By Jody Long With over 1.11 billion users as of March 2013, Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform (source: Facebook, Jan. 1, 2014). To give you an idea of how big Facebook is, the same source indicated that 48% of users between the age of 18 and 34, check Facebook when they wake up. If you’re looking to reach more customers this year and social media is in your plan, start with Facebook. By creating an event here, or simply by advertising an event on your Facebook page, you can easily promote and gain new attendees. To learn more about creating an event, check out this website on Facebook to help you get started: https://www.facebook.com/help/131325477007622/ Whether you’re creating your event on Facebook, or using this platform to help drive traffic to your registration website, here are a few tips to keep in mind when using Facebook. · Use the 80/20 rule: 80% of your posts should start a conversation. Some examples are posting hints, tips, or tricks. 20% of your posts should be about business, sell but avoid “buy now”. · Don’t ask questions that require long answers, posts things that require short answers, like “fill in the blank”. Example: “The best part of last week’s event was ____.” · Combine pictures with texts. Be sure to post pictures of your event immediately following. · If you’re interested in reaching a broader audience, and paying a small fee for advertising, think about Facebook Ads. Start small, and be sure to see what the feedback on the ad was before continuing. · Ask customers to “check in” at your place of business or event. This could be the start for a promotion, and a way to drive attendance to your event. · Consider using hashtags for your upcoming event. You can create your own by using your company name, or looking to see if the event already has a hashtag associated with it. · Check who your fans are, and create your content accordingly. To do this, go to the “Admin Panel” of your Facebook page. · Although you can use Facebook Events to promote an event that has a separate website for registration, don’t confuse your customers. Be sure to clearly let them know exactly where to register. · Allow customers to post on the event wall, this will encourage conversations between attendees and also allow registrants to ask questions. · Create excitement through your Facebook page and posts…countdown the number of days until the event, or post pictures of you getting ready for the event.