Facebook is no good for promoting events on its own

At the conference for Student Union Events Officers the other day I was asked if it’s a bad idea to promote an event solely via Facebook. I said yes, and gave a few reasons but I think it’s worth being a little more comprehensive.

As I see it, the problems are:

  • You limit yourself to people with Facebook accounts – not everyone has signed up
  • Some workplaces ban access to Facebook
  • Your info won’t be found by a Google search
  • URLs for items in Facebook are long, ugly number-stuffed things – not the sort of thing you’d want on a poster or flyer
  • You have no control over your content and can’t back it up easily. What if your profile is deleted?
  • Your group/event/page looks just like everyone elses – not excitingly creative is it?
  • Facebook isn’t futureproof. Chances are you didn’t use it a couple of years ago – chances are you won’t be using it in a couple of years time

A couple of provisos:

  • Of course I’d encourage people to use Facebook to promote their events – there are several great features to use there and, after all, you should go where the people are
  • One size doesn’t fit all – it might be perfectly sensible to promote your event solely through Facebook

However, in most cases I’d definitely advise against using it excusively. The problems listed above can all be avoided by getting your own website (blogs work well for this and have the added bonus of being free).

Published by Chris Unitt

I work at One Further, doing digital projects with cultural organisations. Follow @ChrisUnitt or find me on LinkedIn.

3 replies on “Facebook is no good for promoting events on its own”

  1. Seems that all the student officers were using email lists and Facebook exclusively. It’s probably not an issue when promoting solely to a university campus audience.

    However, via CiB I’m seeing a number of events/venues using nothing but FB to promote themselves and so hiding themselves away from any general searching.

    As for alternatives, I’d say go for a website (blog) with outposts in FB and MySpace and using events listings like Upcoming, Eventbrite and other specifically local ones (yer Live Brums, etc)

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