Facebook Event Spam: Please, Please Stop!


Facebook Events is a function on Facebook where you can create an invitation to an event, then share that invitation with your entire network. Sounds innocent enough until people with no consideration step into the scene and turn it into a spam-fest.

Here is what’s happening:

People create events on Facebook- a common example would be for a teleseminar. They invite everyone on their list and those invited get the chance to RSVP that Yes, No, or Maybe they’ll attend.

The event organizer now has the ability to segment the messages they send out based on how people RSVP.

However, there is one very tempting option and that is the option to message ALL invitees, whether they RSVP’d or not.

The Problem With Facebook Event Messages

People are using that messaging ALL  function to spam the daylights out of their contacts with reminders, follow ups, more reminders, more follow ups, and heck, why not one more reminder? You know, just in case someone missed the other 30 you already sent out.

It’s getting real old, real fast kiddies. So if you’re on Facebook and using Events, you’ll nurture your network and keep those great relationships you worked so hard for if you follow these simple tips:

1. Send a message to the people who RSVP’d “yes” to thank them and also to confirm that they have the details of the event. You don’t need to remind them 3 times a day for a week… I bet they’ll appreciate the light touch.

2. Send a message to your “maybe” replies. If it’s a virtual event, just let them know that even if they can’t make the Facebook event, they can still get signed up, then give them the link to your sign up page. But don’t pester them or they’ll turn that “maybe” into a “get out of my face” real fast.

3. Send one nudge to your “have not yet replied” list. This will house 95% of your invitees. Chances are your event invite got buried in their inbox. Send ONE courteous heads up with a subject line that will get them to take action. Please re-read that last sentence.

4. Don’t message “All”. This is the mistake people are making, not realizing that they’re bombarding their contacts with unnecessary messages. These are considered spam by many, and you don’t want to be perceived as annoying… that’s not really a client attraction tool is it?

In my next post, I’m actually going to share with you a really stupid mistake I made that broke Rule #4. Ironic isn’t it that I had just presented on this very topic and lo and behold I goofed. But I’ll also show you how I recovered and got a big thumbs up from people in my network.

Until then, what do you think of Facebook event spam? Getting lots of it? Are you taking any action? Do share… we all want to know!


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About Nancy Marmolejo

I teach entrepreneurs who want to change the world how to reach more people, more effectively, in less time. I'll challenge you, encourage you, and reflect back what an amazing gift you have to share with the world. Occasionally I'm sassy and make very un-evolved references amidst deep spiritual insights. Stick with me... it's always an exciting ride!

  • elevatingyourbusines

    I don't like getting a message if I'm a no or maybe. That's spam, too. Give me a break

    • http://www.VivaVisibilityBlog.com NancyMarmolejo

      If you say MAYBE then you're undecided. If I'm throwing a party and you say "maybe" and I'm cooking up food, I need to know if you're coming or not. Helps me plan. In this context, a MAYBE changed to a yes or no will take you out of RSVP limbo and either take you off the event or not.And I never said to message people who said NO, in fact I don't even think that's possible as a single option.:-)

  • elevatingyourbusines

    Since when does maybe mean email me and no means yes? Not in my book. That's spam, too.

  • leah_DefytheBox

    This is good advice! I do my best not to spam people….I sometimes wonder if I should even invite my entire friend list to events. Any advice on how to determine who gets invited and who does not?

  • http://www.clientabundance.com/ Alicia

    Great post, Nancy. It's gotten so bad that I rarely check my FB inbox or scroll that far down where events are listedanymore, which essentially means I'm ignoring ALL invitations now.My other pet peeve? Being tagged in notes when there's no direct mention of me… Cheers,~ A

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  • http://twitter.com/IreneKoehler Irene Koehler

    Well said, Nancy! I hope others take your words to heart when managing events. While this is rampant on Facebook, I'd say this advice applies to any online events, including on MeetUp , Evite, etc.

  • http://ceospacelavalley.com/ Rebecca Olkowski

    I think there should be no such thing as MAYBE. It's flaky to begin with. You are either interested in coming or you are not. There is nothing wrong with sending a reminder to the no's if you only do it once or twice. Most events get buried in Facebook and you can't find them. If someone confirms you as a friend, they should assume that you might send them an invitation. If they don't want to hear from you, why would they be your friend in the first place.

  • http://twitter.com/DeniseWakeman Denise Wakeman

    I follow this model: the "no response" people get one reminder and info on how to get off the list; the "maybes" get one reminder and info on how to say no; the "yeses" get 1-2 reminders that they actually have to register to be able to attend. I always include the status of the person's RSVP so they know why I'm sending the note.Great post, Nancy, as usual.

