take advantage of this fact and post at the most effective times to reach the widest possible audience. For example, schedule posts around 1pm to catch your fans who cannot resist a lunch-time Timeline fix.

Top tips for promoting your event and increase ticket sales through Facebook:

Firstly integrate a ticketshop with your Facebook fan page to ensure your fans can purchase tickets through Facebook directly and ensure your ticketshop tab is under the first four tabs visible on your fan page.

Here are our top ten tips to help promote your event on Facebook and increase ticket sales:

  1. Set up an event, invite your Facebook fans/friends and ensure you choose the option allowing attendees to invite their friends. Don’t forget to include the link to your Facebook ticketshop in your event description (http://www.facebook.com/help/events).
  2. Let your fans/friends know that they can purchase tickets on your Facebook fan page directly by posting your ticketshop link on your Timeline regularly.
  3. Use your Facebook cover photo effectively by adding flyers/posters of your event as your cover photo. Another effective way of increasing traffic to your ticketshop is to integrate a sign in your cover photo pointing to your ticketshop tab.
  4. Sell exclusive Facebook tickets. This could be in the form of fast-track entry or VIP tickets allowing you into certain exclusive areas of an event.
  5. Push group tickets. Include a “mates rates” promotion where a group of six receive six tickets for the price of five. You can do this by setting a minimum and maximum of the ticket type to six then adding the cost of five tickets and dividing the total by six and setting the price to this value. You could also promote special lotteries giving away “fan packages” for example 5 tickets + 5 t-shirts + a free drink for a group of five people.
  6. Start a competition. Ask event goers to add the reason they should win free tickets or a VIP upgrade to the event fan page and encourage their friends to like their comments. Whoever’s comment receives the most “Likes” wins.
  7. Ask customers to tag themselves in event flyers with the incentive that two people will be randomly selected to receive free tickets to the event.
  8. Encourage interaction by placing a poll on your Timeline. You could ask people which act/exhibit they are most looking forward to seeing. This interactive forum will not only promote excitement but has the potential to create debate and/or controversy between fans.
  9. Create pre- and post-event pictures that attendees will love to share. These pictures will become visible when people join the event. An example could be a simple text image with the event logo and “I want sunshine at the next [event name] on Sunday” or “I rocked the [event name] last Sunday”.
  10. Create exclusive Facebook content. Post exclusive video footage and pictures on your Facebook fan page and encourage your visitors to become fans to see this material after the event. Ask people to tag themselves and their friends too.

Timeless Facebook Timeline tips:

It goes without saying, when setting up your event fan page on Facebook ensure you invite people to the event.

Keep attendees posted. By providing regular updates about your event via posts between 100-250 characters, the momentum of your event is kept alive and will remain fresh in your fans’ minds. However, avoid irritating fans by over-informing them as this may put them off attending.

Interact. Always try to create a conversational tone with your audience by posting questions (albeit rhetorical in some cases). This will not only encourage a chatty and informal familiarity between the company and audience, but will encourage interaction more importantly.

Keep it current. Stay savvy by providing relevant and current posts. Audiences do not want last week’s news.

Recognise loyalty. Ensure your fans feel appreciated. Reward them every now and then by giving away free tickets to events.

By Shane Mansfield