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How We Are Killing Facebook

“Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all – the apathy of human beings.” – Helen Keller

(You KNOW this post has to be epic, I started it off with a Helen Keller quote. Shazam!)

Facebook. Half a billion people. One of the greatest things to come out of the Internet for many reasons, without it there would be so many social media consultants that would go hungry and have to go back to shilling “video email!” from 1998.

The biggest threat to Facebook and it’s success isn’t a change in format, structure or infrastructure. It’s user apathy. And more specifically when it comes to Facebook for business, event apathy.

Exhibit A

I'm gonna invite him to a facepunch party

This event invite defines all that is wrong with them. I live 2,519 miles from the event location, I’m not single and frankly a “hands-on” singles night sounds like something we should all be doing in private. (You may think I’m picking on the event organizer here. Which I am. If you don’t want to appear in my blog, don’t invite me to events like this. Easy peasey)

Many people have said to me “It’s no big deal, just reply with no, and be done!”

I say “NO” to that. The onus to stop Facebook event spam should not be on the receiver. The logic is the same that email spammers use (if you don’t want it, just delete).

More importantly, if you look closely at that event again, this is the most glaring thing:

3 “Yes”, 19 “Maybe” and 4,552 AWAITING REPLY! This screen shot is just before the event takes place, and the invite had been out there for weeks, so it’s safe to say these people weren’t replying anytime soon.

Read those numbers again.

Notice it doesn’t show the number of people who said “No” which I assume is about 400, since they most likely used a script to auto invite 5,000 “friends” to the event.

Do the math.

It’s not even the 400+ people you’ve pissed off with your untargeted invite to get 3 “yes’s”, which you’ve actually achieved the impossible with: You’ve made direct mail and cold-calling success ratios look good. It’s the 4,552 who never even saw the invite that scares the jeebus out of me.

This isn’t a freak occurrence. Most people I’ve talked to have gotten so over whelmed with Facebook invites to events like these, they’ve either stopped noticing invites or turned of notifications all together (like I have). And that is horrible.

I threw a party at BlogWorld last year. Open bar, 100+ of my fave people, fancy pants velvet rope. 45 people on the invite list never even replied and didn’t know about the event because they stopped checking them long ago. They missed an event that was targeted (only people I knew/thought were going to BlogWorld were invited) and most would have come.

And we have done this. The most social, strongest community in the history of the world, and people have turned to apathy for events. This has to stop.

We must stop:

– Inviting people to a local event that aren’t

– Creating events that aren’t actual “events” but a way to email mass people at once, regardless of reply

– Constantly emailing people who haven’t replied yet with information about your event like the person is coming

– Publicly inviting people to a private topic event (weight loss, confidence, being single). I’ve been invited to 15 different weight loss events in the past 3 months. What are you trying to say?

What can we do to make it better? Invite people to events that are a geographic and demographic match. You know, like actual real marketers do? Stop blasting it to thousands to try and land a few. Every time you do that, a baby unicorn dies. A baby unicorn.

PS – Don’t get me started on the new “groups” feature that adds you without permission and emails you every wall post until you opt-out of each group individuality. That’s for another day and Helen Keller quote.

Do you pay attention to invites? Do you get redonkulous ones? Do tell in the comments below!