Get people to show up
Online communities can unite people with shared interests. Getting people together in person can further build momentum and empathy for a cause. Facebook can help you organise people both online and face to face.
By turning online supporters into participants at your events, rallies or in-person programmes, you can bring in new groups, diversify your community and grow the size of your in-person activities.
Build a bridge from online to offline
Similar to an online call to action, an in-person activity needs a clear purpose, action and desired outcome. Promote in-person events as a natural extension of the actions people are taking on Facebook. You can design them to be part of the normal progression of a supporter’s journey with your organisation.
Make it meaningful
In-person activities are a chance to further personalise your organisation and strengthen relationships within your community. Create opportunities for supporters to interact with your team, each other and the people you serve. Volunteer activities, rallies, networking events and celebrations can connect people to your organisation and build their understanding of your mission.
Encourage people to bring friends
People like to share the things they care about. An event is an opportunity for supporters to introduce their friends and family to your organisation. When people invite their friends to an event, they’re also more likely to attend themselves. Consider how you can get people excited to bring their friends, such as setting up a Facebook event to make it easy to send invitations and see who else is going. TIP: Ask your staff if they would want to bring a friend to an upcoming event or activity. If not, think about how you can make the event more enticing, such as hosting guest speakers or showcasing how the event will create an impact on your community.
Promote your event
To attract new audiences to an event, you can promote it with a Facebook ad. Use Ads Manager to create an ad and select either “Raise attendance at your event” or “Send people to your website”, depending on the site where you are hosting your event. TIP: You can use a Lookalike Audience to send your ad to people who are similar to people who like your Page.
Continue to encourage people to show up to your event after they’ve expressed interest. Post often to build excitement in the period of time leading up to the event date.
Complete your event page
If you create a Facebook event page, include details and a high-quality cover photo. Provide information that helps people understand what to expect, such as an agenda, parking and registration instructions, recommended attire and what to bring. If you have photos from previous events, consider uploading a few to illustrate what your events are like. If the event is a major production for your organisation, also consider promoting it in the cover photo of your organisation’s Page.
Encourage your staff, board and supporters to use the Invite tool on the event page to invite their friends and family to the event. Personal invitations go a lot further than invitations from an organisation.
Get people excited
Remind people that your event is coming up by posting things such as photos or graphics on your event page and your organisation’s Page. Include a variety of event details, what to expect and messages about how the event will further your mission. Updates such as this make it easy for people to get friends excited and answer their questions. When posting on your organisation’s Page, make sure that you include a link to the event.
TIP: For big events, post a countdown to build up momentum the week before.
TIP: Create an event hashtag to thread together online conversations people are having about your event.
Make it exciting and easy for people to share photos and posts about their experience at your event.
Collect attendee info
Use a system to check in event attendees and collect their contact details so that you can follow up afterwards. This’ll help you track the number of participants, add new people to your mailing lists and include them in a Custom Audience if you want to use Facebook ads to get in touch with them later.
Take photos and videos
Use in-person activities as an opportunity to capture visual examples of your organisation’s culture and impact. You can use photos and videos in future reports and promotional materials. Also try to collect content that will make your Facebook Page and posts more visual.
Inspire a photo brag
Make a place at your event where people can take photos and videos. Use a creative backdrop, photo booth or selfie cam. Put up signs that remind people to use your event hashtag and tag your organisation and their friends. Get someone from your team to monitor attendee posts and re-share them on your organisation’s Page. Sharing photos and videos in real time is a nice way to celebrate participants and show others what your events are like.
Give out swag
An event is a great place to hand out items that represent your organisation. You can print your logo or tagline on just about anything. Think about what event participants would enjoy and find useful. If you’re giving away something wearable, such as a T-shirt or bag, encourage people to post photos of themselves wearing their swag and to tag your organisation.
Engage the press
Draft a press release to let local media know about the purpose and details of your event. Include contact information and context on why the event may be interesting to cover. Take this step well enough in advance that press can plan to publicise and attend your event.
Close the loop and continue to engage supporters online so that the excitement from your event stays with people and they want to stay engaged.
- Share memories. Post photos and video highlights that represent as many attendees as possible and tag people when you can. You might also want to create a short video to recap the event.
- Thank participants. Use Page and event posts to thank attendees for their time. When possible, send personal “thank you” notes.
- Report impact. Let people know what kind of impact the event had and how it contributed to your mission. Share how many people attended, how many people were served or how much money was raised.
- Share next steps. Keep up the momentum by quickly providing additional opportunities to support your organisation. Ask people to continue to share time, donations and other contributions that support your mission.