The Case For Joining Events On Facebook (Even When You Won’t Actually Go)

Facebook event page

I market a lot of events through Facebook, both for my clients and my personal passion (promoting local, original live music). Promoters and event planners frequently complain that many of the people who say they are “going” will not actually show up, and this is true. However, if you want to increase the chances an event will succeed, whether or not you will actually go, you should always click “Join”.

There are a few reasons for this, but the overarching idea is that by joining an event, more people will see the event:

  1. Facebook’s “Events For You” list (formerly “Suggested Events”) is made up mainly of events your friends have joined.
  2. When you join an event, some of your friends will see the “…is going to an event,” post in their timeline, especially if other mutual friends join it.
  3. Once you join an event, you can post on the event page. Any posts you make there can show up in your friends’ timelines.
  4. If the host decides on a paid Facebook advertising campaign to promote the event, they can use targeting to reach your friends (and the friends of others who have joined) if they choose.

We are all aware how hard it is to cut through the noise on Facebook. When you join an event, you make it a little easier for that event to get seen (and hopefully noticed). It is much more than a symbolic show of support.

By extending the reach of a given event, you’re helping get the word out with no more than a click. Call it slacktivism if you must, but it does help. If you aren’t joining because you don’t want annoying notifications, you can quickly turn them off by using the ellipses button to your right.

Stopping notifications on Facebook eventsThe other reason for joining events you support–putting Facebook’s algorithms aside for a moment–is to get the number of guests up. No one likes to hang out at an empty party, and if it looks like no one is going to an event, you might scare people away. Large numbers of guests can also give the impression that the event is “can’t miss” in a way clever ad copy can’t.

There’s much more to marketing events through Facebook, of course, but we’ll cover that on the blog in the near future.