Promoting events (even online ones)

If you’re promoting an event, you can’t avoid Facebook, however, depending on what your event is, Eventbrite, LinkedIn and Google MyBusiness are very important too.

It almost goes without saying that Facebook is the king of events promotion in 2020. It’s where we share our kids’ birthday parties, it’s where we see the dance studio’s recitals and it’s where just about every event in town is going to be listed, regardless of yours or anyone else’s opinions about Facebook itself. Facebook recognised the importance of events as early as 2005 – some two years before the network even arrived in Australia. It’s one of their oldest functions, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

Best of all Facebook events are free to post. While you can pay to boost them out to a wider audience, if you’ve got a decent following on your Facebook business page, then you’re going to get quite a bit of natural reach anyway. In fact, events have far better reach than any other kind of post on Facebook. Because people use Facebook to find out what is happening in their area, your events get a lot more organic views than your regular page posts do, so there is some real value in making any kind of promotion you have in your business an event on Facebook.

GoogleMyBusiness is another place where events are treated very well. If you have a Google My Business profile, you also have the ability to post to that profile. The advantage of event posts in Google, as opposed to image or text update posts, is that event posts don’t disappear after 7 days like others posts do – they stay visible on your profile until the actual event. In addition, the information in your event post gets fed in to Google’s local events lists for your area, then same way that Eventbrite events do. So you get the added advantage of appearing in Google search results for what’s on in your area without having to do a lot of SEO work around the event.

If your event or occasion is of interest to professionals and businesses, the LinkedIn has created a tool just for you. LinkedIn Events work much the same way as Facebook Events. On a desktop display of your LinkedIn account, go to the left column and scan down to the Events section. There’s an plus icon that lets you add your event to the LinkedIn platform. You can then invite your connections, turn the event in to an ad to reach event more people near the event location, or post updates, images and interact with those who say they’re coming. Just be aware of one thing; LinkedIn’s language around expressing interest in an event is a little confusing. It will state that someone is an “attendee” which, to some people, may make them think that they are confirmed as going to the event. If you are using an external service for your bookings, like Eventbrite, TryBooking, LocalTickets, etc, then you may have to make it very clear to those who are expressing interest, that their place at the event is not confirmed unless they click on the “Get Tickets” link which is a small, but very important link under the description of the event.

So far in my own use of LinkedIn Events, I have got great results. The number of local connections who see and react to the event is slightly better than what I get on Facebook for the same workshops.

While event management can be hard enough, event promotion can be a black box. You know you should be doing it, but you’re not sure where you’re meant to go. But there are free options aside from the major booking portals that can make your event much more widely known. Facebook, GoogleMyBusiness and LinkedIn are excellent places to get some free, organic reach when it comes to getting the word out about your workshop, festival, conference or networking dinner.

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