Planning An Event? Make Sure It’s Facebook-Official

using_facebook_for_event_planningFor many brands, Facebook has become an essential staple of their marketing efforts. More than 50 million businesses now use Facebook Pages to share information about their company, and the number of small and medium-sized businesses using the platform has more than tripled over the past three years.

While Facebook experienced an admittedly rocky start in terms of the usability of Facebook Pages for business, the world’s largest social network recently completed a fairly major overhaul of its “Pages” functionality in order to provide brands with a more robust set of features to help them increase sales and attract new customers. Read on for more.

Using Facebook for Event Planning

One of the highlights of this new rollout is the upgrade of Facebook’s “Events” feature, a segment of the social network that previously seemed to be relegated to notifications about birthday parties, baby showers, holiday shindigs and the like. Over the past year, the number of Facebook team members working on Events has increased from fewer than five to more than 50, and subsequently the number of upgrades and tweaks being made to enhance the functionality of the Events feature has blossomed in lockstep with the growth in personnel.

What this means for your business is that you now have access to a very handy tool that can help you promote important events such as sales, open houses, special store hours, webinars, etc., all thanks to a reinvented and better-integrated Events interface that gives your business the opportunity to garner the eyeballs of people who are looking for exactly what you have to offer.

How Facebook’s Recent Events Upgrade Can Mean More Exposure for Your Business

One of the most intriguing stated objectives that has recently surfaced among executives and employees at Facebook is that the social network wants to become the go-to source for people to plan what they’re going to be doing–ironically enough–when they’re not on Facebook. The Events feature has been upgraded to enable users to browse events by category (e.g., performing arts, sports, community events, causes, etc.), as well as by date and time, in order to discover interesting things taking place in their local area.

While this feature is only available in select big cities at the moment, it’s safe to assume that a full-scale rollout is not too far off, as one of Facebook’s goals (according to the product manager for Facebook Events) is to help people spend more time together “in the real world.” This can benefit local businesses in a big way, because as Facebookers plan their social outings (e.g., art openings, concerts, pub crawls, etc.), the businesses hosting these events will automatically gain more exposure.

As Facebook users become more accustomed to browsing the Events tab for discovery, businesses and organizers can pay to have their events listed at the top. Not only that, but as users scroll through their News Feed to find out what their friends are doing on a given day, businesses can “boost” their event (i.e., utilize paid advertising), which will give their post a prominent place in users’ News Feeds.

Using Event Responses Ads to Promote Your Event

Whether you’re promoting a grand opening, limited-time-only sale, customer appreciation day, or other business-related event, you can use Facebook’s Event Responses ads to create an event that users can add to their own Facebook calendar. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start off at the ad creation interface by visiting this page. Under the section that reads “Choose the objective for your campaign,” select “Raise attendance at your event.”
  2. You will then be taken through the ad building process. At each step along the way, Facebook will show you a preview of how your ad will appear to Facebook users. Select the images for your ad, and then write your headline and description text. When users click the “Join Event” button, the event will automatically be added to their Facebook calendar.
  3. As with any other Facebook ad, you can choose the type of audience you want to reach by narrowing down various demographic criteria such as age, location, interests, gender and more.
  4. Determine your ad budget, and then you can schedule how long you want your Event ad to run. Even after your ad goes live, you can always make updates or changes to it as needed.

Once you have completed the above steps, you’re all set! Be sure to take advantage of this helpful tool, so that all of your future business events will be “Facebook-official!”

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