Whether it’s an open house or a pool party, your apartment community should be sharing events on Facebook. As the largest social network, the average Facebook user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events. From community parties to lease-up events, Facebook is a good place to start sharing events with your residents and prospects online. In fact, property management companies that leverage social media have found that it helps them connect with residents and prospects in ways they couldn’t before.
Every event takes planning and organization. Developing a Facebook strategy beforehand can save you time and energy. Start by choosing the right person for the job. Who is your team’s most socially active person? Who has the most number of friends, residents, vendors and local connections on Facebook?
Select the right date and time for the event and give yourself at least a month to prepare and spread the news. Facebook currently does not have a solution for recurring events. If your community has a regular monthly event, create one each month. For example: December Resident Pizza Night or January Movie Madness.
Start promoting the event days prior to creating the event on Facebook to generate buzz. Update your page status with comments like “We’re so excited about sharing the upcoming announcement!”
This is the easiest part! Log in to your Facebook profile, and click the “See All” link under the Events tab. Then, click on the “+Create an Event” button on the top right corner of the screen.
Enter the when, what, and where information. Consider a catchy event title and use an interesting photo to attract attention, perhaps use a photo from a similar community event. Hint: Photos of people tend to be more inviting and receive a better response.
There are several ways to share invitations on Facebook. The first is to invite your own friends. Remember, your community event is local. Be selective in your invitations and only share the event with local persons or those willing to travel.
The second sharing option is to copy and paste email addresses from your email database. This is especially helpful when inviting people you may not be connected with on Facebook.
The third way to share the event with others is to post it to your profile. Once a week should be a good start.
Other ideas for promoting your event:
- Purchase Facebook Social Ads
- Ask vendors to help you spread the word via Facebook and Twitter
- Post flyers around the community and at local businesses
- Share the link within your email signatures
- Update your property management blog or website with a link to the event
- Have a random drawing at the event from the RSVP list (must be present to win)
- Change your profile picture to one that reminds friends/fans of the event.
When sharing invitations on Facebook add an exciting personal message. Share event details such as contests, drawings and activities. Ask for an RSVP so you can plan for the right amount of food or number of chairs.
Here are a few additional ways to engage:
- Ask attendees to share the event with their neighbors, family and friends
- Ask for volunteers to help set up the event
- Post updates on the event page
- Send out reminders as the event approaches
- Monitor your event page daily
In the case of an event that requires ticket sales, Facebook events does not offer a solution. Eventbrite seems to be the most popular Facebook event tool for ticket sales. If your community is hosting a charity event, Eventbrite is a good option.