As the largest social networking channel in the world, Facebook has over 1.23 billion active users, and 62 of percent of them accessing their accounts on a daily basis. With the SEO landscape becoming more and more competitive, Facebook has emerged as an effective gateway for event organizers to spread brand awareness and generate ticket sales. Over 65 million business pages on Facebook use the platform to not only connect with their existing customers, but to also attract the largely untapped, potential audience.
Parse.ly reported that Facebook single-handedly accounts for 40 percent of their referral traffic, surpassing Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other social networks.
As an event organizer, establishing a strong online presence in the Facebook ecosystem should be one of your primary focus areas for a successful growth strategy. To help you get started, let’s dive into 5 powerful insights that you can take advantage of to maximize your Facebook reach:
1. Leverage Facebook Live To Increase Your Brand Reach:
After being introduced in December 2015, Facebook Live quickly surpassed Youtube in live video streaming viewership, and rose to 2 million monthly users by June 2017. With an average consumer spending at least 35 minutes on Facebook everyday, how do you ensure your brand is grabbing enough eyeballs?
With Facebook Live, you can exploit a different avenue for serving vibrant, interactive, and relatable content to your existing and new audience. For an upcoming event, this opens a myriad number of possibilities: Host an interview with the author before an upcoming book release, give a short office tour of your working space, explain your creative process as an artist, unveil your new makeup collection with live swatches, or show your followers what a red carpet event looks like.
In 2016, Buzzfeed ran a 45 minute live stream to establish how many rubber bands a watermelon can sustain without exploding, which raked in 11 million views and over 300,000 real-time comments that were left during the broadcast.
The New York Times collaborated with Melinda Josie, a Toronto-based artist, who requested the audience to comment with their favorite foods for her to illustrate. The video amassed around 168,000 views, with over 3500 comments chiming in with their preferred delicacy.
With advanced video upload tools, you can add themes, effects, filters, custom image thumbnails, and category labels to your broadcast to make it more fun and engaging. Your followers also receive a notification when you go live, encouraging them to tune in to your broadcast at the right time.
For followers who missed catching you live, the broadcast can be published later as a video. A suite of distributing options allow you to prohibit third-party embedding, and restrict the audience by gender, age, location or language. You can also upload a secret video accessible only through a direct URL, set an expiration date for automatic removal of the video, and exclude the video from your newsfeed.
2. Create A Facebook Messenger Chatbot For Your Event Page:
Every month, more than 1.2 billion people use Facebook Messenger to reach out to brands and exchange over 2 billion messages in a conversation. The best way to tap into this audience without exhausting extra resources, is by setting up a chatbot API for your Facebook page.
The Facebook Messenger bots use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to deliver automated messaging sequence to users, and create an effective sales funnel that generates sales within the Messenger. While the technology is believed to be in early stages, as of 2017, Messenger supports more than 100,000 bots that are being employed by a businesses – big or small, to connect with users in a variety of ways. You can now use the Messenger to pay for your Subway sandwich, plan recipes with Food Network, or try lipsticks from Sephora.
SnapTravel, a San Francisco based startup, set up a Facebook Messenger bot that assists travellers in booking their desired accommodations.
The idea is straightforward, easy-to-use, and time-saving: The user simply drops a message saying, ‘Get Started’ on their Facebook page to activate the bot. The bot then proceeds to understand the user’s basic requirements like destination, dates, time, and budget to suggest the most suitable hotels, with a low-price guarantee with every search.
Want to try one out for your upcoming event? ManyChat, a bot creation platform, features a ‘drag and drop’ builder that lets you create your very own Facebook Messenger bot in minutes. Whether you’re just starting out or already have a significant following, ManyChat doesn’t require any programming knowledge, and provides you with a complete set of building tools to automate your Messenger.
3. Implement An Efficient Facebook Advertising Strategy To Broaden Your Reach:
If you’ve been managing a Facebook page for your event, you’ve most likely noticed a drop in organic post reach in the last few years.
According to Brian Boland, VP of Advertising Technology at Facebook, organic reach has been on decline for two main reasons. First, there are close to 1500 news stories that can potentially appear in an average user’s NewsFeed, every time they login. For users who have more friends and follow many pages, this number increases to 15,000. Simply put, an extraordinary amount of content is being created, published and shared on Facebook everyday, which directly contributes to the growing competition for News Feed visibility . Second, in order to show high-quality, and relevant content to the users at all times, Facebook uses a News Feed ranking system that filters out anything that isn’t directly pertinent to the user’s interests.
