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Promote Annual Events With Facebook Pages

Last fall I had the pleasure of teaching a series of workshops for Network Williamsburg called Facebook for Nonprofits. In the one of the sessions, I discussed using a Facebook Page to promote annual events as opposed to just creating a Facebook Event. A page will allow you to do many things that you cannot do with a simple Facebook Event. Here some of the ways a Page can help organizations who hold annual events:

  1. Photo Albums: Go back and collect photos from previous years and put them into separate albums, by year, on the new Event Page. In the photos that you upload, be sure to attach a date, a description for the photo and Tag the people in the photos! (You’ll only be able to tag people that you are friends with, but see if other people in your organization can Tag people too.) This will give your event exposure to the friends of the people you’re tagging – a very FREE and effective way to get in from of potential attendees. Additionally, staffers, volunteers and attendees can post pictures of their own on the Page.
  2. Cover Photos: You get a large amount of space on the page to convey the event concept with a large banner-sized photo. Pull out all the stops to impress them here. Make it look good.
  3. Check-Ins: If when creating the new Page for your event you choose “Local Businesses & Places” for the Category, it will allow people to “Check In” at your event, telling everyone on their friend’s list that they are there. This is GREAT advertising as it seems as if, by other, these people have endorsed you by attending.
  4. Fan Accumulation: If you create a page, you can build on your fan base year after year. Encourage people to ‘Like’ the Page, EVEN AT YOUR EVENT! Use traditional and creative methods of telling them to get involved on Facebook. The more fans you collect this year, the easier things will get next year. Eventually it will have legs.
  5. Event Creation: You can create Facebook Events from within a Page. This is great because you get to invite a ton of people to your event and it is very likely they will ‘Like’ the page in the process as well. Creating an Event on behalf of the page will also put the event on their calendar. Today, many people are syncing their mobile devices with their Facebook Calendar.
  6. Promotional Tabs: There are many different ways to engage fans whether you are selling tickets or promoting sponsors, by using the Tabs that are given to Pages in Facebook. Sweepstakes can be used, sign-up forms, coupons, partner pages, and many more. These are a bit more work than the simple steps that could be taken above, and may require outside help.
  7. Army-Mentality: Put your staffers, volunteers and Fans to work! Ask them to help you promote your page. Give them clear instruction on how they can help make this page successful. They are likely to be willing to help because it is what many people do on Facebook all day anyway. It takes seconds with the right instructions.
I’ve recently created a page for the Williamsburg Kiwanis Shrimp Feast that is a spot-on example for what I have detailed above. I think you will find value in the system as the page started August 1, 2012 with three likes and 10 hours later it had 55 likes. Here is a link to the page: https://www.facebook.com/KiwanisShrimpFeast.
By creating a page, you’ll create something that will remain a part of your attendees lives, and the lives of those who would like to attend, forever. They will feel engaged and it will warm their hearts and you will be front and center next year when you hold your event again.  These steps could help your organization see greater and greater attendance with each consecutive year.
I wish you the best of luck in promoting your event on Facebook. If you have questions about making this work for you, feel free to chat with me on Facebook, email me at will@proximomarketing.com or call me at 757-741-8098.

Local Marketing – Inexpensive, Fast Results

We spent most of our time working with small businesses to help them grow locally. While some of our clients have multiple locations, there are many things you can do even if you have one location that can have a major impact.

Our goal is to educate our clients on various digital marketing strategies so they don’t get stuck in the rut of “net-casting” or fishing in a sea with a dwindling population (less media consumers, fewer with expendable income). If you’re still running ads in the phone book, you’re a victim of the changing times, but you don’t have to be.

Watch this video to learn more about ways to market your business locally. When you’re ready, give us a shout and we’ll give you an hour of our time, at no cost, to show you how these sorts of efforts can impact your business.

Who Really Pays for Advertising?

Although I am in the advertising industry, I have a hard time with the constant bombardment of ads on television and I have avoided subscribing to cable until my recent engagement.  My fiancé has been a cable subscriber for some time and it looks like this will be one of many battles to come that I will lose. Having spent more time watching television as of late, it didn’t take long to remember why I wasn’t a subscriber.

Where ever I go, I am constantly observing various communications, whether they be in print, on air, via email or in other digital medium, but the low quality and frequency of ads on television really turn me off. I would much rather watch Netflix and avoid the ads all together or watch shows on Hulu Plus and watch minimal ads. This way, my time is spent watching the content I actually want and isn’t wasted watching a ton of ads.

The reality is, my time is valuable and even though I have chosen to relax, the several minutes of ads dispersed through television advertising is time I could be spending working on client projects, posting to my blogs, doing research or many other things that bring value to me as a professional. While every once in a while I see an advertisement that I can learn from, for the most part, I see TV ads as a waste of my time.

Trying to understand why I feel this way, I started beginning to think about who pays for these ads.  Most consumers would think that it is the marketer who is responsible for these ads – and in a way they are.  They made the decision to place the advertisement and they stroked the check to get their message out there, but the ads wouldn’t be running if it didn’t lead to buyers – buyers who’s money leads to profits for the advertiser, who is then able to run even more advertisements. Looking at it this way, the consumers are the ones paying for the ads.

So, not only are we as consumers responsible for these advertisements, but our valuable time is spent watching these ads while we are trying to consume entertainment content we set out for. Double whammy!

So you may be wondering why me, a marketing professional, has such a problem with this, but there is a moral. I will never tell anyone not to purchase advertisements. Ads lead to business success which supports our livelihood, which leads to more jobs and money for consumers to support our businesses. What is important, however, is that we have a responsibility as marketers to give the people who pay for our ads something of value. We must make people laugh and cry; we must make people feel angry or feel good. We have a responsibility to think of how we can make people feel included and give them more than just a desire to buy our products. We have to do everything but waste their valuable time.

In the digital world, people won’t sign up for your newsletter just because you have one, they won’t like your Facebook page just because you have a presence there, they won’t keep coming back to your website because it always has the same content. Our audience engages because we are giving something to them that they find valuable. This creates loyalty and this loyalty will lead to happy customers who buy our products and services. They will also share their happy customer stories with their friends and tell them about the great value we have created for them with our blogs, clubs, interactivity, funny advertisements and everything else that we inject in our valuable messages.

Remember that it is your responsibility to be there for the consumer who is looking for your offering, but beyond that, if we are going to intrude on people who are just looking to relax and enjoy their favorite show or spend a few minutes browsing the web, we must ensure that our message is more than just a request to buy what we’re selling.

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