Events can be notoriously difficult to plan, promote and execute. Today the use of social media is one tool that planners can utilize for networking with people that attend meetings and events. Facebook gives planners the ability to spread the word, increase awareness and execute an amazing conference!
How can you utilize Facebook to optimize a conference experience?
Step #1: Create a Page – Creating a Facebook page is not the same as creating a profile! A Facebook page is a web page for your event.
- Facebook pages are indexed in search engines, increasing views through Google searches.
- A page allows you to capture statistics.
Tips for using a Facebook Page:
- Come up with a name that defines what you are planning.
- Include an “About Your Event” tab, set as your default.
Step #2 Add customized elements to your page:
- Download the Facebook Static FBML App to add text, video links and photos.
- Share content, news releases, blog posts, and webinars.
- Post digital copies of show guides, floor maps, schedules, session handouts, and exhibitor collateral – place in an Event Documents tab.
- Post Videos of exhibitors, attendees, vendors or speakers.
Step #3 Build a Following:
- Invite your friends, colleagues, email subscribers, registered attendees and exhibitors to “like” your page.
- Contacts can view event details on Facebook and even register by clicking on the event link.
Step #4 Start posting updates:
- A frequently updated status with interesting content will keep fans coming back. Attendees can then forward to colleagues and updates will automatically be posted on their wall.
- During the event, remember to post highlights, speeches, and interviews.
- Updates will create interest while the event is happening, and for future planned events.
- Posting photos, sharing video clips and live streaming are opportunities to interact with your Facebook community.
Step #5 Promote your Page:
- Your Facebook page is your event business card!
- Promote your event page on your association website.
- Purchase a Facebook ad, they are very effective.
- Develop exclusive offers for your Facebook community.
Step #6 Respond to Questions and Comments – customer service is key!
Step #7 Set up events to establish a location check in:
- Encourage check-ins at your event, using the Facebook mobile app which will increase buzz about your event and encourage others to visit your Facebook Group.
Step #8 Use Facebook tools:
- Facebook questions is a free tool that lets you create a custom multiple-choice poll.
- Use Google analytics to monitor traffic coming in from Facebook.
Step #9 Post-Show Content:
- After your event is over, post a photo album and video highlight reel.
- Create a Value Highlights package for justification of the show’s value to managers.
- Post all session handouts via PDF on your Facebook page.
Step #10 Event Follow up:
- After the event, use Facebook to provide an event recap with photos and video.
- Thank everyone for participating!
- Encourage attendees to stay connected by subscribing to your company’s blog, e-newsletter, etc.
Whether you need to generate a buzz, encourage attendance, or share event follow-up, Facebook is a free tool. With Facebook's power to share comes the ability to spread the word, increase awareness, and accomplish your goals.