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Social Media Advice Crush: How to Make Facebook Events Not Entirely Useless

June 10, 2010

It’s true. I’ve decided to make my triumphant return to the dangerous and unsightly world of music blogging by doing what I do best: virulently complaining.

Listen, folks. Like most young’uns, I rely very heavily on Facebook events as a source of information about where the hell I’m expected to be on any given night. Sometimes, as in the past few months, I find great joy in excessive use of the delightful “Remove This Event” option. Sometimes, however, I take care to look through the events, decide which ones I actually care about going to, and add them to my Google calendar, which apparently you can do automatically now but given the complexity of my personal organization system this probably won’t work for me.

Facebook events for shows are rendered completely useless in a few different ways. Here are a few things you can do to ensure that your Facebook event doesn’t sink into the dark, smelly morass of total irrelevance:

1. Create only one Facebook event per, well, event.
I don’t care what it takes. Friend people in the other bands, even if you don’t know them that well (also a great way to network, what a world!), have one person start the event, and then, as people from other bands RSVP, make them admins on the event. This will consolidate your attendees, and make your show look more exciting because OMFG you have suddenly extended your invite list to some entirely new people, and instead of having one event with 5 RSVPs and one with, oh, I don’t know, 15, now you can you can have ALL 20 PEOPLE. And everyone will see that your show is clearly going to be the most fun show in all the land.

It’s especially irritating to receive duplicate invitations from people who are in the same social circles. You’re all up in each other’s status updates and links and whatnot hoo-hah’s anyway—take a minute to actually use your Facebook friendship for good!

2. Include ALL the band names in the title of the event, or at least make it inclusive.
This ties into number 1. People from all of the bands will be comfortable promoting an event that includes them in the name. Even if it’s your CD release, people will appreciate the more communal approach. Or, at the very least, try and make the event title sound interesting enough for people to actually read the content of your event…which leads to me to…

3. Put some small effort into actually creating content for your event.
Link to all of the bands’ websites. Note set order. Give set time estimates if you’re really super nice. Include the address for the venue, and a link. Try to describe what kind of night it’s going to be. How much of my hard-earned money can I expect to give the surly hipster asshat at the door? Are there going to be irritating little rugrats running around ruining my buzz? An added bonus: if you ask someone to blog about your show, having this kind of information consolidated in an easily accessible event makes it a hell of a lot easier to write about. You’ve done most of my work for me, and that will make want to write REALLY nice things.

Generally, the more specific and better the promotional content you create for a given show, the easier it is to cover. This sounds completely fucking obvious, and it is. Given the dominance that Facebook has in guiding our social lives both on and offline, Facebook events should be treated (however grudgingly) with the same respect and attention you’d use for your own website. (Not having a band website, by the way, is inexcusable in this age of free-blogs-for-everyone, easy CSS editing tools, and inexpensive domain name ownership—and FUCK NO, MySpace does NOT count—my God I could write a whole other post on this issue, stopping now.)

The moral of this story is this: stop half-assing Facebook events. I know that we’re all flooded with them and want them to die, but they’re not going to. They’re only going to get more prevalent. Let’s at least turn them into something we can use.

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From → sophie

2 Comments
  1. Agreed on all counts. Though I often violate rule number 1 because of rule number 2. I have some sympathy as our name is unwieldy to put in an FB Event title and they limit the number of characters you're allowed to use- but I'm not going to send something to all of my "friends" unless it's obvious what it is.

  2. Although I do still use them to send, I absolutely never even look at events I am invited to. I get about 150 a day. Instead, if I see others attending an event in my feed, sometimes I respond then. I don't know how this is relevant to anything you've said. In fact, I know it isn't.

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