Email marketing is extremely important but it can be successful only when done right without being too intrusive. Over the past year I have attended many events and noticed a pattern among many I would like to address in this article and offer an alternative for event email marketing.
After signing up for an event some organisers start sending emails too often with “breaking news” and reminders I then quickly unsubscribe myself and now sign up for events only few days before it actually takes place. I also don’t like to receive “Summary of day 1” emails and particularly annoyed to get these emails with broken links.
Why Facebook is better than email for events? In my opinion, all the not so urgent news at corporate events can be communicated over Facebook because of the 10 following reasons which can benefit both the attendees and the organisers:
It is quicker to post on Facebook rather than to schedule a newsletter. I remember during one of my internship I was responsible for sending out a newsletter. It was extremely time consuming caused by readjusting the pictures and checking the link, sending out test emails and receiving error emails from people who changed jobs. For example, ICCA targets the B2B market and is doing it very well over their Facebook. I was following the ICCA awards ceremony in Istanbul last year where they published their Press Releases live, combines with photos and videos. You can see that their posts also receive high level of engagement.
Watch this video for more information about their social media strategy.
2. Good for images
99.9% of images attached to a newsletters don’t open both on PC and mobile, therefore Facebook is an excellent and easy to use platform for images. You can post as many pictures as you want without worrying about the resolution as well as you can do it from your phone.
3. Possibility to edit text
We are all humans and we make mistakes. It can happen that the link, the price, the date or times are incorrect and Facebook gives the opportunity to edit the post. It is much more convenient to edit the post on Facebook rather than sending out a second “correction” email. Another problem with email is that sometimes the font changes and the receiver sees it, which makes an unprofessional impression.
4. Mobile friendly
Facebook is mobile friendly for those creating and consuming content as opposed to newsletters that adopt to some mobiles and others not.
5. Can be shared
Events are better when shared – and Facebook allows you to do it easily! You can share it in a group, in a private message, fan page or on your personal wall.
6. Possible to tag people and places
By tagging people and places it is easier for event stakeholders to get more information about the tagged objects in case further interest arise.
7. Can post daily content
When you send daily newsletters people will be more willing to unsubscribe from your list. On the other hand, you can do it on your Facebook page and even post several times a day. A good example is Jamie Oliver who posts several times a day different content – food and drink recipes, CSR projects, information about his TV shows etc. The variation of content and value added it worth following him on Facebook!
8. It is cheaper than any CSR system
If you manage a Facebook page you know that Facebook gives you an instant feedback on post reach and you know when you get likes, comments and shares that the post was engaging. Based on my analytics, I know that photos are much more engaging than text and links so I try to balance between all of them.
9. Sense of community
Everyone belongs to a community, be it your professional association, charity, alumni group or other. One of the great examples of community engagement is by Gary Vaynerchuk on his Facebook page (though he has large level of engagement on Twitter and YouTube as well) where he encourages the followers to comment and share their opinion and actively responds to his followers. At some instances conversation is created between the participants themselves. The amount of comments generated in his feed can give you information about the topic way beyond his initial post, and that adds value to the community.
Is the holy grail of all events. If someone shares our post and recommends the event, do we really need to send them another email and ask for feedback? Some attendees write a question on the wall or address us via the message option with complains, which, I personally find much more significant than asking “from 1-5 what was your level of satisfaction”?
In the past year I have also attended many events about social media where the speakers addressed Facebook as a B2C platform and LinkedIn as B2B. I highly disagree with Facebook being only a B2C platform because behind every corporate account there is a customer, and while they might change jobs, their Facebook accounts stay the same.
It is getting harder for companies to run marketing campaigns on Facebook because Facebook constantly changes its algorithm but still it is more effective than email marketing. One of my 2015 predictions is that marketing and PR budgets will shift towards digital.
I have realised, that even though most of my blog traffic comes from Twitter, Facebook is the second most important platform for my blog because the average time spent on the blog is higher than from Twitter. I do care about the convenience my readers can access my blog content and what type of content is of most interest. And Facebook proved to be one of such ways.
Do you think that Facebook can replace email marketing for events and increase engagement?