Promoting Competitions Through Facebook

Billfred and I were talking earlier, and he had a really good idea for the Palmetto Regional… start an event on facebook. Now, the college facebooks events often times reach a wide variety of members at your college. People who you have no contact with will see it in the calendar, as well as through people you’ve invited to the event.

Long story short, College Facebook (http://www.facebook.com), in the right way, can be used as a powerful marketing tool. With the introduction of the new High School Facebook as well as Myspace, high school students can promote their team to the rest of the high school by posting about local events.

In this post I plan to explain a professional and effective method for college mentors that attend the university the events are hosted at to create an event that the rest of the student body can see and want to attend.

Billfred has started an event for the Palmetto Regional, and I have started one for the Florida Regional since we attend the schools the regionals are hosted at, respectively. I’d like to encourage the college mentors on the forums to try using this tool to help gain support at the actual universities, this may help the regional planning committees greatly in the future as well as find engineering mentors for local teams, etc. etc. etc.

One word of the wise though, be professional. I know that’s a pretty obvious statement, but keep in mind that this tool is powerful. You can hurt the event just as much as you can help it, so be cautious of the words you use.

I invite you to check out the Florida Regional one I setup if you’d like to use that as a template. http://ucf.facebook.com/eventprofile.php?id=3213

Some of the key things I tried to focus on were:

  1. Grab the attention of the non-FIRST audience using words explaining the competition, but without making us sound like Battlebots
  2. Keep it brief (unlike this post ;))
  3. Tell when and where it is
  4. Quickly say why this robotics competition is cool (in mine I explained the intensity of the 6 week build period)
  5. Use a good picture so they have something to see what it’s like (I used a photo of 71 from 2004, several more photos can be found at the FIRST Resource Center; http://www.usfirst.org/4vol/resourcectr/index.html)

Finally, invite all your friends on Facebook. You never know which ones of them may not know about it. Having people RSVP from the various schools around the country looks interesting too (think about it, if you saw that someone like Billfred was travelling all the way to Florida for a high school robotics competition from South Carolina, you’d think “Wow, it must be pretty cool to go that far out’ve your way for this.”) Plus, the more people that RSVP, the more popular it appears and the more non-FIRSTers may be tempted to check it out. Good luck everyone, see ya at the competitions.

And here’s the Palmetto event:

http://scarolina.facebook.com/eventprofile.php?id=1549

By the way, while I encourage everyone to invite everyone you know, please only RSVP if you’re really coming. (Making your grandmother proud and all that. :wink: )

Unfortunately, the NJ Regional outgrew the Rutgers RAC, but I still posted about the event there. I’m hoping a bunch of engineering kids will come, at least. And some of my SWE friends. :smiley:

http://rutgers.facebook.com/eventprofile.php?id=2987

Hey all!!!

I just created a global facebook group called:

FIRST Robotics!!!

so join already! :smiley:

Hopefully we’ll be able to pass along information through there…should be awesome!