Invite People To Your Facebook Event

Facebook provides several ways that you can invite people to attend an event you created on Facebook. This is the second of three articles about creating Facebook business events. In the next article, you learn how to manage guest RSVPs.

  • Before You Start: You created a Facebook business event and you are ready to invite people to attend.
  • Learning Level: 3 | Building Skills
  • Article Last Updated: Wednesday, November 8, 2011

Facebook Accounts & Events

man inviting people to his Facebook business eventBefore going any further, make sure that you understand what kind of Facebook account (how you log into Facebook) you are using right now. This is not the same thing as separating your personal profile from your business page.

This is one of the most confusing things about Facebook.

If you log in to Facebook using a business account, you can’t invite your friends to your business event because as a business, you don’t have friends! However, if you log in to Facebook using a personal account and you are a page (or event) administrator, you have the option to invite your friends to your business event. In fact, anyone that you make an event administrator can invite their personal friends to your business event.

Facebook Business Events

Facebook doesn’t allow you to invite your business page fans (the people who like your business page) to your event. While this does limit businesses who schedule business events, it fits with the Facebook emphasis on individual privacy. When someone becomes a fan of your business, Facebook keeps their personal information private from your business.

You do have many options for inviting people to your event using your Facebook event. You just have to think about your strategy for invitations and be prepared to reach out in unexpected ways. Don’t rely just on Facebook to send out your invitations. You need to use every communication method available to your business to invite people to attend your event. You can use your Facebook event to provide the event details and manage the RSVPs.

Invite People To Your Facebook Business Event

There are several ways you can notify people of your event on Facebook. You are not limited to people who are on Facebook.

The Event On Your Business Page

Facebook automatically added your business event to your business page as a wall post. Anyone who sees your event on your wall or in their news feed can RSVP to your event.

  • Everyone who is a fan of your business page sees your event in their news feed just like they see your wall posts. (There is no guarantee that Facebook displays your wall posts to every fan. It uses a complicated process to decide who sees your wall posts. That’s a topic for another article!)
  • Anyone who has a Facebook account who lands on your business page sees your event on your wall.
  • Depending on your Event application settings, you may have an Events menu option in the left column.

Update Your Page Fans

Facebook removed this feature in September 2011. They have not replaced it with any similar feature.

You can send an update to the fans of your business page. However, updates are not like messages and your fans may not know where to look for them. You can’t count on your fans reading your updates.

To send an update to the people who like your page:

  1. Display your event page.
  2. Click Update Fans of [your business page name]. If you are using Facebook as your page, you will have to switch back to your profile to complete this task. Facebook displays the Send An Update page.You can invite fans of your page to your business event.
  3. You can send the update to all of your fans, or use the Target This Update check box to focus your update to specific fans based on demographics.
  4. Type the update message subject.
  5. Type the update message text.
  6. Click Send.

Your fans find your update in the Updates tab of their Messages inbox.

Invite Your Personal Friends

If you have a Facebook profile and you are an event administrator, you can use the Select Guests To Invite event option to invite your personal Facebook friends to your business event. It is a best practice to not mix your business and personal contacts on Facebook. However, you may have a friend or two whom you would like to attend your event.

Ask Your Customers To Invite Their Friends
Anyone who visits your event page and has a Facebook personal profile can use the Select Guests To Come event option to attend your event. This feature allows them to review a list of friends and select the appropriate friends to invite. The newly invited guests receive a personal invitation from the person who sent it, not an invitation from your business.

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Your turn: What is your experience inviting people to Facebook events? Share your experience and tips here.
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About author:

Charlene Kingston is the small business person behind the Social Media DIY Workshop.

97 Responses to “Invite People To Your Facebook Event”

  1. Terry says:

    ok, let me get this straight. My band has a page, I am the admin. When I post an event it automatically goes on everyone who “like’s” us wall? When I go back and look at the event it shows 24 invited but we have 250 likes. I don’t get it.

  2. Charlene Kingston says:

    You have it wrong. When you create a Facebook event, it doesn’t automatically go to anyone’s news feed or show up on their wall. In fact, you can’t even invite the people who like your band’s page to your Facebook event. You can post your event on your band page wall. By doing that, a few of the people who like your band’s page will see the event in their news feed, but only a few and you can’t choose which ones.

    The most effective way to share the news about a Facebook event using Facebook is to ask your fans to share the event with their friends who might be interested. That’s it. Facebook makes it darn hard to share your event on Facebook.

    I recommend that you use your other ways to communicate with the band’s loyal fans, like an email list for your newsletter, and post information about the Facebook event there.

