Facebook has finally launched the suggested events feature after extensive testing. It now replaces the friends’ events tab under the homepage’s events bookmark with suggested events, which mines data from users’ previous check-ins and combines that with events that friends are attending and events hosted by pages that users have liked.
This means two things for businesses – first, all of your company’s events from ribbon cuttings to networking events sponsored by your company should be added as Facebook events. This is by no means advice to invite every contact you have to these events, rather the few that you know will show up. Invitations to a happy hour in Dallas that go out to Sacramento are obnoxious, don’t do that.
Secondly (and more importantly), Facebook’s suggested events features means that companies need to do a better job of encouraging event attendees to actually check in to the events held which helps to organically insert company events into others’ social graphs. If your marketing director, Jared checks in to every happy hour you sponsor, every conference your booth is at, every appreciation party you throw, every open house or ribbon cutting, the chances of your company being a suggested feature in his social graph improves.
If consumers attend your event, hand them a business card at the registration table explaining how to check in to your event on Facebook (tip: give shortened URLs which are much easier to type into a smartphone, and a QR code still requires explanation and another business card to give instructions – keep it simple).
Observing the customs and cultures of Facebook by not spamming yet being present and using the tools at your disposal, your chances of branding for free are considerably higher.