I consider myself somewhat of a trendsetter. I was a breakfast trailblazer of the avocado toast movement, an early fashion adopter of the now mainstream overalls style statement and was using Uber back when it was still considered a social gaffe for strangers to pick you up in their own cars. Now I’m not saying I’ve always been right about way the pop cultural trends flow. I had a small period in high school where I was absolutely certain I would be the one to discover several underground punk rock bands, but over time my expert eye for the latest and greatest has proven to give me a good idea as to what’s just around the corner.
Speaking specifically on the social media marketing front, I would like everyone to turn their attention to Facebook Events. By a show of virtual hypothetical hands, who here recently has received either a straight up notification from Facebook, or seen a pattern in their newsfeed of “friends around you” and “several of your friends” going to or interested in an event in your area in the near future? The answer should be, “everyone.” While Facebook Events has long been an awkward side feature of the social networking platform (on the original design it was called “My Parties” #LOL), FB has remodeled its algorithm on how it treats local events, changing your newsfeed to decide which events to show you, as well as when and why.
According to Wired, Facebook’s public events team has been working over the last year to figure out “the right signals to tell you about events you might be interested in, and when to send information on them to your News Feed or your Notifications.” So, if you started noticing that the beer event you went to last month, has caused other related events to show up, ding, ding, ding, that’s not a fluke. The Facebook newsfeed algorithm is essentially a breeding ground for your personal interests and, now sprouts public event curation based around your social network. The idea is that seeing that several of your friends are going to an event will prompt your fear of missing out and trigger you to join as well. “Basically, Facebook is capitalizing on FOMO, and unabashedly so.”
And with the recent release of the Facebook Events Discovery tool, there’s no reason to refresh maniacally for things to do to show up on your newsfeed. You can now search via FB for events in your area. From “suggested for you” to categories of interests like nightlife and performing arts, waiting for an invite on the couch is a thing of the past.
Which brings me to my last point. As a brand, how do you capitalize on this new Facebook Event marketing trend? Simple. Take a trendspotting cue from yours truly and get on the Event FOMO bandwagon before everyone else. It’s only a matter of time before every special shopping discount day and live music night is listed on Facebook from sea to shining sea. But for now, Facebook Events is still a relatively new movement that is just beginning to really see some traction. So if your business has a couple slow Thursdays, instead of promoting a post about specials, why not create an event and promote that instead? Facebook has a specific advertising tool just for event responses and the newsfeed virality of local events alone should be motivating enough to try something new in an effort to see results for your brand.
Trends are like parties. You don’t have to go to them all, but every once in awhile, they’re worth the effort. And when it comes to the Facebook Event marketing trend? This is a party your brand can’t afford to miss.