Facebook Events are one of the cheapest, easiest, and most powerful ways to get the word out about your show so it's always a surprise when bands under-utilize them. Here are some tips and tricks to get the most use out of your Facebook event.
When creating your Facebook event it's crucial that you use your band's Facebook Page, not your personal profile. Creating an event using your personal profile is fine and dandy for hosting a backyard BBQ or throwing a birthday party, but when you're promoting your band it only makes sense to utilize your band's Page. This makes it easier for casual fans or those just discovering your band to find out where you're playing and also helps grow your Page.
Let's say I heard about your band from a friend and wanted to see where you're playing your next show. I may head over to your Facebook page and look at your Events. If you didn't use your band's Page to create your events, I'm led to believe that you don't have any upcoming shows as shown in the image below.
Creating an event using your band's Page also automatically publishes the event to your timeline for all of your fans to see. As of writing this, Facebook has also been holding more weight to these 'event creation posts' so chances are more of your fans will see it as opposed to making a normal post announcing your show.
Years ago, every band on a bill and most likely the venue itself would all create their own Facebook events for a show resulting in a cluster of different events and invites for one show. Now through the use of 'Co-hosts' one event can be shared among multiple bands, venues, promoters, and sponsors. Each person you make a host will have editing privileges, and best of all, the event will show up on everyone's respective Pages under the Events section. Once you make an event for your show, contact the other bands as well as the venue to get their Page Manager added as a host to your event.
Additionally, one can add events to their page without becoming a host which can come in handy for sponsors that don't need editing privileges. When in your event, simply click on the Menu button (the three dots up next to the 'Invite' and 'Share' buttons), and select 'Add To Page...'
You've created your event, added an image and some pertinent info about the show, and maybe a ticket link; now it's time to spread the word. Sure you could spend a bunch of time and individually go through your friends list and invite those that might want to come to your show, but the saying goes, 'work smarter, not harder.' First off there are a few tools available as browser extensions that make selecting a large number of friends a whole lot easier. If you use Chrome you can visit the Web Store and download a great free extension here. Once the extension is added to your browser go into your event and click 'Invite' > 'Choose Friends.' On the left side of the pop-up window you'll see a few different lists (fig.*1) that Facebook offers you. It's probably best to use one of these lists to narrow down your invite list so you're not inviting friends in California to a show in Wisconsin. I typically use my 'Madison, Wisconsin' list to narrow down and just invite friends that live near Madison. As a side note, if you are feeling really proactive, you can go through your friends list and create a list of friends that are fans of your band and would come to your show. This list would then show up on this sidebar to invite. Once you have your list selected typically the 'Invite All' extension you just downloaded requires you to scroll all the way to the bottom of this list of friends. Then just simply hit the icon in your browser (fig.*2), and let the extension work its magic.
It should be noted that Facebook has been implementing a limit on the number of people you can invite during a certain timeframe. If you have a lot of invitations to send out for multiple shows, it might be best to spread out your invites or be more selective of whom you choose to invite.
Encourage your fans to 'Subscribe' to your events. When they subscribe they no longer need to be invited. They will receive a notification whenever you create a new event!
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