  3. Ken says:

    So what is the point of having fans “Like” your page if you can’t invite them to an event or guarantee they will even see when you’ve posted an update on your Page wall?

    Correct me if I’m wrong but as a regular user I can create an event on my profile and invite my friends. They will then get some kind of “alert” letting them know about the event to which they can choose to RSVP or not?

    Would you say group pages are better for events in this regard?


  4. Charlene Kingston says:

    What is the point, indeed. Facebook Pages are truly limited in features, and they do not work like personal profiles. But if you are a business, you have no other option. If you attempt to set up a business as a personal profile, Facebook will suspend your account for violating the terms of service.

    In truth, Facebook does not work if it is your only or primary online presence. Every business should have a website/blog as it’s main presence, and have an email list for reaching out to people who want to connect with the business. Ideally, you should drive people from both Facebook and Twitter to your website and your email list. That’s the only way to really connect with them. I see so many businesses who adopt Facebook as their main presence because it is easy to use, and find themselves crippled by the lack of features. I feel so strongly about this that I’ve written about it ( and always advice my clients to focus on their website/blog over Facebook. I’ve also explained a bit about how Facebook decides which of your business page wall posts get into the news feed of people who like your business. (

    When Facebook is a secondary online tool, it can be very powerful and effective. But only when you have a strong website/blog with an email list.

    It’s been a while since I studied the terms of service for Facebook Groups, so I can’t comment on your idea of using a Group instead of a Page. Groups do have very different services than Pages. However, if using a Group for a business is a violation of the Facebook terms of service, you run the risk of getting your account suspended. I would advise caution and recommend that you do your research before taking that route.

    Facebook doesn’t promote itself as being the only online tool a business needs to connect with its customers and fans. When used as part of a larger online strategy, Facebook is effective and powerful. It just doesn’t work, however, if it is the only way you have to connect with customers and fan. Every business should prioritize a website/blog and email list over a Facebook presence to build an effective online strategy.

  5. Allen says:

    I have a more basic question. Why can’t I import a csv file to invite 1000 important business contacts to visit my Facebook business page?

    They’ve decided that this is an intrusive old-school style of inviting people?

    Is inviting now no longer allowed?

  6. Charlene Kingston says:

    There is a way around this, Allen. You have the email addresses for these people. I recommend that you create a customized message about your Facebook Page and send it out to your list. That works as a first blast. Then, add a link to your Facebook Page everywhere you are online, on your website, add a Like button to your blog, and add your Facebook Page to your email signature. That constant reminder will make it easy for people to find your on Facebook.

    The trick about Facebook is that the business cannot reach out to attract likes. It’s a one-way relationship with people and businesses on Facebook, and the people are in charge. The people control the relationship. The people get privacy. That means that your business must have other ways to reach out and connect. I recommend that you always drive people who find you on Facebook to join you on your website/blog and email newsletter. That’s where your business can reach out and send your message to everyone on your list.

  7. Charlene, thanks for your great insights! What about the usage of mass friend invitation/mailing software (there are some promoted in the market)? Are they allowed by FB policy? Usage of such software can harm your Fun Page on Facebook if linked to it in anyway ?

  8. Charlene Kingston says:

    I am not familiar with these products. Can you give me the names of a few?

  9. Hi Charlene, I have tested the free downloads of two such applications:
    - oCommunitySuite Facebook Friend Adder
    - Friend Blaster Pro

    They both seem to do the job more or less, but the question is: do they do any harm? can your Facebook acount/funpage be affected?

    To rephrase the question into more details:
    - does Facebook know that it is not a human that sends messages, friend requests and invitations to events? and is that against their policy?
    - does Facebook penalize you if you send to many messages, friend requests and invitations to events?

    looking forward to hearing your opinion on this!

  10. Charlene Kingston says:

    Thanks for sharing these product, Bijuterii. I was not familiar with these products.

    I can’t say whether Facebook will penalize you for using products like these. It’s outside of my knowledge. But I can say that using products like this go against the grain of the concept of building a community on Facebook. The important thing about your following on every social media tool is to fill it with people who actually care about your business. Tools like this can help new people find your business, but what will they see when they visit your page? Are you investing as much energy into welcoming new people? Are you providing valuable content that is focused on solving the problems of your audience?

    People do business with people they know, they like, and they trust. Certainly these tools can help increase your business visibility. They might even get some people to establish a relationship with your business (follow your business, like your business, etc.) But how are you moving people forward? How are you building up the “like” and “trust” parts of that equation?

