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Social Media Blog

    Using Facebook Events

    [fa icon="clock-o"] February 26, 2013 [fa icon="user"] Jo Shaer [fa icon="folder-open'] Facebook, Local Business Marketing

    create a facebook eventI first realised that Facebook had made some major changes to their Events function when I got an invitation actually uploaded onto my wall.

    Personally, I think it's a bit rude... but I do understand why they did it. In the past, you would receive 'notifications' in the blue navigation bar that you had been invited to an event and so had the option to click through to the actual invitation.

    Using Facebook Events As A Personal Profile

    Now, if you create an event as yourself, hosts or guests are able to share the event direct to your wall, where it can also be seen by whoever your privacy settings allow to view your wall.

    When you set up your event, you have a Privacy choice too. You can make it so that it is visible to the Public, friends of guests or Invite only.

    You can now add a big picture as an Event Photo to accompany the post. EVENTS_DROP_DOWNS

    Facebook have made it much easier to invite all your friends to an event too.

    Instead of the ridiculous scenario where you had to create your event, invite your friends and, when they accepted, make them admins of the event so they could then invite their friends, Facebook now has a conveniently situated and obvious 'Invite Friends' button which is available to anyone that you have invited - whether they have accepted or not.

    You also have a drop down menu that allows you to send messages to all the guests - this opens a joint message in the chat section of Facebook. You can create repeat events or promote your event with Facebook ads.

    share_eventThere is also the option for sharing it:

    • on your own timeline
    • your business page
    • in any relevant groups and also
    • on the timelines of your friends - hence the appearance of one on my own timeline.

    And, once it's on my timeline - where all my friends can see it - if I click the Join button, it then gives me the option to invite my friends to that event as well. Simple.

    event invitation for business

    Using Facebook Events as a business page

    There is much less functionality on the invitation itself on a Business page invite. You can only share to your own page and there is a nice big offer to promote with ads on the invitation itself (for the admin) to give you the clue.

    In the dropdown menu, you have only the option to create a repeat event, cancel, export or promote the event.

    You can only share the event to your page.

    events_tab thumbnailIn the past, just like with setting up an event for your personal profile, there was a small image which went in the left hand sidebar.

    However, it was incredibly fiddly to reproduce a coherent thumbnail of that image in the Events tab underneath the cover image of your Business Page. The new bigger picture is much more user friendly in this area in that it seems to take a small section from the centre of the bigger picture to reproduce as a thumbnail in the Events tab.

    Inviting your personal friends to your business event

    join to invite friendsHaving said that, if you do share the event to your business page, any existing fan who does visit the page will see the invitation.

    If that person clicks the Join call to action to say that they are going, they will then get the option to share it with their Facebook friends. You get the option to send it to all of them or to select individuals. If they are close friends, this will appear as a Notification. If they are just a friend, it may appear in their newsfeed but will definitely be listed in the two sidebars on the newsfeed page. The one on the left shows all the events that week - including 'Suggested Events' to which you may not have been invited. The one on the right shows events to which you have been invited or have already joined.

    So, as an admin, providing you click to Join your own event, you can then invite all your friends to that event. Facebook seem to be making it more and more difficult to keep your business contacts separate from your actual personal friends if you want to avoid paying for advertising :(

    You can also pay to Promote this status update to your fans and to their friends.

    So, what is the take home here? Well, if it's a big event, you need to pay to Promote within the newsfeeds of your fans and their friends. But it would also be a good idea to use Facebook advertising to reach people who are not connected with or aware of your business. Lollipop Local can help you to get the best return on investment for your marketing budget in this area.

    However, if you use a good picture and a title which draws the attention, you can still market to your friends and friends of friends by setting up the event as yourself or actively joining your business event even if you are an admin. But you should be aware that you do run the risk of alienating people if you persistently post business events on their personal timelines or clogging up their notifications.

    New updates April 2013: Facebook are now limiting the number of people you can invite to an event to 100 at a time and with a limit of 300 on pending invitations.

    Jo Shaer

    Written by Jo Shaer

    If you want to grow your business by getting new customers, entering new global markets or increasing your reach on social media, you need to talk to Jo Shaer. She is a real person who cares passionately about the success of your business. Someone you can trust to do the right thing, not the easy thing. From small beginnings as a part time lollipop lady designing websites in her back bedroom, she has grown Lollipop to a limited company with its own office and 4 staff. And she did it using all the techniques that she employs successfully for her clients every day.

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