This is a clever way of building a community around Facebook’s event platform I noticed being used by the very lovely Stoke DJ and all-round creative Lisa Wilding for her radio show.
Lisa runs a weekly show on 6 Towns Radio. She could have just had a page or group for the show, but by creating an event, her show appears on the front page of everyone she has invited while it is happening.
Tip: think of a regular gathering point – it doesn’t have to be a physical meeting.
The next thing Lisa does is to change the date of her show each week. When I’ve created an event to publicise a festival, I’ve started a new event page and invited everyone afresh. What I could have done instead was to go back to the event for the previous festival (assuming I administered it) and change all the details. This means all the people who were on the guest list for the previous event – including those who aren’t my friends – would get a notification alerting them to the change and therefore the new date.
Tip: change the date of previous events rather than creating a new event, in order to build up your guest list
Lisa also uses the wall of her event as an additional community platform for her show. Again, because she updates the event rather than deleting it or letting it languish in Facebook history, the wall remains up-to-date and fresh for any new people who join the guestlist. The conversations connect her growing community of listeners and she monitors it during to show to respond to any questions.
Tip: add the event wall to your community website and social reporting toolkit
While you can’t send messages to people who like a page or who belong to the new style of group, you can send message to people on event guestlists, except it seems if they’ve been created under a page name. A lot of people message people they’ve invited to an event to give them an extra nudge, as they can be hidden until the day itself. Messages can be targetted to those attending as well as those who have not yet responded
Tip: send messages to your guestlist, but don’t be annoying
The final point about events is that they are a great way of finding out who is organising events in your local area. People also invite the people they know, helping to build up your picture of Facebook locals.
Tip: browse events using the search bar to find and contact local leaders.
In conclusion, while Facebook’s event platform is probably a little more clunky than those built by other sites, its wide adoption for everything from the family barbecue to the festival in the park makes it an effective tool for communities, in more than just the obvious ways.