If you’ve already checked Facebook once or twice (or, well, many times) today, you’re not alone. Every day, millions of people are active on the site to stay connected to friends, family members, organizations and companies they care about.
Increasingly, they’re also using Facebook to discover and schedule events. According to a 2018 presentation by Facebook Events’ marketing manager, approximately 490 million people use Facebook Page events every month, with approximately 40% year-over-year growth in people engaging with public events created by Facebook Pages.
For funeral professionals, this presents a tremendous opportunity to promote your funeral home events to a wider audience and target your advertising efforts to reach those who will be most likely to attend. Keep reading to discover how your firm can get more attendees for your events with Facebook Page Events.
Creating Your Event
To set up your event, access your Facebook Page and click on the Events tab, and then select the Create Event button.
You’ll have the option to upload a unique event cover photo to represent your event. The size recommendations for Facebook images change frequently—as of this post’s publication date, the recommended size is at least a 1200 x 628 pixel image. It’s possible to upload images that are other sizes but be aware that your image may be cropped or stretched.
Select a short yet descriptive event name that will capture your audience’s attention. Facebook currently limits your event name to 64 characters.
Event Location and Time(s)
Select the location of your event—options should populate automatically when you begin typing the venue name. You’ll also be able to select whether your event is part of an ongoing series or a one-time event and then pick the event dates and times.
Turn on this feature to allow people to send you messages about the event—just be sure someone will be able to promptly respond to any inquiries you receive.
If you’re managing event attendees through an external ticketing website, you have the option to link the Ticket URL to your Facebook event.
The Description portion of the Details section is particularly important because it provides a place to make your case for why people should attend your event. Explain the benefits of attending and set expectations for what attendees will experience. You’ll find several other organizational features in the Details section, including the ability to set a schedule for the event (if you have presentations that will begin at certain times, for example) and options to add a Category and Keywords that could help people find your event.
The Options section allows you to customize who can post content to the event and set guest list display options. You can also add co-hosts to the event in this section (which is covered in greater detail below).
Before finalizing your event, be sure to review the Pages, Groups and Events Policies.
Promoting Your Event
Creating an event is a great first step, but then you need to effectively promote it to build awareness and interest with your target audience—and even the people who have already liked your page.
Create promotional content that can be frequently shared on your Facebook page to remind your audience about the event and why they should attend. Develop video content and images to capture attention, and encourage your followers to share the event with others.
If your event involves another organization (such as a volunteer event that supports a local charity), coordinate event promotion with that group to ensure maximum visibility across your audiences. This will also prevent organizations from creating duplicate Facebook events that could cause confusion for attendees.
Facebook advertising provides powerful opportunities to reach the target demographic for your event, on a budget that you can control. Effective Facebook advertising does require some expertise to implement effectively. If you’re just getting started, Facebook provides a general overview of setting up a campaign, guidelines for choosing objectives and options for audience targeting that can help you get the most return on your ad spend.
Engaging Your Attendees
Once people have signed up for your event, your promotional work isn’t done yet. How can you help ensure those people will actually show up?
Too often, I see people post questions on Facebook event pages—only to have those questions go unanswered by the event organizers. Not only does this go against online customer service best practices, but it may discourage people from attending because they perceive the event is not well organized.
Add posts to your event page that will build anticipation for the event. If your firm is participating in a charity event, for example, post a video interview with someone from the organization who will benefit from the effort. Photos of your team setting up for an event can also help create a sense of excitement that will encourage those who sign up to actually attend.
Have you tried (or considered) promoting a funeral home event on Facebook? Share your questions or tips for success in the comments below.