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Facebook Pages Are One Type of Online Community

How to Advertise the Online Community’s Offline Classes

Advertise your classes on all your online community pages and create a Facebook event page specifically to invite members of your Facebook community to attend. Use a Facebook event invitation to spread the word among members of your online community. Ideally, the invitation will trickle down to some potential members as well.

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Even if most of your community members live in other towns, sending a Facebook event invitation accomplishes several goals:

  • It gets the word out to all community members. Even members who can’t attend may have friends or family members in your area who can attend, and they can share the invitation with those people.

  • The invitation appears in your members’ Facebook streams. Nonmembers may see it and become intrigued enough to want to investigate.

  • When you make the invitation public, nonmembers may come upon it in a search and come to the class.

Many of your potential members aren’t hanging around online, of course, which is why you need to create offline events. And if they’re not online, they won’t know about your classes if you’re advertising only on Facebook. Sometimes you have to go offline with your promotional efforts as well. Here are a few examples:

  • Place ads in local newspapers and magazines.

  • Post flyers on community bulletin boards.

  • Advertise at the place where the class is being held.

People like free things. If you announce a free event in the neighborhood, folks will come to it. If you have classes on a regular basis, word of mouth spreads, and more people show up for every event.

Your classes should be 99 percent about education and 1 percent about promotion. Though the speaker or instructor won’t be giving a sales pitch every few minutes, the brand logo should be apparent on signage, staff T-shirts, or handouts. Attendees shouldn’t have any doubt who’s sponsoring the class.

At the end of the class, you or the teacher can tell attendees where they can go online to find out more. Don’t forget to talk about your website and your community and invite everyone to join. Print some literature with your community’s URLs listed and distribute it.

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