Are you using Facebook to spread the word about your special events? Whether it’s a National HIV Testing Day event, a World AIDS Day vigil, or your annual fundraiser, Facebook can be an effective way to increase exposure, engagement, and registrations for your event.“We create a Facebook page for each event and share it with our friends and boost each event as needed. Facebook is a great way to keep potential guests in the know about all event details and to thank our sponsors and supporters. Importantly, it is a great way to spread awareness about our mission and goals while we share information about our events” - says Wendy Shea Gravele, Director of Development, AIDS Connecticu. If you want people to officially register for your event, consider creating an event sales/registration page outside of Facebook. Include details of the event and how to purchase tickets (if necessary). Next, it’s time to generate buzz and visibility. Start by creating an event page, or a page for a recurring event such as an annual grantee meeting, on your Facebook page. Here are some tips to leverage the power of Facebook:
- Include a brief description of the event with a URL that links to the event page on your website. Here the San Francisco AIDS Foundation uses the image for its upcoming Tribute Celebration 2016 event as the background photo on its Facebook page, linking directly to the event page of the agency's website.
- If your budget allows, consider using Facebook boosted posts for your best-performing event-related posts (measured in your page’s Facebook Insights). You can target the friends of people who have already registered or bought a ticket.
- Remember that photos and videos always get more clicks than text posts, so be sure the posts you boost include an eye-catching image--like this one on Care Resource's Facebook page , promoting a Spanish-language community event. This is an excellent, low-cost option to increase awareness, especially if you have limited staff, training, or resources.
- Ask your invitees—on the event wall and in periodic updates—to invite their friends and promote the event on their own profile, as you can see in the thread of posts that was done for the Southern Maine AIDS Walk 2016 . This adds even more visibility around Facebook.
- You can also promote your event registration page on your fan Page wall. By regularly providing valuable content—not simply plugging the event—you can periodically promote the direct link to your event page like this one for the New Orleans AIDS Task Force's Empowerment 2016 . You may want to use a teaser such as, “Have you got your ticket yet for the party of the year?”
One of the great things about Facebook is that it offers a low-cost, high-impact opportunity not only to reach your audience but to grow it as well. The investment you make can quickly pay off with bigger attendance at events, buzz, visibility--and community support.