    • http://www.VivaVisibilityBlog.com NancyMarmolejo

      Thanks Denise for your comment, you're absolutely one who does it beautifully. It's about finding the balance… how to get solutions to people without badgering them. thanks for stopping by and adding in your additional tips!:-)

    • http://twitter.com/cindyearl cindyearl

      Great post Nancy. Everyone should use Denise's model. It's much more effective!

  • dianadrakelong

    Hi Nancy,Thanks for another really great article & tips. I agree w a previous comment that was posted here, there are so many of these invitations now that its hard to wade thru it all, I usually just let them go without responding as that's time consuming,too :)

    • http://www.VivaVisibilityBlog.com NancyMarmolejo

      It's sad that so many great events are going the wayside because of overkill. It also encourages people to find other ways to connect and nurture their followers.thanks for sharing!

      • http://www.jmoadmin.com/ Jacki

        Nancy,Great post, I also just delete all that I get in my inbox, hit ignore or just leave them alone. It has been an overkill with events, that I don't have time to deal with all that information. I think instead of maybe it should be ignore.Great post thanks Nancy.

        • http://www.VivaVisibilityBlog.com NancyMarmolejo

          There are definite benefits to RSVPing your event invites, there are some people who make it a point to RSVP each one because it does put you in the feed and on people's radar screens. But yes, every now and then you just gotta hit ignore all and get on with life. Put your sanity first and your social media visibility second!

  • http://www.caradviceforwomen.com/ Susan Winlaw

    Thanks for those words of advice Nancy. The amount of email we receive daily is simply staggering and I have had to remove myself from many wonderful things simply because I cannot read it all. I know I am missing great events, but I have to get work done daily as well as wading through the reminders and other messages. What I would really like to see is the date and time listed in the subject line of the reply after signing up for a seminar. It would make life simpler when I am trying to locate the reference I need to phone or connect to the event. May you all have a wonder-filled life. S>

    • http://www.VivaVisibilityBlog.com NancyMarmolejo

      I think we're giving Facebook a whole lotta feedback, let's see if they're listening.!

  • bettenovak

    Thank you for giving this advice. I just starte my Facebook and planned to place announcements of my teleclasses and other events etc. I planned to use "soft marketing", but I will keep these 4 steps available as I develop and use my Facebook account to keep in touch with others and share coaching tips. Looking forward to learning more so that I don't infringe on people and that I can create some social network visibility for my coaching business.

    • http://www.VivaVisibilityBlog.com NancyMarmolejo

      Bette, glad these tips are helping you get a strong start! I love soft marketing, it's what this is all about.

  • http://www.WriteYourBrainsOut.com/ Libbe

    I never read Facebook events listings, as I limit my teleseminars, etc. to those coming from people I already know of and respect. It's easy to get off track with too much info that "wobbles." Stick with known, proven providers of excellent content and delete the rest. (I've actually eliminated people from my Friends list for sending too much FBSpam.)

    • http://www.VivaVisibilityBlog.com NancyMarmolejo

      Libbe, you may be "wowed" by a newcomer so hopefully you'll stay open to that! I don't think people realize how annoying they're being, but now that we're discussing it openly, there are less excuses to be tolerated. :-)

  • http://www.indiebusinessblog.com Donna Maria Coles Jo

    Glad you posted this. It's much needed. When a business owner spams, they are simply mistaking laziness for efficiency. And it shows.

    I took action. I disconnected from nearly 1,000 people on FaceBook because it was just getting to be too much. I was not able to keep up with my closest friends and relatives so I just ended it all. I now communicate with business people through other channels that I have reserved specifically for business: Twitter, my social network, my FaceBook fan page, LinkedIn, my blog and a few other places. I'm much happier actually *communicating* with my friends and family members on my personal FaceBook page, and I can run my business more efficiently using the business tools designed for that. Thanks again for this frank and helpful post. I hope people take it to heart.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JanetHilts Janet Hilts

    Thanks for the specific guidelines, Nancy. I've been exasperated by this and cringe at the thought of being The Exasperator myself. I'm grateful for your tips.

  • http://www.catchthedreamexpress.com/ Maria Mar

    Hi, Nancy,Once again, you have your finger right on the pulse of Social Media. My email has THOUSANDS of unopened FB emails. I used to be able to delete them every day, but as I get more busy, and they keep increasing, it's becoming increasingly difficult to manage this barrage of event invitations and other emails. The thing is that most of them are people who are only FB acquaintances, not friends. What I mean is that I don't really know them. They have not become part of my world because they never stop by to say hi, never give me feedback on updates or notes. Never answer tags. So they have not earn my trust or loyalty. That's why they are annoying, see? Those people with whom I have a relationship do not annoy me when they send something, because I appreciate their presence in my life. They answer my tags in notes and get involved in a dialogue. They take a minute to give me feedback in my updates, so that I know that I am impacting them positively. They sometimes even visit my blog and leave comments. These are the emails I open. These are the events I attend. These are the people I give priority to. The rest annoy me. They are indiscriminate. My thoughts about them are that if they do not know how to cultivate relationships sincerely and all they want is to spam, what could they possibly have to teach me? People who play the number games and ignore the quality of encounters remind me of overeaters. One of the things I've learn about overeating is that you it's about hunger and fear, not desire. You eat, but you don't really taste or enjoy your food. These people go after everyone, but do not really appreciate anyone.Thanks,Maria MarThe Dream Alchemist

