If you're using Facebook to market your event there are a few important things to understand. First off - like any marketing or advertising medium, Facebook has both positives and negatives. Disclaimer: I'm NOT on the crazy train that thinks Facebook can instantly fix every event marketing challenge. But, I do firmly believe Facebook is here to stay. Thus, event organizers should understand how to use it to their advantage.
Facebook versus Google
These days there seems to be a ton of press attention on the Google versus Facebook War for World Internet Domination. What you need to understand is how the two services differ from one another...
The Google Search
Google is like a consumer research tool. People using Google tend to be looking for specific information and their efforts focused on a set of keywords. It's pretty simple, you enter a search phrase, "outdoor events Rochester" and Google generates results. After the results are presented, you click on the most interesting relevant link. Obviously if you're an event organizer, you want you listings to be ranked high and appealing to click on. How people find information on Facebook is different methodology.
The Facebook Game
Facebook is much more of a leisure environment... people check wall and status updates, look at pictures from friends, message, etc. Let's be honest, most people don't sign on to Facebook to be productive. Facebook's foundation is built upon massive amounts of user content (pictures, videos, posts). That's what makes it so attractive. Who wouldn't want to see what their friends are up to?
But there is a downside to Facebook's super media rich environment. Humans can only process so much information at one time. Even with a dedicated event page on Facebook, you're still competing against all the other social noise. On Facebook, it is very easy to be avalanched with too much information. That distraction ultimately dilutes your event marketing efforts.
My strong suggestion is to leverage your Facebook presence to push people to your event web site. Why get people to click off Facebook? Because when people get to your event web site, you're in control of their attention.
Social Media Conversations
Facebook offers a great way to carry on a conversation with your target market. It's embodies the essence of social media. Use commenting to promote interactive event marketing... You post on your event and then people can comment. Facebook's post and comment feature is also great way to conduct market research. If you're thinking of trying something new or different with your event, you can post it and let people give feedback. Use the conversation feature to your advantage.
Leverage Facebook and Your Event Web Site
Here's a suggestion to bridge your Facebook presence with your event web site. When you post about your event on your wall, make sure to include a link back to your event web site. You can write something like, "We just announced the performer line for this year's show, Check it out – LINK TO PAGE." Do you need to include a link with every post? No. Your overall focus should be on posting quality content.
Remember, you need to grab people's attention and give them a good reason to click! What's even better is if you create a post with a link and get people to "Like" it and leave positive comments. That gives people even more reason to click through. At that point you're in much better control of the user's attention.
The Ability to Track
Another advantage of using Facebook wall post links to your site is the ability to measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. A quick look at your web stats will tell you how much traffic you're getting from Facebook. If you have goals setup you can also track back how many signups or ticket purchases Facebook is creating.
There are several other ways to promote you event on Facebook, but the principles are nearly universal. Your marketing efforts on Facebook (or any social media) should be based on building a relationship with your target market... Find out what they want and give it to them. Regardless of technology, the principles and fundamentals never change.
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Eugene "Az" Loj (Loj pronounced Loy, like joy) has spent the last ten years in the event and air show industry. Eugene is in the final stages of launching his "Event Promotion System" online course and book. The System shows event marketers and promoters how to maximize their event marketing on the Internet and with multiple forms of traditional advertising. Learn more about Event Marketing & Event Promotions here.