Thursday, February 5, 2009

Events on Facebook - How to Promote without Annoying

There's a lot of advice going around about how to use tools like Twitter or blogging appropriately to promote your business or service. But what about Facebook? I've noticed that a large number of the emails in my FB inbox these days are from people who have invited me to events that I'm not interested in attending, giving me endless details about said events until I am ready to de-friend without another thought. So, how do you use Facebook to promote yourself without alienating the very people who are in your trusted network? Here are my suggested rules for using Facebook as a promo tool--comments welcome, as I'm still thinking this one through.

1. Limit emails around an event to two per event--one when you first invite, and one right beforehand to remind people. I am shocked at how many reminder emails I sometimes get for just one event. Not to pick on someone who will remain nameless, but I received five such reminders for one company's New Year's party. How well thought out was that strategy?

2. Follow-ups should go to attendees only. Once you've set the event, I think it's right and appropriate to send emails to all those who are invited. Following that, wait a considerable period of time, and then ONLY send reminders to people who have either indicated they are attending, or might attend. Imagine how annoying it is to have done the polite thing and indicated that you are not going to make it, only to receive several more emails reminding you of the event!

3. The event page itself should include the ability to RSVP, or it's worse than useless. I'm surprised how often I get an invite and then when I reach the Facebook page I'm told I have to RSVP at evite or somewhere else. This is a misunderstanding of the power of social networks, which is that you can have people post their attendance on their profile, thus increasing the virality of the event. And why should I be forced into an extra step? It's an automatic turnoff.

4. OK this should be obvious but is not always--remember to always put in all the key details onto the event page, as well as in the invite and reminder emails.

Thoughts? Comments? I'm open.

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