When Facebook Events first launched in 2005, it became more of a platform to share parties, rather than a place to list events. Now, more than a decade later, Facebook has begun to develop its platform to be much more useful for events. In fact, the company has made some small but impactful changes in recent months to help users better discover events.
There are many ways event makers can leverage Facebook in their marketing efforts. But first, here are the changes to Facebook you should be aware of:
New Event Browsing Experience on Mobile
Facebook has a new event browsing experience that lets users specify when they’re looking for events: “Today”, “Tomorrow”, “This weekend”, or “Next Week”. There’s also a “Suggested For You” section that recommends events based on user data.
With the new experience comes categories: Music, Food & Drinks, Nightlife, Sports & Fitness, Fine Arts & Crafts, Community, Film & Photography, Performing Arts, and Causes. These can all be sorted by date, and users can now adjust their location to see what’s happening in whatever city they’re in.
Currently, these new features can only be seen by people using their iPhones in major cities — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, Seattle, Miami, Houston and Washington, DC. But a wider rollout to more cities and Android devices is likely, given Facebook’s new emphasis on events.
Event Subscriptions on Pages
Facebook added a subscribe button to the Events section of all Pages on desktop and mobile. Once clicked, users get a Facebook notification when that Page hosts an event near where they live.
Events Integration with the Page Plugin
The Page plugin lets you easily embed and promote any Facebook Page on your website. As with Facebook, your visitors can like and share the Page without leaving your sites.
Facebook updated the plugin so that attendees can now discover and interact with events from your Page, right on your website. For example, if you're promoting an upcoming concert, you can create an event from your Page and feature it on your website, while managing the details from one place.
Sell Concert Tickets Directly Through Facebook
It’s currently in limited release, but the company has introduced a “Buy Tickets” button, which people can use to purchase tickets without leaving Facebook. The tickets, when purchased, will be available for pickup at Will Call windows. Electronic or paper tickets are not included with this feature, but could possibly arrive in the future.
Event Reminder Notifications on Mobile
Facebook updated its notifications tab view on the mobile app. It now displays notifications for:
- Friends’ birthdays
- Friends’ life events
- Your upcoming events
- Today’s top sporting events
- Today’s top TV shows
- Trending Topics
And if users let Facebook track their location history, they’ll also get:
- Popular events nearby
- Local weather
- News shared locally
- Nearby Places your friends may have visited or reviewed
- Movies playing in nearby theaters
Leveraging Facebook in Event Marketing
As Facebook pushes events more heavily, it makes more sense than ever before to use the social network in your event marketing efforts. There are a lot of different ways users and your attendees interact with events, but there are just a few things you need to do on your end:
- Create an event Page - This is a great place to share photos and updates about your upcoming event. Use it to build engagement and excitement. You can also use the Page during the event to give live news and updates. The Page is live even after the event has ended, so feel free to use it to invite attendees to future events.
- Share your event on your business Page - If you organize multiple events, you should have a separate brand and business Page that you are managing to get followers. It’s a no-brainer to share your event on that Page’s timeline.
- Use the event calendar - On your business Page, don’t forget to manage the event calendar. This is where your followers can subscribe to your events.
- Create a Facebook Ads campaign - Reach beyond your followers and drive attendance and discovery with Facebook Ads. If you’re new to digital marketing, this is something SpinGo can help you with.
Facebook is just one weapon in your arsenal, but when used correctly, it can be an extremely powerful one. What other ways do you use Facebook? Let us know in the comments.