Facebook has plenty of native features that are hugely advantageous for businesses, and Facebook Events is one of them.
Pages can create announcements and invitations to online and in-person events without ever leaving the platform, giving brands an exceptional way to market their business for free.
Facebook Events are a great way to raise brand awareness and get your followers and customers to engage with your brand.
In this post, we’re going to look at how to market your business for free with Facebook Events, and how you can stand out with this native feature.
Why Facebook Events Are So Beneficial for Businesses
Facebook Events are essentially native, on-platform pages that promote upcoming events that your business will be hosting or is connected to.
The actual event can be almost anything.
A webinar hosted on a third-party site. An in-store pop-up event with another business, or a big sale. A livestream on your Page or in a Facebook Group. It can even be a general week-long challenge like you might see in fitness studios that can be done at any location and at any point during a week-long period.
The biggest advantage of Facebook Events is that they give you a central hub for your event that’s easy to promote. You can invite everyone who follows your Page, and they can invite their friends to join, too.
The potential reach that Events offer is exceptional. Any time someone clicks “Going” or “Interested” on a public Facebook event, their friends might see this pop up in their newsfeeds. As a result, their friends see your interest as an indicator of quality, which could make them more likely to check it out.
Just like with word of mouth, shared interest sparks more interest, and events have the potential to spread like wildfire throughout your followers’ social groups.
You can also use Facebook to gauge interest in your event, and to remind users about it. By sharing the event link regularly on your timeline or page, you’ll continually reach potential attendees. Then, when those attendees click to attend your event, their followers will see and note that activity--and might also follow suit.
How to Create Facebook Events for Your Business
Ready to set up your own Facebook event? Here’s how to do it.
Navigate to your main Facebook timeline. In the left-hand navigation panel, click Events.
From there, you’ll navigate to the main Events page. On the left-hand side of the screen, click Create New Event.
Next, you’ll see a screen that allows you to choose whether the event will be online or in-person. Depending on which option you choose, you’ll be prompted to fill in different applicable information.
In this case, I opted for an Online event. Then, I selected between General event and Class (I chose General).
Next, you’ll see a screen that prompts you to enter your event details.
Begin to enter your basic information for the Facebook event. You’ll see slots to enter the event name, date and time, and select the privacy settings.
Facebook Event privacy settings allow you to set the event to public, private, or friends-only. In addition, you can also create an event specifically for members of a Facebook group you’re in (or a group you run). Once you’ve selected your privacy settings, click Next.
Next, set the location. Since this is an online event, my options are a Messenger Room, Facebook Live, an external link, or an alternative online location. If selecting Other, be sure you clearly communicate exactly where users should go for the event when you create your Description. Click Next to continue.
Now it’s time to write your Description. Enter any relevant information your attendees need to know about your Facebook event, then click Next.
Now, it’s time to upload the cover photo for your event. Select the custom image you created and upload.
You will next want to add additional Event Settings. Click the corresponding link to continue.
In the Event Settings, you can designate co-hosts. You can also opt whether or not you want to show the guest list. Decide whether you want anyone except admins to post in the event, and select whether you want to approve those posts before they go live. Then, hit Save.
Once you’ve got all your information entered the way you want it, it’s time to hit Publish. If you need to make changes before publishing the event, simply hit the Back button to navigate backward. If you want to come back to it later, just hit Save as Draft. Either way, make sure to upload a Facebook Event cover photo (we'll discuss specifications a little further down) in the top right corner before publication, and then hit Publish!
Congratulations! You have published your first Facebook Event.
Facebook Events for Business Best Practices
Now that you’re equipped with some power strategies for maximizing your event via Facebook, there are some best practices you’ll need to follow. Here are some of the most important.
Indicate Whether the Event is Child-Friendly
Can kids attend your event? Is your event geared primarily towards children? If so, it’s important to indicate that when you set up your Facebook Event. You want parents to know for sure that this event is kid-friendly. Without clearly communicating that information, parents might click away, not realizing your event would accommodate them bringing their kids along with them.
Use Keywords Your Followers Are Searching For
It’s helpful to use keywords your followers are searching for when you set up your Facebook Event. You can do some light SEO keyword research to get an idea of how to phrase things. Use simplistic language and short phrases that are easy to understand, and which will be more likely for someone to type into the search bar (i.e., “Advanced Marketing Techniques” rather than “Marketing for Industry Veterans With Extensive Experience”).
Use the Right Facebook Event Cover Photo Size
Using the correct image size for your Facebook Event cover photo is crucial to helping you get the word out about your event. If the image isn’t properly optimized or is cut off, it’s going to be obvious to your followers who visit the event page.
