“How Can I Promote My Event on Facebook?”

Recently I got a question via email from a Social Animal blog reader:

“I am currently managing the FaceBook page for my shelter. The event I created is actually managed under a different name; it was set up before I realized you could manage multiple pages under your email. I can’t seem to invite all 200+ fans of my Facebook page to the event, although I have posted a message on the fan page to make sure you RSVP for the event, with a link to it, and the event is open to anyone to attend, anyone to invite friends to, etc.

I am missing the boat on having it on all 200+ fans’ own facebook profiles, but not sure how to get on board.”

So basically, this person created an event under a personal profile, so it’s not going to display on the fan page for the organization. It is possible (and in this case, preferable) to create the event under the fan page, that way it’s XYZ Humane Society’s event, not John Doe’s event. But even if that didn’t get created right, it’s fine–you can still promote the event on the Fan Page for your organization.

What this person really wants to do is “invite” all of his organization’s fans to the event.

Here’s what I told him:

You can’t actually send a message to your fans from a Facebook page. As a profile or a group, you can send an email message (through facebook) to all your members or friends. But as a page, you cannot send a message to your fans. This is really the one downside about a fan page. But you still have to have a fan page for your shelter (Facebook rules state that organizations and companies must have pages, not profiles). (What’s the difference between a page, profile and group?)

Only a person (with a profile) can “invite” people to an event. So even if you recreated the event under your organization page, your organization could not “invite” people to the event. What has to happen is that your fans can invite all THEIR friends. So if I’m a fan, I can RSVP to the event and invite all of my friends (and they can invite theirs and so on). So the way you have to do it is get your FANS to take the reins and do the job of really promoting the event on a one-to-one level.

So even though the event was created under your own personal profile, that’s okay. You don’t have to recreate it. You can just share the event on your fan page’s wall.

So how do you promote the event and encourage your fans to invite their friends? What you’re doing, for starters. Ask them to do it. Ask them specifically to invite their friends. “Invite 10 friends today!” and you can promote it through other channels—twitter, blog, etc. if you use those. Have you had the event before? Post some photos from last year’s event and ask fans to do the same. Do you have video from last year? Put something on Youtube. Be sure to list the event on any local event calendars; most newspapers/radio station/tv stations have event calendars. Put it on the petfinder.com public calendar.

Also, if you’re a fan on FB of any local media or other organizations, you can share the event on their walls as well. This gets exposure to all of THEIR fans, and hey, they might come and cover the event, too.

Hopefully this helps clear up the confusion over promoting/inviting people to events on Facebook.

What questions do you have about social media? Email me your specific questions, or post them in the comments on the blog here, and I will answer them and hopefully we can all learn something in the process!

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I'm available via most social media, so drop me a line! I'll answer your questions and I really look forward to hearing from you and helping if I can!

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