    I favor organic growth of my following. I’d rather have a small list made of up people who like and trust my business than to have a huge list of people who heard of me once and have no intention of interacting with me in the near future. For me, it’s not a numbers game (where the larger the following the better), but it’s about connection and building relationships. I share good content to get attention, and the people who follow me share that content with their friends. That’s what I mean by organic growth.

    I’m not against doing some publicity for businesses. I have clients who regularly use Facebook ads to reach new people. But I advise them to have a great big welcome mat waiting for the new people who drop by to check them out. It takes time to build a relationship with new customers so they know, like, and trust you. I’m focused on the long-term growth of my own business, and recommend that strategy to everyone.

  11. Thanks a lot Charlene! This has helped me a lot to make the decision to keep growing our list naturally rather than boosting it with such tools.

  12. Charlene Kingston says:

    I’m glad it was helpful, Bijuterji. I believe there are lots of benefits of having a small but mighty list of followers. And here’s something else that will help you. Make an effort to post things that people will find valuable. I post a lot of things on Facebook that other people wrote and created. When I find something that I know my target audience will find helpful, I post it. I want people to think of me as a resource for good things, whether I wrote the good things or I share what other people have written.

    Good luck to you.

  13. Thank you so much for this, Charlene. I found this post when trying to figure out how to invite people to an event from a FB business page. All of the information available from Facebook says “click “Invite Friends” in the upper-right corner of your event.” Well, there is not “invite friends” area in the upper-right corner of my event. They make no mention of whether the event is on a business page or a personal page. I am trying to invite people from a business page, which I now see is impossible, thanks to your post.

    Why the heck does Facebook not have better “help” features, or at least updated information in their user guides? (rhetorical question here – I don’t expect anyone to have an answer to that one.)

    Had it not been for you, I’d still be trying to figure out what the heck Facebook means in their very unhelpful help section.

  14. Charlene Kingston says:

    I’m glad that I’ve been helpful, Geri. I try not to throw stones at Facebook, but indeed, I have wondered exactly the same things on many occasions. I can say that things are getting better. They are adding more useful features for business pages, and their help recently went through a major revision that is quite an improvement.

  15. Many thanks for this – its not as obvious as one would hope to find out on FB itself how to actually do this. Great tip for our business

  16. Charlene Kingston says:

    You are welcome, Tony. Best of luck to you.

  17. Christie says:

    Thanks for the info. I also manage a band’s internet presence, and the inability to directly invite our fans is a definite hindrance, since most our fans like to interact with us via facebook instead of the website. I was thinking I was just missing something on how to invite, but now I see it is not possible.

  18. Charlene Kingston says:

    I do recommend that you keep talking about your event, but in a not boring way. When you first create the event, post it on your wall and encourage people to tell their friends. Then a couple days later, talk about what you are doing to get ready for the event. Maybe show a rehearsal shot of the band, or post a 1 minute video of the rehearsal. Then a few days later, post about them deciding on stage clothes and post a picture. You get the idea. Keep building excitement and remind people about the event by talking about different aspects of it. That way, people who missed the original event posting get the news, but the loyal Facebook fans don’t get bored because you are saying the same thing over and over.

  19. Tyler says:

    I have a personal Facebook account and i created a business account for our business. Can i invite people to like my business account without using my personal account?

  20. Charlene Kingston says:

    No, as your page administrator you can’t invite people to your business event. This might seem crazy to you, but it is consistent with Facebook’s general rule that pages can’t reach out to people, only people can reach out to people. There are several ways you can invite people around this rule. I’ve written about them extensively in this article and in the comments.

    Many of these strategies involve reaching out to people using tools other than Facebook. I know lots of small businesses use Facebook exclusively, and this is a mistake. This situation is a perfect illustration of why relying totally on Facebook isn’t a good policy. Your business really needs an email list, and that should be your primary way to reach your online community. You can always send an email with the event details to everyone who is part of your business community. If you don’t have an email list, make that a goal for 2012. It’s one of the smartest things you can do to build your business.

  21. dave says:

    Hi Charlene

    thanks for laying it down! and de-mystifying all this…
    yes I was coming to the conclusion that back in November when FB changed being able to mass email your friends invitations..
    (and now, when it DOES get sent, it goes to the “auxiliary” folder instead of the main inbox)

    it makes FB ABSOLUTELY USELESS TO ME and other small businesses…
    for months, I did everything “right” with FB got thousands of friends (yes! indeed!)
    and then they just changed the rules on me?? making all those friend adds completely useless to my cause… because I cant blast them messages about my workshops.

    not cool!

    so besides FB, you recommend just email lists and HTML newsletters?
    like campaign monitor and mail chimp?

    do you have any articles on the WORKFLOW of how I should be developing a good foundation?

    thank you!

