If You Build It, They Might Ignore It: How to Use Facebook Events
Facebook Events are an amazing tool. Unfortunately, they aren’t always used to their full potential. If you are running an event for your business, community, or organization, here are some tips to help you get the most traction out of the event functionality on Facebook.
Don’t give away everything right off the bat
Put in the necessary details (date/time, event name, where to buy tickets, and a summary of why people should attend). If you have other announcements that might entice attendees, save them until you have some more eyes on your event.
Optimize your event cover photo
On desktop, the date and event name will be overlayed onto the bottom of your photo - don’t put any text in that spot because it will be too hard to read.
On mobile, the left & right sides of your image will be cut off - the most important details of the photo should be in the middle. Note that when someone shares your event on Facebook desktop, the photo preview for the post will be cut off the same way as on mobile.
If you are organizing the event with other individuals whom you are Facebook friends with, you can add them as co-hosts, which may mean that their friends will be more likely to see the event. If you are organizing the event with other businesses/organizations, you can add them only if you are an admin on their Facebook page. When you add a co-host, the event will show up on their page/timeline without them having to create anything.
Don’t lock down the discussion
There is an option to disable public posting on your event - don’t do this. People may have questions, or they may want to tag other people to see if they are interested in attending.
Invite your personal Facebook contacts
Don’t blanket invite everyone. Take a few minutes to go through the list and invite those that you actually think would be interested. In a perfect world, other people will start inviting their friends as well - if this doesn’t happen there is a tip below to encourage it.
Enlist your supporters/influencers
Outside of Facebook, contact those people who maybe can’t or won’t come, but who are willing to support your event. Give them the direct link to the event and ask them if they would be willing to share your event (to their business and/or personal audiences - whichever would be most appropriate) and also if they would be willing to invite their friends who may be interested. You may want to include some quick instructions for these functions as not everyone may know how to do it.
If you are running an event and the people you've invited are not Facebook savvy, you may even want to put up a post showing them how to invite their friends :)
Post interesting event updates
Once you have some people attending/interested, it’s time to start posting updates directly to your event - everyone who is attending/interested will get a notification. Now is the time to start sending out any additional information as it comes up, such as speaker/sponsor confirmations, any products that will be showcased, special venue/logistical information, contests or prizes, important deadlines, and any other relevant information that will get your potential attendees interested like articles, quotes, photos, or behind the scenes information.
This will also keep your event top of mind - nothing worse than having someone RSVP only to find out they forgot about your event and made other plans. This is very common for free or low-cost events.
Bonus Tip: never miss another Facebook event again
If you are one of those people who RSVPs ‘going’ or ‘interested’ to Facebook events and then forgets about them, you need to add your events to your regular calendar. Here is how:
- From the Facebook homepage, find Events in the left sidebar
- Click on any event that is listed
- Under the event cover image, click the three dots > Export Event
- There you will see a link like this ‘webcal://www.facebook.com…..’. Copy this link and add it to the calendar of your choice - now every event that you are invited to, you are interested in, or you are attending will show up on your calendar.