That’s not good.
If you’re using Facebook Event Invites to promote your comedy show, you’re doing it wrong.
Using Facebook Event Invites to promote your show is very definition of Interruption Marketing – you’re interrupting your potential audience (your friends) with an unsolicited promotional message (about your show) and forcing them to make a decision (in most cases, a public decision) about whether or not to take action (to RSVP). We have another term for unsolicited promotional messages like that:
And no one likes to be spammed, right?
Birthdays and Barbecues
In my opinion, Facebook Event Invites are best for birthdays and barbecues – i.e. events where its helpful to know how many people are coming beforehand so you can be prepared. But think about it: why do you need know how many people are coming to your show beforehand? Are you serving food? Will you run out of chips and salsa?
Now, I’ll admit that Facebook Event Invites are an easy and effective way to announce your show to all of your friends. They’re so ubiquitous because they’re so easy to create and send. And they make you feel like you’re promoting your show, but in reality, you’re not. At your best, you’re still just begging your friends. At your worst, you’re pissing them off. And the latter can seriously damage your reputation, your show, and ultimately your friendship.
How Event Invites Can Actually Hurt YouHere’s an example: a Facebook friend of mine (let’s call him “Gary”) is in a weekly comedy show. Same place, same time, every week. I’ve seen Gary’s show a few times. I know exactly where and when it is just in case I ever want to see it again. Yet every week, like clockwork, Gary creates and sends me (and, I assume, the rest of his friends) a Facebook Event Invite for his show.
At first, I just replied “No” to these invites. Then, I tried to ignore them altogether. But every week, I got the same invite. After a few months, I got annoyed. Finally, I clicked the little X next to the Event Invite and checked “Ignore all invites from Gary.”
This is a double fail for Gary. Since he repeatedly spammed me, not only am I never going to see his show again, but because I hid ALL of his Event Invites, I’ll also never know about any of his birthdays, barbecues, and other events that I might actually want to go to.
Don’t be like Gary. Instead, I strongly urge you to use other Facebook resources to promote your work.
A Better Way : Notes, Pages, and Groups
If it’s a one-off show, write a Note with the relevant info and post it to your profile. Notes are great because you can include more information, plus add images and formatting, links, etc. They sit passively on your News Feed and your Profile, so if someone wants to read more, they’ll click on it. It’s not spam because your audience is opting-in to receive more information.
If it’s an recurring show or group, set up a Facebook Page or Group and use your status to invite your friends (once) to like or join it. Then you can announce and promote your shows there without spamming your friends. Pages and Groups have an advantage over Notes and Event Invites because they have a wider potential audience (i.e. you don’t have to be someone’s friend to join them).
All of these methods are examples of Permission Marketing and should prove much more effective and less annoying than Event Invites.
One last thing: If I haven’t convinced you to stop using Event Invites by now and you simply must continue to use them to promote your show:
Please, for the love of God, only invite people who are in the same town as your show.
The only thing more annoying than the Unsolicited Event Invite is the Unsolicited Event Invite For a Show I Can’t Physically Be At.
What are your thoughts on Facebook Event Invites? Are they effective or annoying? Use the comments to sound off.