  22. Charlene Kingston says:

    Hi Dave

    You have discovered (the hard way) that Facebook doesn’t work as the center of your online presence. It’s a great tool when you use it as a place to have conversations around items you post, but not as a way to keep your community informed about your business activities.

    I do recommend that you begin building an email list with an email service like Campaign Monitor, Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, or AWeber. There are others. Each of these services not only automate the process of keeping and maintaining an email list, they also make sure you stay in compliance with the spam laws of the US and Canada. An email list becomes a very important business asset.

    The process for building an email list can be simply explained. First, sign up for one of these services. Then, add their sign up form to your website and to Facebook. It’s important that you emphasize the importance of visitors signing up for your email list. For example, I offer an ebook that is only available to email subscribers. Then, use your email list to provide real value to your list members. You have to think of your list as a piggy bank, you have to make a lot of deposits before you can make a withdrawal. If you only use the list to sell, you will turn off a lot of people and they will unsubscribe. You will find the right balance for your audience through a little trial and error.

    Good luck with your efforts.

  23. Question. I created an event using my personal account and created an event. I started inviting friends and it allowed me to invite 900 of my 3000. The I get a message to limit my invitations to those who may be interested. I dont understand why I cant invite anymore friends but yet others have event where they have been able to invite all their friends. PLEASE HELP. i HAVE AN EVENT THIS WEEKEND AND NEED TO GET THIS OUT!

  24. Charlene Kingston says:

    Hello Jamason,

    You have run into the limitations of Facebook. There isn’t anything else you can do.

    A lot of people rely on Facebook as their primary online presence. As you have discovered the hard way, that’s a bad choice. Facebook isn’t set up to support you. Facebook is set up to take care of your friends instead. To Facebook, what you are attempting (sending the same message to 3000 people) appears to be spam, and they won’t let it happen. They don’t want Facebook users getting spam. It doesn’t matter that they are your friends. Facebook still won’t allow it.

    Going forward, if you expect to have similar kinds of events, I suggest that you create an email list and start using email to reach these people. Facebook is not the correct venue to manage a large event, as you have found. An email list is the only way to have permission to invite people to your events. And even then, you have to stay within the existing spam laws with your email delivery.

    The only thing you can do at this point is to post on your wall and ask your friends to share the event on their own walls. That will help you get the word out. Reach everyone you can through email. Facebook isn’t designed to accomplish what you want. There isn’t much more you can do about this weekend, but you can start planning now to not be in this kind of bind in the future.

    Good luck!

  25. Feargus says:

    Hi Charlene, great advice the last person I spoke to about FB events told me I was wrong about the invite form business page and that I just couldn’t see the button anymore. On a similar note now when using the business page for fb I have no a message option up on the top left where before I only saw new likes added and the timline with a space in between. Now in that space is a msg column but obvioulsy its empty at present. Is this just for fans to msg me or have Fb plans for the page to msg Fans or do you know anything about it. FB help centre is a s useful as ever.

  26. Charlene Kingston says:

    The blank message space is always blank when you use Facebook as your page. Pages don’t have the message option, so that icon is missing. Only people have the message option.

    Have you heard the big announcement yesterday from Facebook? All business pages will convert to the timeline format on 30 March. Stay tuned for more details.

  27. sketchy says:

    hey Charlene! I created an event and it was open to the public. Friends invited their friends and so on and so forth. However, there is one person who keeps commenting negative comments on the event wall… and I was wondering how to block JUST that person from viewing or writing on the wall. I’m not even friends with this person. Will blocking them from my FB account do the trick? Or is there more I can do? Thank you!

  28. Charlene Kingston says:

    That’s a great question. I’m assuming that you created the event from your profile and not a business page. There are more features and options for people than businesses.

    I’ve been through the Facebook help, and I can’t see a clear answer. The challenge is the nature of public events. You can block that person from the event. Here’s the page inside the Events FAQ that are helpful ( Here’s how to block a person ( and here’s the impact of blocking a person ( Give this a try. And do let me know what you discover.

  29. Charlene, if I use the Share link from the business Facebook event page (later the event was created), is it shared with all the fans of the business page? It is shown in their news feed?

    If not, what good is the Share link?

    Thank you.

  30. Charlene Kingston says:

    There are a lot of feature changes right now with Facebook that happened along with the timeline roll out. I’m not sure about the Share link and how it works now. The Facebook Help Center is out of date.

