Sep 11

You Can’t Leave Facebook Out of the Conversation

In today’s world, your brand can’t skip social media. Especially when it comes to event promotions.

This year, the City of Kentwood is celebrating a major milestone. The City is a half-century old and, after more than 18 months of planning, scheduled a year-long series of celebrations. Each event targeted different audiences, and we had to think strategically about how to use social media.

For all these events, we focused our social media time and resources on Facebook. There are a few reasons why: The City has been using Facebook as our primary social media platform, so we already had a following. Secondly, we felt most of our audience relies on Facebook for news and updates. And third, we had access to inexpensive tools to boost posts beyond our current fan base.

The goal was to promote the various events, and also gain more followers to the City’s page. We used several tactics:

  • A mix of photo and videos
  • Tagging partners
  • Paid ads
  • Live streaming

Paid Advertising

We did small, boosted posts and advertisements for specific events. For example, Kentwood’s Got Talent held auditions in March. We wanted to encourage as many people as possible to sign up to audition, which would deliver all kinds of talents.

We first ran an advertisement in January calling for performers to audition. We boosted the post for $100 over 20 days. The ad garnered more than 1,600 engagements and nearly 30,000 impressions. We attracted a wide array of talent, making a very difficult decision for the judges to select only 10 – and a very effective spend to promote a first-time competition. Every single contestant indicated they learned about the talent competition from the ad or someone they knew who saw the ad.

With the boosted post, we were able to be a part of the conversation happening around the auditions. Some people asked questions, others simply left comments. Either way, it gave us the ability to connect directly with the audience – something we would have otherwise missed had we used traditional media.

Visual Appeals

Photos and videos are not new to Facebook, but how people and businesses are using them is constantly evolving. We searched for eye-catching visuals to use to draw attention to our posts. Enter Boomerang.

If you don’t know about Boomerang, it’s an app that creates a one-second video loop. It’s quick and repetitive, which makes it easy to grab the attention of someone scrolling through the Newsfeed. When using Boomerang, select a visual that has big movements, such as jumping, running or throwing something.

Asking the Right Questions

Knowing what to ask can make all the difference when it comes to writing engaging content for social media. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Try phrasing the question in a different way. Instead of “What’s your favorite 80s song?” try “If you were stranded on a desert island with only one 80s CD, what would it be?” Try to interact with your audience on a more personal level. It’s important to remember these platforms not only give you the opportunity to speak TO your audience, you can speak WITH your audience.

We decided to ask 80’s trivia questions to promote the band Mega 80s. Rather than just pushing the event, we asked pop-culture questions throughout the week, offering a prize to a randomly selected winner who answered correctly. Three posts averaged a reach of nearly 10,000 and more than 300 engagements.

Another week, we went shopping at Woodland Mall with Kentwood’s Got Talent contestants. The mall sponsored the talent competition, so we took photos of contestants selecting their ensembles and asked followers to weigh in. It surprised us how many people took interest in choosing clothing choices! One post alone reached more than 1,400 people and had 400 engagements.

There are a few different ways you can engage with your audience and encourage feedback. Check out the polling option, where voting requires only one click.

You can also do like we did and just ask “What’s your favorite?”

We were also excited to hit a new goal for the City, marking our 2,000th follower on the page, with help of these tactics.

Why We Love Facebook

Facebook is great place to be a little less formal and have a little fun with your followers. Think of what YOU want to see when scrolling through your feed and what grabs YOUR attention.

Instead of using Facebook to push information, think of it as a chance to build that relationship with your customers or residents. This is your opportunity to build a relationship between your followers and your brand. Use their time – and yours – wisely.


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