The recommended size for Facebook Event cover photos is 1920 x 1005 pixels, with a 16:9 aspect ratio. If you need help creating an event image quickly and easily, free tools such as Snappa can help you do that. Many of these graphics tools will include a free library of royalty-free stock images you can use at no cost to make your visuals looks great.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time To Promote Your Event
Don’t wait until the last minute to publish your Facebook Event. Instead, give yourself plenty of time to promote it to your followers. Publish the event at least one week ahead of time, if not a bit longer. And, don’t forget to continue promoting it after you hit publish.
You want to make sure you have enough lead time to truly get the word out. After all, you don’t want to invest your time and money in an event if you’re not going to give it plenty of time for promotion. Building in enough promo time will also give your business partners, customers, and network a chance to help promote it, too.
Consider Boosting Your Event
If you want to maximize your Facebook event’s reach, consider giving it a boost. It’s a step beyond simply asking others to share the event for you. Just like paid ads, taking this action will help you get your event in front of more people.
Monitor the Event Page Closely for Questions and Engagement
Now that you’ve set up your Facebook Event, it’s time to monitor the page closely. Users may have questions about the event, so you’ll want to be available to answer them. In addition, be sure to engage with comments and discussions that may come up. This is a great opportunity for attendees to interact with you ahead of time.
6 Ways to Use Facebook Events for Your Business
Ready to promote your business using Facebook Events? There are several ways you can use this powerful tool to your advantage to raise brand awareness, gain more followers, and grow your business. Let’s look at a few.
1. Promote a Virtual Event
You can use Facebook Events to promote virtual events such as webinars, training sessions, and even Facebook live streams where you answer your followers’ questions. Creating an event for all digital experiences can increase your traffic significantly. Encourage attendees to share the event with their networks in order to grow your reach even further.
Author, talk show host, and Dave Ramsey personality Christy Wright used Facebook events to promote a virtual event called Take Back Your Time Live. The event, part of a forthcoming book launch, featured Christy Wright and Dave Ramsey and centered around the idea of helping others create a better work-life balance.
2. Feature a Grand Opening (or Re-Opening)
Facebook Events are a great way to feature the grand opening or re-opening of your business. This could be a physical location or an online store. To incentivize visits, make freebies, prizes, and other special offers available to attendees. Consider adding other special features to the event, such as live music or refreshments.
In addition to featuring a grand opening, you can even do a virtual book or product launch. Hold virtual events to go alongside the launch, such as a Q&A or special giveaway to attendees. Encourage attendees to share the event with their friends so they can get in on special offers, too.
3. Highlight In-Store Events & Collaborations
In-store events and collaborations in a brick-and-mortar location are great candidates for Facebook Events. Invite your local community to exclusive events at your place of business, whether that’s a retail store, restaurant, office, or even a coworking space (where applicable).
Partnering with other business owners and creatives who are parallel to your industry can be a great way to bring attention to both of your businesses. In addition, you’ll be sharing your businesses with each other’s customer base, raising brand awareness across the board.
4. Bring Awareness to Brand Challenges
Facebook Events can help you bring awareness to brand challenges and other gamified events, both online and offline. Create friendly competition and set goals for your participants to achieve. You can even offer prizes at the end for those who participate or reach a specific goal.
For example, a local gym I went to would create events each time they hosted a fitness challenge, like a “Sixty in Six Minutes Sit-Up Challenge.” There was no specific time or date for the event. Instead, there was a range of days the event would span, and people could come and go as they pleased. It was a great way to promote awareness and capture interest. Plus, people could discuss their results on the event page.
Challenges work throughout the year, but particularly during the changing of seasons. If you have a brand that could benefit from setting up a challenge for your customers or members, Facebook Events are a great way to spread the word.
5. Invite Locals to Educational and Cultural Events
Cultural and educational centers can use Facebook Events to promote their exhibits, lectures, events, workshops, and other offerings.
If you’re on staff at a museum or other cultural center, for example, you can absolutely take advantage of the free marketing power you can leverage through Facebook Events. This is particularly valuable for nonprofit organizations and facilities that may not have a large budget set aside for online advertising.
6. Advertise Concerts, Plays, and Other Live Performances
Are you marketing for a performing arts organization, venue, or community theatre? Leverage Facebook Events to get more attendees at your live events.
Whether you’re advertising concerts, plays, stand-up comedy, film screenings, or premiere events, creating a Facebook Event to showcase your offering is a great way to get the word out and grow your audience.
Facebook Events are an excellent way to market your business and help grow your brand and drive traffic to online and offline events alike. If you want to learn more about Facebook marketing, make sure to check out our Facebook Marketing course.