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Thoughts from Cuckoo HQ
May 13

Facebook Marketing for Events: Has It Become White Noise?

In what is the first Guest Post on Cuckoo.ie, Will Meara from DIT Student's Union looks at Facebook marketing for events and asks whether there's simply too much of it now.

This is the first guest post on cuckoo.ie and we're hoping it's the first of many.
To kick things off, Will Meara from DIT Students' Union looks at Facebook marketing for events and asks whether there's simply too much of it now, rendering individual ones useless.
William Meara - Vice President for Events, Lord of the Bants and Minister for Craic at DIT Students' Union, currently entering his second term in office. William has a first class honours in Mechanical Engineering from DIT Bolton Street and has envisioned building a profile for DIT Students' Union Entertainment that would stand the test of time, leaving a legacy for those who come after him. Constantly investigating new promotional methods and investing in his passion, event management, he found himself consumed by the industry and strives to research and follow this path. Check out Will's LinkedIn


So About That Facebook Marketing For Events Thing

Nobody will argue with you if you say
"Social Media has affected how we interact with each other on a large-scale to the level whereby it may be impossible to reverse."
Never before has it been easier to identify a target market, get your message across and deliver it in a fun/proactive way all from the comfort of your laptop. No more fliers, public addresses, flash mobs and the usual energetic campaigns. 
This all sounds fantastic but the obvious problem occurs. If it's so easy can't everyone do it? Yes! And that is where the problem lies. From Kate's birthday to Electric Picnic, there is an event for everything. Many simply use event pages as a method of reminding people to vote for them in a competition, warn them about suspicious activity in their area and other bizarre messages. The idea here is that the value and appreciation associated with so many invite notifications often means they are completely ignored and more often than not, ruin your brand image.

So what's the solution?

Firstly, I think staying ahead of the curve in the technological doldrums can often help. Looking to find new ways of reaching your target market before every one else does. So developing an app, integrating your website to others that are trending: FB, Stumbleupon, tumbler and many more.
Secondly, back to basics. Nothing beats word of mouth in a tight-knit community. This can be seen very effectively in small towns where word of mouth is nearly the primary method of promoting events. Whether it be a small pub or a trad band, everyone knows whats going on but no advertising anywhere. Dunmanway, West Cork, Co. Cork is a prime example of this. Approximate population of a little over 2,000 people, almost 10% of the students in DIT, yet it has 22 licensed premises, an active night life, and a night club that people travel from the hills to come into, all by word of mouth. After spending a summer here, it was obvious that if it isn't broken, don't fix it.

It's so easy to get your message out there but very difficult to get it heard, like screaming for your team at a rugby match. No one's really listening to you among the million other people doing the same thing. the idea is that you have to be relevant and get your message across fast. You literally have seconds to engage a person, that's even less than it used to be. Don’t waste any time talking about your company at the start. Instead, jump right to what you've determined to be the most painful and costly problem for the person with whom you’re speaking. Then follow with a strong example of how you helped another company with that same problem, and be sure, when possible, to back that up with a euro value reflecting cost savings or revenue increases. For events it's even easier, simply hit 'em with the biggest Unique Selling Points (USP's) first. Simple.

Lastly, there is an impression associated with those who send out event invites in FB, spammers, promoters, the generators of white noise. Many are aware of this and hide their spamming antics through clever FB status updates. Instead of giving the hard sell of a certain event, promoters and their watch dogs make simple status' like "Gimme a shout before 8pm if you're buzzing into D2 tonight", the same message but very socially friendly. This is done to preserve their social ranking, protect brand image and definitely worth taking on board.
We here in DITSU Ents are constantly looking and new and innovative ways to get our message out to the students in DIT. This year in particular, we're hoping to relax on FB invites and posters and trying more creative ways to advertise our events.
Keep an eye out on www.ditsu.ie.
Do you agree with Will?
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