Facebook Events can be a huge advantage for direct sellers who plan events. Be it a party, individual appointments, opportunity events, fairs and expos, team meetings, etc, Facebook Events can provide reminders beyond the email which can ensure better attendance at your event.
I recently sat with a group of very experienced corporate direct sales folks, and demonstrated how Facebook Events could be part of the hostess coaching process. There was huge excitement in the room as they realized the potential of this simple tool.
Yet we also have to be careful not to misuse this tool. I’ve received a slew of non-applicable events, folks begging for my vote on one thing or another, etc, which can be intensely irritating, and a time waster. So today’s post is about the use…and misuse…of Facebook Events.
What Are Facebook Events?
Let’s begin at the beginning. Facebook Events are a way to invite your friends to things. I”ve written about them in this post: Are You Using Facebook Events?
When you click the Events link from the menu bar on the left side of your Facebook home page, you can access your Events home page. From here, you can see what events your friends have invited you to for the week, who has birthdays, etc. Facebook also includes upcoming event and birthday reminders in the upper-right corner of the Facebook homepage.
When Should I Use Facebook Events?
As I mentioned earlier, I believe that Facebook Events are an essential part of the hostess coaching process. While Facebook Event Invitations do not replace a voice invitation (which should always be the first invitation a guest receives), they are a perfect reminder, and also allow the hostess to invite people she may not have a phone number for. She can track who has RSVP’d for her party right on Facebook, and provide a link to the consultant’s replicated website, where guests can check out the products ahead of time, or place an order if they can’t attend.
You can also use them for any live or virtual event. An ice cream shop in my town uses them when it hosts blood drives. This is a great use, because it reminds folks who want to attend so they don’t forget to get there that day. Just make sure that when you invite folks, the event is relevant to them. Nothing is more annoying than having to take the extra time to discover that you’ve been invited to something in Tennessee when you live in North Dakota. A cardinal rule of social media is DON’T WASTE PEOPLE’S TIME!!!
The Misuse of Facebook Events
And that brings me to the misuse of Facebook Events. The credibility you build in social media is your capital there. The more respect and relevance you build, the more likely you can convert that capital into sales and recruits for your business. When people get invitations to Events that are more likely to annoy them than achieve the results that you want, then it’s not a good call.
One of these misuses is the use of Events to get votes. I’ve seen more and more folks using Facebook Events to gather votes for contests, online recognition, and the like. On one hand, I can see why people do it. Unlike a message to the inbox, which is seen once and discarded, a Facebook Event has the potential to remain around for a while, and give reminders to the person you’ve sent it to. But I have to say that this feels false to me. If we have enough of a relationship that I’d WANT to vote for you, a message to the inbox (or better yet, a phone call) will suffice. If you feel the need to resort to reminders via a feature not intended for what you’re using it for, maybe you shouldn’t be inviting that person to vote for you in the first place.
Facebook Events, when used well, can provide tremendous benefits for your business. The reminder feature can increase attendance at your events, and build awareness for your business. But don’t just use this tool without thinking. There are some times when it’s not the best tool in your arsenal, and is more likely to deplete your social capital than bring you the results you desire. Be wise, and you’ll achieve better results.
Do you use Facebook Events? What are good uses you’ve seen? Things that annoy you? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments!