Friday, December 9, 2016

12 Tips to Make Facebook Events Successful for Your Library

Lisa Waite Bunker, the Social Media Librarian from Pima County Public Library, posted a great Facebook post about how Facebook Events have worked for her library. With her permission, we're sharing her post below. We hope her stats will convince you to use Facebook Events, and the tips at the end will help you get started!

Without further ado, here's Lisa's post:

I knew FB events were pretty successful, but now I have numbers!

Our stats in context:
  • no ads or boosts
  • almost 10,000 Likes on the primary page, 26 branch pages are much smaller

Over a sample period of 5 months, we entered 134 events on Facebook, and had 160,307 reach (awareness, or the number of individuals who saw the event in their newsfeed).

For example, events that were widely shared (by people, bloggers, other pages) the reach could go as high as 7,952 (a career day for teens, co-sponsored by the university). Some events have gone even higher.

Average event reach per month: 32,061. Extrapolated over 12 months that would be event reach of 384,736 people per year.

Events have always been possible on Facebook, but in late 2015* they became much more effective, more discoverable. As a result I’ve been encouraging staff to enter more events, and going in after to add the primary system page as a co-host, which vastly increased the exposure beyond the branch’s page. The rumor is that FB will add a new events app, in an attempt to compete with Eventbrite and Meetup.

If you go into your Insights, you can see your own stats on the “Events” tab.

I hope your takeaway is that you want to add more events!

Some other things to keep in mind

  • Facebook launched a brand new Events app that appears to be direct competition with If this is like other new additions they will incentivize event creation. 
Example of the new Facebook App from Pima County Public Library

Facebook's advertisement of the new Event App
  • Events can be saved as drafts, and scheduled.
  • Your following can subscribe to your page’s events. I notice that a lot of bloggers have done this.
  • Events can also be easily duplicated if they are a series.
  • You will need a good image for the banner.
  • Be sure you check the box for “free” and/or “family-friendly” when applicable.
  • If the event requires registration I highly recommend you add that in the event name. People assume that if they say they are going on FB that we know they’ll be there.
  • Once you create an event you can invite personal friends. (Don’t spam them tho!)
  • Everyone who is invited, or indicates interest, will get all event updates regardless of Facebook’s algorithm.
  • Facebook *automatically* sends an event reminder the day of the event.
  • If a programming partner creates a FB event for an event you are co-hosting you can easily add that event to the branch’s calendar without asking for access to their page.
  • I don’t recommend adding A WHOLE BUNCH of events, just the ones you really want to promote; also, it gets spammy.

Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your wisdom on the 5 Minute Librarian. We hear you are working on a chapter about social media for a book that'll be coming out soon. We look forward to it!

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