How To: Make Your Event Stand Out On Facebook

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Musicians have traditionally always been really bad at admin. We’re happy enough to write songs, but when it comes to marketing them, we tend to fall short. It’s time to learn the basics of how to Make Your Event Stand Out On Facebook.

Make Your Event Stand Out On Facebook

Today we are going to look at what professionals do when using digital marketing, how you can apply that to the music industry, and what steps you should be taking to build your online presence.

I will look at:

Why you should create a Facebook Page
The Importance of Data Driven advertising
Going Viral in the Modern Day

All of this will show you How To: Make Your Event Stand Out On Facebook

Your Event and Digital Marketing

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Digital Marketing is a vast field, so for today we’re only going to discuss the importance of Social Media, and look more specifically at Facebook.

Facebook is the king of all digital marketing realms.

Why?

Because Facebook has 2 Billion subscribers, with over 1 Billion of those users checking Facebook every day. There is no bigger potential for an audience anywhere in the world.

But, that makes Facebook a double edged sword. Facebook doesn’t show all of your posts to the people who like your page. In fact, Facebook will only show your post to about 2% of your fans.

Now, the cynics amongst us may think that Facebook is only doing this because they want more people to spend money on paid advertising.

And yes, Facebook does want money – almost all corporations do – but, the love of money is not the only reason why Facebook limits what it shows your audience. This is why you need to Make Your Event Stand Out On Facebook

With the amount of active daily users Facebook has and the sheer volume of pages out there, if Facebook didn’t control what it showed you, your news feed would have about 1500 new stories every time you logged in. That’s opposed to the roughly 300 you see now.

Imagine having 5 times more stories every time you logged into Facebook. It would be a nightmare!

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EdgeRank

So in order for Facebook to ensure that people are seeing only the content most relevant to them, Facebook ranks content. This content rating is called the EdgeRank.

There are over 100 000 small things that determine a post’s EdgeRank. The higher a post’s EdgeRank is, the more likely it is to be seen.

Should you have a Facebook Page?

“My Brother told me that I don’t need a Facebook page. I can just create an event from my personal profile and set it to public”

He’s not wrong – but he couldn’t be more wrong at the same time.

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Creating an event on Facebook can serve one of two purposes:

1) Inviting mates to a birthday party
2) Data Generation

If you’re just inviting some guys round for a braai, then you can just set up an event from your personal page. But, if you want to take your music seriously, you need to setup a Facebook business page.

So, what are the main benefits of setting up a business page before you create your event?

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First off – Free Data on your Fans

Digital is all about data. Facebook has more information on you than just about any other platform in the world. Facebook knows what you look like, how you identify sexually, who you’re dating and what you like and dislike.

And Facebook doesn’t even really ask us for this information, we freely volunteer it.

Also, thanks to something called Facebook Pixel, Facebook can even tell what websites you’ve visited, and whether or not you bought something from that site.

That means that when we run a Facebook business page, we can see the profile of who our audience is. We can tell where they’re from, what language they speak if they’re men or women and how old they are.

All of this is available to us for free.

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That free data can then be used for Data Driven Advertising

Facebook is not free. Not really. Either we’re literally giving Facebook money, or we’re helping Facebook make money just by seeing their adverts. As I mentioned before, Facebook is only showing our unpaid content to about 2% of our page following. This is called our Organic Reach. The more you Make Your Event Stand Out On Facebook, the better your organic reach will be.

To ensure the best organic reach, your post must include a good quality photo, be well written, offer your audience value and be engaging. All of this will help Make Your Event Stand Out On Facebook.

We can also improve our overall reach by paying for it. This is called boosting a post.

Paying for advertising is nothing new to the music industry though. I’ll discuss this in more detail later on, but as a brief summary things like printing posters and flyers has always been part of running a band.

Most marketers will tell you that the time of organic reach is dead. If you want to grow your online presence, you’re going to need to pay for it.

This is where that data comes in handy. By seeing who is reacting to your content, you can set-up ads on Facebook that target specific groups of people.

So if 70% of your audience are women aged 24-35 living in Cape Town, you can pay Facebook to show your event to people in the same categories. This will give your ads sniper precision.

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Paying for advertising is nothing new in music.

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About 10 years ago Social Media wasn’t as important as it is now. The main way bands would advertise a gig was by printing posters and flyers.

Printing flyers and posters isn’t a cheap exercise. Sure, you could print low quality black and white flyers, but they will probably be ignored. Everyone from the local sangoma to the panel beater up the road and huge corporations still uses flyer marketing. If you put a cheap flyer somewhere, why would anyone look at it?

To setup a Facebook page is free and so easy to do that even our grandparents could do it. But, as I’ve mentioned, if you want to take your marketing seriously, it won’t be free.