    • http://www.VivaVisibilityBlog.com NancyMarmolejo

      I just deleted 8 event messages from the same duo who are promoting a high profile event… and the subject was on an uplifting topic. I didn't feel too uplifted with all their messages!!Thanks for bringing your artist insight to this too, Maria. Always appreciate your comments. :-)

  • Anonymous

    Great post Nancy! It's great to support the topic of Facebook ettiquette, and your suggestions were very helpful. I have implemented prett much everything you mentioned & it seems to work well. I am so conscious of not wanting to be seen as THAT person on FB that is constantly messaging as it definitely feels like Spam & I find it mind numbing to see messages from the same peeps almost everyday. It starts to feel like white noise & then I don't pay attention to what they're sharing, which of douse means that they're use of FB as a social media tool is not working for them. So err on the side caution I think when messaging your Friends.

    The other thing that I think would be helpful for Facebook to do is to update the function for this on Fan Page. It doesn't to give the option of messaging segmented groups when you create an event through the Fan Page- only 'Update Your Fans' this feels like spamming as they're not giving us the choice of who to respond to in the event. Groups are much with this function. So Facebook! Help us out! Thanks for creating this platform Nancy for me to have my say!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Nancy

    Thk you for this piece.

    I actually lately begun to register for events I want to join and then RSVP: NO with a note, that I am listening in on the recording.

    Som people will send you messages over an over to remind you – and I dont want that spamming of my inbox, just because this is what people learn to do from the experts on social media marketing.

    (Mind you these experts who does this themselves get bumped off facebook on at the time)

    If I get a message for a "No" RSVP, this person is likely to get thrown out of my friendslist.

    • http://www.VivaVisibilityBlog.com NancyMarmolejo

      Sophie, I wouldn't take people off your friend list simply because they RSVP "no" to your event. ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/colmcgunnigle Colleen McGunnigle

    I totally agree, Nancy! Know what else is on the "please stop it" list? The gazillion and one "so and so sent a message to the members of Blah Blah Blah" … and I am *not* a member of Blah Blah Blah! Seems like a similar scenario. Because we've been *invited* to be a member of TripleBlah, they can now send us all kinds of spammy delights. And of course, we get invited to be a member of *so* many things that to go around saying, "no, no, no, no" isn't really on our top ten list of Things To Do Today, right? I set up an Outlook rule that sends messages with certain text in it straight to the dumpster. Like "suggested you become a fan of." That's another one for the list. Hopefully no one I know and love will suggest I become a fan of anything ;)Great post, Nancy!

    • http://www.VivaVisibilityBlog.com NancyMarmolejo

      It's sad that something that has so much potential ends up getting tossed the wayside. I look forward to the day when it's not so crowded.By the way, I think you have something there with Triple Blah. Grab the domain name, it's fun.:-)

  • http://www.katannutadiamonds.co.za Clare Appleyard

    Have to giggle Nancy, especially after I got one of your Rule #4 breakages on FB :-) Don't worry, I'll still be your friend, I know you're not an evil spammer ;-)

    • http://www.VivaVisibilityBlog.com NancyMarmolejo

      I'm giggling right with you Clare! Isn't it wonderful how things unravel in our lives? I just posted on my own breaking rule #4. I have to put myself in my place from time to time:http://vivavisibilityblog.com/facebook-event-mi…..

  • marciafrancois

    Confession time! I disabled all event notifications from coming through to my email and when I'm actually on facebook, after I go through the friend requests, I just click "ignore all" to ALL the rest – events, join this group, etc. This is my problem with social media – it's often just e-noise and not enough connection for me. I used to use facebook for business far more, but I'm fast getting to the point where I really just use it to connect to real life and online friends.

    • http://www.VivaVisibilityBlog.com NancyMarmolejo

      Marcia, I equate it to times I've tossed out boxes of business cards and brochures collected at networking events. Too much info and at some point you realize you're in over your head with stuff to catch up on.

