With social media becoming such an important platform for brands as we move into 2011, many have already established substantial communities on social networks, Facebook perhaps being the largest and potentially the most influential too. Whilst successfully acquiring a dedicated and enthusiastic fan base is undoubtedly of paramount importance, it’s equally as imperative that a Facebook page proceeds to engage its community and reinforce the message that a brand wants to portray.
One highly effective way of mobilising a Facebook community is through the use of page events, from both an online PR and engagement perspective. Whether it’s to signify a live announcement, the launch of a new form of product, or a real life event (a sale for example), the onus is on an organisation’s social media agency to ensure that the online buzz around these occurrences is as widespread as possible. Facebook events provide a great mechanic for engagement and create a recurring presence on users’ Facebook homepages once they have submitted their response to the event invitation.
Below are a few pointers that will help to optimise the impact of a page event within a Facebook community, based on the input fields that are available during the event creation process:
Since imagery is one of the most powerful assets that can be used in Facebook wall posts, the same logic can be applied to the use of imagery on the event page too. Wall posts that are accompanied by an image can in some cases generate around 50-60% additional engagement compared to those posts that are purely text based or highlight links or videos with thumbnails. As such, it’s vital that the image in the event page is as relevant as possible, and has enough impact to really make users’ think about the event and get excited. An example of this could be if a new product is being announced, in which case a teaser image or silhouette of the product could be used to stir extra buzz.
This can be particularly important when it comes to what kind of community the event is created for. If the Facebook community is a global one, then it’s vital that timezones are considered if the event is occurring at a specific time. Facebook’s event clock always displays the same time regardless of geography, so 09:00am in the US will also read as 09:00am in the UK. As such, any difference in event timings must be stipulated in the “More info” box to minimize confusion.
What is being planned? This is the title of the event that will appear on users’ Facebook homepages, so it’s important to ensure that this section is as accurate, relevant and eye-catching as possible. At the same time, the title shouldn’t be so bold as to distract users (i.e. entirely capital letters), as this may annoy them and reduce their likelihood of responding or indeed attending the event.
Is the event one that will occur in real life? Is it a digital event, for example a website launch or a live broadcast? Whatever the answer, it should be specified here, so that the users who eventually attend the event know exactly where the event is happening, ergo where they need to be at the specified time in order to get involved. If it’s a website, why not go ahead and input the URL for users to cut and paste?
This concludes part one of this quick guide to Facebook events. In creating this article it began to become a rather extended piece and as such, I’ve opted to split it into two, something I’ve not done before. I’ll update this post in a few days once it is complete and uploaded, so be sure to come back to find out more about the “More info” and invitations aspects of Facebook events in part two. Thanks for reading!