If however, you used the same money you would spend on flyers and used that for some paid for ads, you would get a better return on your investment. So unlike traditional marketing channels, you won’t need to spend thousands of rand just to hopefully be seen.

One of the things we look at is Quality of our Reach

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Instead of 1 out every 100 people who see your flyer possibly being interested, by using Facebook targeting you can limit your ad to people who have shown to be the most likely to care.

With Flyers, you are not guaranteed any kind of quality with the reach you will get. Let’s say that your band is playing at the Mercury in Town. So you guys head to the Mercury and put flyers on the cars of everyone parked in front of the venue and the surrounding roads.

How many of those people would actually see your flyer and decide to go to your show? With flyering you are taking a shotgun spray and pray approach: You’re shooting at everything and hoping to hit something.

Digital Marketing will give you a higher quality of reach than through traditional methods. You can setup an ad on Facebook and have it target very specific groups of people. So not only can you Make Your Event Stand Out On Facebook, you make it stand out to the people who want to see it most.

So, if you’re inspired by the Insane Clown Posse, play in a technical Djent Neo Classical Grind Core metal band with Taylor Swift inspired lyrics, you can tell Facebook to only show your advert to people with similar tastes to what you are offering.

This means that more people who are likely to show up to your show will see your ad. This means a much higher bang for your buck.

It’s not always easy interpreting the data and making gut calls, but with practice, you can get better. It’s also worth remembering that nothing is guaranteed. All we’re looking for is the highest probability of success.

Another Huge advantage of using Facebook marketing is your level of flexibility.

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Once your poster is printed and placed, or your flyers are distributed – that’s it. You’re just about done. With traditional methods, whether we’re using print ads, flyers, posters and so, once we’ve distributed the material there is no changing it.

We could do a second run and edit the materials for a second run, but that makes the campaign more expensive.

Let’s for argument say that you’re advertising a festival or a gig, and one of your supporting bands drops out. It becomes very difficult to get that message out there.

Digital Channels will allow you to edit your promotions as you go. You can setup a single event page and keep updating it. You can instantly look at your reach and your engagement and edit elements on the fly.

This means that you always ensure that your audience has the most up-to-date information available.

So, by now you should be sold on why you need a Facebook page for your music. Let’s look at the practical steps you need to take in order to successfully market your event on Facebook.

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1) Setup a Facebook Business Page as soon as possible. Data take a while to generate, so the longer your page is running, the better your data will be.

2) Create your event on Facebook. If you cannot create the event, make sure that you have been listed on the event as a co-host.

3) Using the data you’ve gathered from your page, set up data driven targeted adverts. Instead of paying printers to print flyers for you – use that budget on Facebook advertising.

4) Engage with your Audience. Always. Once you setup the event page, keep the discussion going. Post little teasers of what people can expect, drop in some high res images, ask questions to engage with people who have clicked on attending.

The more people interact with the event, the higher the events EdgeRank will be. The higher the EdgeRank, the more people will see it, and so the cycle goes.

Run competitions to give away a t-shirt, free cap, bar tab or tickets to a show. Ask people to like and share a post in the event to be entered into the draw. This will increase how many people see the post organically.

Boost the same post with a little bit of money so that even more people see the event, and enter the competition.

In rare cases, this process can repeat again and again until eventually, your post goes viral.

Viral is dead. Long Live Viral. 

Who here has not seen a viral video? Justin Beiber and Psy are both huge YouTube success stories. And even if you don’t like their music, you’ve at least heard of them. And at the end of the day, that’s what marketing is really all about. Playing that one epic solo, or composing that one song that goes viral and gets your name out there – that’s the dream right?

You upload a video to YouTube, go to bed, and wake up the next morning as a superstar. Right! Unfortunately that seldom ever happens organically anymore. Now days people plan everything from what time and on what day to launch their content, what social channels they’re going to share the content to, and even test out different titles to find the ones the resonate best with their audience.

Have you heard of Tim Ferris? Well, with his book “The 4-Hour Work Week“, Tim had 6 different titles for the book. He ran 65 adverts using the 6 different names, and named his book after the title that got the most hits.

So, can your content still go viral? Yes. Yes it can. But it won’t be by accident. It will take careful planning, and a mastery of a few different social media platforms. The good news is that the work itself is easy. The bad news is that is a slow to setup an online presence, and requires a lot of constant work. [Here] are a few more tips on getting your content to go viral.

Facebook is only one of the platforms you will need to master if you want your content to go viral.

So, it’s not a matter of choosing whether you’re going to do paid advertising or focusing on organically growing your EdgeRank, you must do both. Not one or the other.

By following these simple steps, you greatly increase the odds of your event being a success.

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