Much change has accompanied the Facebook timeline, including a new feature called “suggested guests”, which was recently introduced for its Events component. As the name implies, the feature serves up a list of people a user might want to consider inviting to their event. The driving algorithm delivers these recommendations based on relevance to the event at hand and the people who are attending. For example, if you are an author trying to drum up attendance for your next book signing, the feature might suggest friends who have recently reviewed a book in the “I’m Reading” app, or a liked another author’s page.
Advantages to Social Marketers
The reason social marketers should take advantage of suggested guests is because of its surprising accuracy. According to early reviews, the feature does a great job of recommending potential guests you might have overlooked for one reason or another. If you are promoting an event, you may just see a list of suggested guests accompanied by an “invite” button to the right of the page. The suggestions are delivered in threes, and you can keep refreshing the three options until you have exhausted all the people on your friends list who are not attending. It really is a simple, yet effective way to maximize your event marketing efforts on Facebook.
From the looks of it, the new suggested guests feature is a nice addition that active social marketers can benefit from. If Facebook receives positive feedback, it could eventually become a tool that helps promoters increase awareness and as a result, increase the attendance for their events. Despite being extremely useful already, there is still room for improvement with suggested guests. As it stand now, the feature does not offer up names with any sort of context. If it was to say, remind you that you should invite John because he expressed interest in your new book on Facebook, or Jane because she mentioned one of your previous books in a recent update, it could be made even better.
Facebook’s suggested guests feature is an extension of numerous enhancements that have recently been made to its events component. Back in November of 2011, the social giant introduced a new and improved user interface to simplify the event creation and management process. In December, it rolled out “suggested events”. This particular feature delivers recommendations for events a user might want to attend based on their activity on the company’s Open Graph platform, in addition to pages they have liked, and events people on their friends list are attending.
Some have called the new suggested guests feature creepy due to the personalization element, but if you are a social marketer who frequently promotes events on Facebook, we think you will find it very useful. The function is currently being tested with select users, but if all goes well, it could be released to the entire community in the very near future. This is one we could see going live much sooner than later.