Facebook Marketing Hacks: Virtual Events Bypass Recent Changes
January 16, 2014 - Posted by Angela von Weber-Hahnsberg
Facebook’s recent algorithm changes have many businesses and marketers asking themselves if they should focus their social media marketing efforts elsewhere. But just because things are changing doesn’t mean that there aren’t still ways to use Facebook to market your business.
One way to work around the recent changes to the newsfeed and connect with fans is to schedule a Facebook event.
When you create an event on Facebook, and get people to join, you’ll have more guaranteed access to that audience than you do to your regular Facebook fans.
First of all, you can send out mass messages to everyone who has signed up. These are great tools for building anticipation leading up to the virtual event, and sustaining interest in your brand, now that updates are iffy.
Secondly, Facebook will automatically post a reminder on your guests’ profiles on the day of the event, ensuring that your message gets through in spite of the new newsfeed filters.
Keep in mind that Facebook pages can’t send out event invitations, so to get people to join, you’ll need to bring them there via other platforms.
How To Proceed
If you’re going to host a virtual Facebook event, you might as well make it count. Following a few simple steps can mean the difference between a buzzworthy online party and a total flop.
1. Invite everyone. It’s true you can’t invite people directly from your Facebook page, but don’t worry – there are plenty of other ways to invite guests. Spread the word and share the link in your email newsletters, on all your other social media channels, on your website, and even via word of mouth. Ask your audience to share the link with their friends, and reward them for doing so with an extra entry into a door prize drawing, or a free gift or special discount.
2. Create buzz. Use those mass messages wisely. You could send mysterious messages to pique curiosity, personal ones to make the guests feel a connection with you, informative ones to get them to trust you, funny ones to make them like you…in short, use them to keep your brand – and your Facebook event – top of mind for each and every guest, while building a relationship with each one, as well.
3. Engage your audience. During the virtual event, keep your guests engaged. Decide on a regular posting frequency during the event – every 3 minutes, every 5 minutes, or whatever you can sustain for the duration of the event. Give them a reason to stay and engage with you, whether you’re giving away free services or products, providing valuable information, or launching a long-awaited new offering. Make the event worth the wait and worthy of the buzz.
4. Collect emails. Since you’ll lose that all-important access to this new audience once the event is over, be sure to collect all of their email addresses either before or during the event, so that you can add them to your email marketing list and stay in touch.
It’s a different approach than the usual posting of updates on your Facebook page, but it still serves the same purpose – expanding your online audience and building connections. And the fact that it’s a novel approach might just mean that consumers will be more willing to try it out – and to develop a relationship with you in the process.