When you see the bare figures of Facebook usage, it is pretty tempting for an event organizer to jump on that bandwagon and try to get your share of those 800.000.000+ ladies and gentlemen hanging out on the largest social network almost every day.
What should be considered when you think about marketing your B2B event on Facebook? As with all other online marketing channels and social platforms, it does make sense to start your journey with a thorough keyword analysis.
- Write down the 10-15 most important keywords and tags that best describe your event.
- Run them through the Google keywords tool to see if they are really the ones that your customers search for. Adjust the list if necessary.
- Search Facebook for Groups, Pages or Events that correspond to your tags. Listen to what is shared and discussed there by becoming a member of those groups and liking the pages.
After a little while, you will get a feel for to what extent your target groups are active on Facebook or not. Only then you should decide if and on what scale you want to include Facebook in your event marketing.
Now, let’s assume your analysis is positive for Facebook: What are the options?
This should be your homebase on Facebook. Groups do not give you the same scope of possibilities, e.g. you can’t use Facebook apps with Groups. You will have to decide if you create a Page just for your event, or a page for your company/association, or maybe for a cluster of events that address the same target groups.
I’d recommend a page for an event only when it is at least an annual conference or trade show with a certain size. Otherwise it’ll be difficult to constantly animate the page and keep it interesting for your users.
If you are an association, you may want to prefer to have one page for your organisation rather than individual pages for your events.
Some tips for pages
- Create an easy-to-remember and communicate Vanity URL for your page, e.g. Facebook.com/newspaperworld. Once you created your page, you can determine the vanity URL at facebook.com/username
- The maximum size for your profile logo is 180 pixels wide by 540 pixels high. Quite a lot of space that you can use to promote your event.
- Create a Welcome or Landing Page, ideally a different one for fans and non-fans. See the example of Facebook.com/newspaperworld for what I mean. A welcome page can be rather easily created with apps that are available from appbistro.com. Find a good explanation on how to create a landing page here.
- There are a zillion apps for Facebook pages out there that allow you to animate your Facebook presence and entertain your audience. Things like polls, surveys, contests, promotions, Youtube channel integration. Also, you can get a developer to create custom apps for you, but take a look at Appbistro first, you might find there already what you are looking for and a lot more…
- It is a good idea to think about an editorial plan for your Facebook page. This plan should not only consist of content updates, but also include ideas on what activities, apps, event picture uploads or animations you want to roll out.
- Add the “Like”-Button to your website to promote your page on your other online presences.
- Make sure your keywords/tags appear on your info tab and as often as possible in your wall posts.
Once you’ve created your Facebook page, you can create an event, with your page as the event owner. And obviously, you can start inviting people to that event, so that they’ll see your event and all updates on their timeline.
Facebook advertising allows for very targeted communications, because you can select your audiences very thoroughly according to interests. Facebook offers basically two sorts of advertisement, the Facebook ad and the sponsored messages. Find out more about the options.
Best practice examples
These are quite some events and organizers that implement Facebook in their marketing – It’s really worth taking a look at those and see them as a good source of inspiration on what can be done, what works and which content might be appropriate for Facebook.
Click on the images to get to their Facebook presence.