This is a guest post by Facebook diva Sara Waller, you can follow her on twitter, Facebook or Linkedin.
Silent Dance viral event promoted via Facebook
Facebook Events is a free yet effective application that can be used to promote parties, marketing events, product launches and other significant happenings.
The format of the Event is similar to Facebook Groups - there are wall feature where invited members can post, discussion boards, photos, links and videos. Invited friends can be made admin officers in the event page which in turn gives them the opportunity to invite other people in their own networks.
Here are 10 tips for you:
1. Select your guest list
Remember to be appropriate. It´s no use sending out a London party invite to folk in Singapore.
Targeted. Relevant. Respectful.
Make sure you follow these 3 criteria when selecting your invitees. It also helps if you really know them, rather than some person you have never met or talked to. You are hovering dangerously close to spam if you invite your whole database.
2. Don´t go event crazy!
No one wants to receive a gazillion different invites every week. Easy cowboy. Keep events to one a month so you are not abusing this application or your friends' ´patience!
3. Use a catchy headline
A high open rate and high response rate all depend on how you sell in the offer. If you´d like some help with writing catchy headlines check out this awesome presentation from Times Online Editor Tom Whitwell.
If your event includes a high profile celeb or venue make sure it´s featured in the subject title. You cannot change the title afterwards so maybe practice in draft first.
Make sure it's eye-catching and inclusive and connected to the event itself. If you do not include a photo Facebook substitute a giant question mark, ugggh!
5. Compelling content
Write on the wall, start and seed some discussion threads (ask friends to participate to get the ball rolling), add some videos if you own them and as many relevant photos as you want.
6. Invite, invite, invite
Make sure you send a PERSONAL note in the invite. Something friendly, inviting, warm and informative. What´s on offer? Why would this be good for the invitee to attend? Remember the KISS principle: Keep it Simple, Stupid! You can always run some tests too, trying out different copy to different segmented groups. Make sure the country and time zones are prominent.
7. Snip, Tweet or Tiny it!
You may like to use snip urls to send people to the event page or external landing pages or a website. These are memorable urls to replace long Facebook ones. Then make sure you tweet this URL and post it on your status update, profile info, groups, notes or fan pages. Tweet (for Twitter) will even track response so you can measure your event response.
8. The Secret is in the Follow Up
Comment on your event wall yourself and when people reply and RSVP go to their wall and send them a thank you for coming / or sorry you can´t make it note. You can also leave comments on their added photos, videos, discussion threads or wall posts. This all goes into the Newsfeed. One of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your Facebook event is to sending follow up emails to attendees.
9. Maintaining Interest long-term
Facebook currently has millions of members and thousands of event pages. A new event gets created in just a matter of minutes. This poses a challenge on how you can maintain interest on your event. You have to make sure that your friends are aware of your events with enough notice in the short term but do not zone out in the long-term. Update your events regularly. Post a new blog entry.
10. How to avoid spamming warning/alert to your Facebook account
You definitely don't want your Facebook account to be flagged for spamming. It may take several weeks before your account is reinstated or worse, it will have a lifetime ban which leaves you no choice to but to create another one. LIMIT your seeding. Avoid sending email messages with the same content all the time. Try Social Ads and Marketplace or comment on Birthdays.