While there are proven ways to counteract the algorithm changes and broaden your organic reach, investing in paid Facebook advertising is bound to be beneficial.
• Use audience insights to create target user personas:
Learn more about the age, occupation, interests, and location of your users from the Facebook Insights’ dashboard, to outline their pain points and the kind of content that appeals to them. User personas help you draw substantive conclusions regarding the overall user response to your industry vertical or event, and what deters them from buying tickets.
• Experiment with visual content:
Several eye-tracking studies have documented that users pay close attention to information-carrying posts, if they are accompanied by images of real people and products. Not only this, Facebook posts that contain images get 2.3 times more engagement than plain-text updates. While you should A/B test with different types of posts, to see what performs better, incorporating visual content in your Facebook ads makes them stand out. Try using photos, infographics, comics, charts, or annotated screenshots to lend an extra boost to your ads. For maximizing your reach, maintain an adequate image to text ratio outlined by Facebook guidelines.
• Write persuasive copy:
Make sure your copy tells a story that complements your image, and ties the whole post together. Settle on a tone that resonates with your audience, and offer them something they’d be interested in. Create a sense of urgency with your text, by include a time frame, for example – only for today or valid till March 25, 2018, encouraging users to follow the next actionable steps. Keep it short, to-the-point and engrossing.
4. Publish More Native Videos To Increase Engagement:
In the recent times, there has been a noticeable shift to video content on social media, especially after 2015 saw videos bringing in 135 percent more organic reach than images. Videos also tend to reach twice as many people, attracting more likes, shares and comments.
More than 4 billion videos are published on Facebook everyday, and if you haven’t hopped on the train already, now is a great time to start by keeping the following best practices in mind:
• Appeal to your audience with engaging content:
Every day, people on Facebook spend 100 million hours watching videos, recording an average of 8 billion video views daily. You audience will stop scrolling and go through your video only if is captivating, and provides valuable information. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to invest heavily on production. Simple videos, even the ones shot on a phone, that exhibit authenticity and aren’t overtly promotional can do wonders.
• Ensure quality from the first frame:
Facebook autoplay tends to play videos with their sound off, which is why your videos should contain compelling copy and eye-catching imagery from start to finish. Provide a strong narrative in your native videos to grab the viewer’s’ attention even when they are mute.
• Define a custom audience:
Engage users who frequently watch your videos till the end, and target them in your upcoming videos. Currently, Facebook allows you to create a custom audience from people who have viewed at least 3 seconds, 10 seconds, 25 percent, 50 percent, 75 percent, or 95 percent of your video. If you’re planning to run a remarketing advertising campaign, targeting users from the first two categories is generally not advisable, as you’re more likely going to get conversions from people who are interested in your content.
5. Incorporate An Appropriate Call-To-Action In Your Ads For Higher Conversion Rate:
In marketing, a good call-to-action (CTA) is the key to provoke an actionable response from the audience, by using imperative verbs like ‘Sign up today’, ‘Learn more’ or ‘Download now’. Depending on your conversion goals and expected outcome, using appropriate CTAs in Facebook ads yields a higher value proposition for both the consumer and your event. CTAs that increase your click through rate, and leads generated at a lower cost per click and cost per lead, help immensely in the optimization of future campaigns.
After analyzing 37,259 Facebook ads, AdEspresso discovered the most popular CTAs are:
While all of them tend to perform differently, a case study reported that using ‘Learn more’ instead of ‘Sign Up’ increased the click through rate by a whopping 22.5 percent. However, it is important to note that a higher click through rate does not always guarantee conversions, which also explains why ‘Sign Up’ outperforms ‘Learn more’ in terms of conversion rate by an impressive margin of 14.5 percent.
Another A/B test revealed that cost per lead for ‘Download’ was reported at $0.802, with ‘Learn more’ at $1.208, and ‘Sign Up’ at $1.126.
For best results, keep your desired parameters in mind while designing a campaign.
While Facebook is undoubtedly a powerful marketing tool, the ever-changing nature of the platform can be difficult to work with, especially for extremely niche markets. With due diligence, and carefully planned execution strategies, you will become more skilled at navigating Facebook’s tricky algorithms and competitive landscape.