Social Media Etiquette for Events

Social media has added a whole new chapter to events. Unfortunately, sometimes Facebook or Twitter updates that are posted out of excitement can unintentionally cause issues for any kind of event, from meetings and conventions to weddings and parties. Events can be emotional for some people, especially social events, and when emotions run high, so does the potential for drama. So how do you know what to put on Facebook or post on Twitter? Here’s a list of some guidelines for social media use, whether you are posting on behalf of your clients or they are posting themselves.

1. Do Not – use Facebook as a replacement for your event website. Event websites are there for a reason. Use them! They already have pages for everything, and you can limit the people who have your URL. Some websites even allow you to password protect your site or individual pages so that you don’t get any unsolicited traffic.

2. Do Not – use Facebook to vent or get personal. It’s just inappropriate. If you’re having planning related problems, discuss them with your team or clients. Or, if you just need to vent, call up one of your team members and have a good rant. Or, if you really feel the need to write it all down, start keeping a journal. Journaling is very therapeutic, and can help tame stress levels.

3. Do Not – send invitations via Facebook. If you’re hosting a keg party in a backyard, Facebook invites would probably work. Otherwise, send mailed invites or email invitations (the latter do work well for business and professional events).

4. Do Not – put your client’s wedding registry information on Facebook. If people want to send them a gift, they will. It’s totally inappropriate for your clients to be soliciting gifts from people who weren’t even invited to the event. Again, this is an item that would be appropriately placed on a page of the event website.

5. Do Not- Discuss your event plans on Facebook. It is rude to talk about an invitation-only social event in front of people who were not invited. You wouldn’t do it in person, so why would you do it online?

6. Do Not – update your status during your ceremony (for wedding clients). What may seem like a fun idea now is just going to seem ridiculous to you in 20 years. Not only will your clients feel foolish for pausing a serious, commitment-oriented ceremony for something trivial, but Facebook and other types of social media are constantly shifting, and whatever type they’re using will likely be obsolete by the time they’re trying to explain to their kids what they’re doing with their mobile phone at the alter.

7. Do Not – Post the details (time, location, etc). First of all, you’re just asking for some event crashers, and second of all, this information should be given to people via your invitation, not Facebook. Facebook friends who weren’t invited may consider this an open invitation, and you could find yourself with a few unexpected guests.

8. Do Not – Post the link to your event website. This totally defeats the purpose of not putting this information on Facebook. You should only share your event website information with people invited to the event. Unless you’re inviting all of your 750 Facebook friends to your event, send your website link out on your save-the-dates or invitations.

13. Do – post pictures of the event. Posting pictures is a great way to memorialize the event for your attendees and it’s also a great way to get people excited about future events, especially if this is an annual event like a conference or networking event.