  • melaniebensonstrick

    Nancy, thanks for clarifying this mysterious tool. My team has been quite confused on the best say to use events and reminders.You rock!Melanie

    • http://www.VivaVisibilityBlog.com NancyMarmolejo

      Hey Melanie!Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate how you keep your eye out for best practices. In the long run, it's all about keeping your people loving you. Isn't that the way we stay in business? :-)

  • http://twitter.com/brianadrian Brian Adrian

    Hi Nancy:I can't believe I missed this post! Stellar.I don't think elevatingyourbusiness gets it. It's exactly as you said: "If I'm throwing a party and you say "maybe" and I'm cooking up food, I need to know if you're coming or not. Helps me plan. In this context, a MAYBE changed to a yes or no will take you out of RSVP limbo and either take you off the event or not."Your 3 step event managing should be the standard in Facebook etiquette. Seems like common sense, but the amount of this stuff in my FB inbox says otherwise. I know this post is a couple of days old but it is most deserving of a retweet. Will do that now. TIMELESS INFO HERE: Don't beat people over the head!Thanks for all you do Nancy!

    • http://www.VivaVisibilityBlog.com NancyMarmolejo

      I'm just hoping people don't feel afraid to quiet down a bit and let these events really start working again for people!

  • Jack M

    Are you a spammer? (Oh no, not a nice person like you: YOUR thing-a-ma-bob is "really important." 'Cuz you created it.)Here's "The Golden Rule" in my book:If I haven't specifically asked you for it, it's NEVER appropriate to email me about it.ANYONE who emails me ANYTHING without my specifically requesting it is "spamming" me. Sorry.All spam must stop. All "spammers" (even you, nice person that you are, "not really spamming") must stop.

  • Jack

    Spam isn't, ultimately, a person. It's an effect.An effect of many self-involved (sorry) people who think what they offer has to be rammed down people's throats.You hate it. I hate it.The starting point for stopping it, is for everyone to understand that, whenever you send a direct message that someone has not specifically asked for, yes, YOU are spamming.Don't make yourself the exception.Because that's how the effect known as "spam" is perpetuating. No one's "really" doing it. Everyone must stop making excuses, and obey the golden rule."If I haven't asked for it specifically, I don't want any direct message about it."

  • Jack M

    Are you a spammer? (Oh no, not a nice person like you: YOUR thing-a-ma-bob is "really important." 'Cuz you created it.)Here's "The Golden Rule" in my book:If I haven't specifically asked you for it, it's NEVER appropriate to email me about it.ANYONE who emails me ANYTHING without my specifically requesting it is "spamming" me. Sorry.All spam must stop. All "spammers" (even you, nice person that you are, "not really spamming") must stop.

    • http://www.VivaVisibilityBlog.com NancyMarmolejo

      Thanks Jack for your evangelical fervor against the atrocities of spam! It's a matter of conscience now… just cuz someone can doesn't mean s/he should.

  • Jack

    Spam isn't, ultimately, a person. It's an effect.An effect of many self-involved (sorry) people who think what they offer has to be rammed down people's throats.You hate it. I hate it.The starting point for stopping it, is for everyone to understand that, whenever you send a direct message that someone has not specifically asked for, yes, YOU are spamming.Don't make yourself the exception.Because that's how the effect known as "spam" is perpetuating. No one's "really" doing it. Everyone must stop making excuses, and obey the golden rule."If I haven't asked for it specifically, I don't want any direct message about it."

  • http://www.VivaVisibilityBlog.com NancyMarmolejo

    Thanks Jack for your evangelical fervor against the atrocities of spam! It's a matter of conscience now… just cuz someone can doesn't mean s/he should.

  • Gavin

    YES! I CAN NOT BELIEVE that facebook have this set as default behaviour. Even if you don't reply ANYTHING to the event invitation they can message you. It's utterly absurd. Words can't describe how insanely ridiculous facebook's policy is on this one. its basically rendered my facebook inbox entirely useless

  • blastingbrains

    i'm really terrible with that. i think i have to learn how to stop spamming… i am in a band and we are doing so much (a song a week, a new album…) and i keep our fans in the know, but i think i'm irritating… i think it's too much… i don't know… good advice, though… thank you. i'll bear that in mind.i think i need help.

  • Pjisonline

    I have a problem simular as this. I hear from my Facebook friends that I'm sending them invitations for several events. Then I look into my events and I see that I'm registered for some. But the thing is: I didn't do anything. I didn't register for them, nor did I sent any invistations to my Facebook friends. I hate this and it gives me a bad reputation. Anyone knows how to stop this?Thank you!

  • Bobebrown1

    How do you stop face book from sending out unauthorized invites to become friends?

    • http://www.VivaVisibilityBlog.com NancyMarmolejo

      You have to make sure you're not importing your address book, otherwise it can generate those pesky invites.

  • AnaMaria

    It's sad but I rarely look at the events I'm sent because of so much junk in facebook. I wish we could connect an autoresponder to our account!