The power of Facebook Events
Of the many forms of promotion you can use to get your show out there to the masses, free opportunities will always give you the most value for money. It’s obvious why; even a single ticket sale is a positive result.
Facebook offers amazing marketing tools and opportunities, but a lot of people forget about the free methods or don’t use them to their full potential. Facebook Events are a great place to start. Here’s how you should do it:
Every Facebook Event that you create has the ability to be shared and presents you an opportunity to invite all your friends. Head over to the event you want to promote and look for the share button. If you click the share button, you’ll get the option to invite all friends as below.
Why invite all your friends?
Clicking the Invite Friends button brings up a second dialogue box that allows you to select exactly which of your friends to invite. Here’s where most people come unstuck. They go through their friends list and they select all the people they think may be interested in the event. They broadly eliminate the majority of their friends because:
- They are not in the location of the event or live outside the UK
- They think they won’t like that kind of event
- They think their friend will take offense at being invited
- They think they are spamming their friends
Let’s set straight, many of these misconceptions. Firstly, Facebook is a social network. The whole point of social networks is to socialise, which is no different to say, going to your local pub with friends. If you went to the pub with your friend and you were discussing your lives and what’s happening in them, you’d likely mention that you are going to a show later in the week. Yet, you wouldn’t expect your friend to take offense or feel like they are being spammed. It’s a misconception that your friends will take offense to your event invites. At worst, they will just ignore them.
What does Facebook do with my invitations?
But here’s the clever bit – Facebook does lots of cool things with your event invites. Obviously Facebook puts your event directly in front of your friend, but it also does this again, nearer the time of the event, so really it’s giving you a second invite to bolster your audience numbers. Another thing it does is it adds the event to your friends news feed which is shown to their friends. For example, one of your friends might click the “interested” button and their friends will potentially see that action, which means you just reached a friend of a friend that you couldn’t reach before.
Even if the friend you are inviting lives on the other side of the world, chances are, that friend has connections around your area (they’re connected to you, right?). There’s every chance that your friend on the other side of the world might think, “Oh, I am not interested in this event, but Susie might love it! I’ll send her an invite.”
Finally, it’s also entirely possible that your invite might provoke some discussion offline which is a great thing. Pub anyone?
But here is the real reason you want to literally invite all your friends to your events… If you have a ten piece band and each band member has around 300 Facebook friends, that’s a 3,000 strong audience you can reach without spending a penny on marketing and promotion! More to the point, this entire audience is already connected to you, your band or one of your band members. They’re effectively a pre-qualified audience that you already have a relationship with!
Here’s how you complete the process:
In the pop up dialog box, simply select All Friends under the Suggested heading, click Select All and then click Send Invitations. Job done.
Seriously, why wouldn’t you?
So what about those who don’t want to spam their friends? Well, it’s worth considering how your friends and indeed Facebook itself handles those instances. Firstly, if your friends are going to react negatively, the most likely thing they will do is simply ignore your invite. Nothing lost. The second most likely thing they will do is click the option to not receive any more of your invites and that is a very cool thing. Why? Because from now on, you cannot possibly spam your friend again and you have nothing to worry about. A friend that actively blocks your invites is never going to buy a ticket to see your show so again, nothing lost.
The absolute worst case scenario you might run into is, your friend sends you a message back telling you that you’re spamming them. If this happens, just be friendly right back to them and even apologise. Maybe also explain that you only invited them to try and spread the word far and wide, because you really want your event to work. Then, simply advise them that they can easily block your events if they like. Not much lost.