    You can post your event link on your page wall (like any other link you post on your wall/timeline). This way, it gets into the newsfeed for some of the people who like your page. (Recent research shows that perhaps only 16% of the people who like your page see any one wall post!) I’d also recommend pinning the event so it stays on the top of your wall/timeline.

    I wish I had a better answer for you, but I’m still trying to figure things out.

  31. Linda says:

    In the past when I created an event from my personal page I was able to send a reminder closer to the time of the actual event. Is that still possible as I don’t see an icon to send out reminders to guests.

  32. dan says:

    Hi Charlene

    Ive set up an event but facebook isnt allowing guests to invite their friends. Its saying they dont have permission. Ive read the help pages and it says I need to change the setting through ‘Edit Event’ but there is no option there to do this?

    Can you help me?

    Thanks in advance

  33. Charlene Kingston says:

    Facebook recently made major changes to events. I have not used the updated events enough to be able to answer your question.

  34. Charlene Kingston says:

    Dan, I’m sorry I can’t help you. Facebook recently made major changes to how events work, and I have not created enough events to have them figured out now. The help center is frequently out of date, so no surprise that it isn’t helpful.

    I know people love Facebook events, but if you really want a full event management system, try another online tool like Eventbrite.

  35. Alessia says:

    Hi Charlene,

    Apparently I cannot send invitations from my business page.
    If I try from Invite email contacts or Invite friends everything seems ok, I can import my contacts, I can see my invitation preview and it says that the message will be seen shortly, but then nothing happens. No one gets my invitation.

    Can you help me?

    Thanks in advance

  36. Charlene Kingston says:

    Facebook recently made big changes to events. I’m not able to help anyone right now because I haven’t used the new events enough to understand how they work. I know that Facebook doesn’t provide any real customer service. I know that the situation is frustrating.

    I don’t work for Facebook, and I don’t have any sort of special relationship with them. I’m just a person using Facebook, like you, who uses it enough to understand it’s features. That’s why I can’t help with events now.

  37. Chip Njaa says:

    Hi Charlene,
    I just happened to find this page during a Google search. Thank you so much for the information. I have a personal and a business FB page for my kite shop. I have been telling people all Winter and Spring to become a “friend” of my kite company so that when Summer arrived, I would be able to send them invitations to mass ascension kite gathering (an event where we all fly kites in the same area at the same time). I now see that that was a somewhat pointless idea as I’m only able to post the event and not send all of these folks direct invitations. The thing that REALLY angers me is the fact that this isn’t made clear in any of the “help” articles on FB and I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out what it was that I was doing wrong. Anyway, I thank you for your valuable information and time… it is greatly appreciated.

  38. Charlene Kingston says:

    I’m sorry to hear your frustrating story. It’s not too late to fix things. Sign up for a free email list service (I recommend MailChimp and this free account option) and use their form to add an email signup to your Facebook page. That will help you make the bridge between your existing “likers” and your email list. After you get it set up, you can occasionally post as reminder for people to sign up for your list to get invited to your events by email.

    These email list services are all a little complicated, and it will take some time to figure out all of the account settings and get things fine tuned. But it is well worth the effort! Good luck!

  39. Jim Burke says:

    Sorry if I’m repeating any info previously shared here, didn’t read through every post. In regards to inviting people to an event… We have a page for our band. It used to be that when you created an event you automatically had an option to invite guests. Now, I find that I have to Join the event after i create it, and only then will I get a button allowing me to invite friends. Stupid way of doing things, but that’s the way it is. Once I invite friends, they can then also send out invitiations to their friends as well. Also, I always Share the event after it is created. This posts it on the News Feed so that all my friends will see it. I don’t know of a way to automatically remind people, I always do a Share right after creating the event, then another a couple of days before the event.

  40. Charlene Kingston says:

    It sounds like you have it covered, Jim. Here’s another idea. Every few days on your page, talk about your event with a new post. Talk about how you are getting ready, or show a photo of the band shopping for stage clothes, or in a rehearsal, etc. And mention that you are preparing for the event. It’s a less in-your-face way to get the message out and keep telling the band’s story to fans who already know about the event.

  41. Penny says:

    Hi charlene,

    I have created an event on facebook and have added two other hosts. I invited guests to whom I thought the event would be relevant. Now, I wish to invite more people. I have searched the facebook help database and it says there should be an “invite friends” button in the upper right hand corner of the page, but I can not see anything that will allow me to do that.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance.

  42. Charlene Kingston says:

    Facebook, in their ultimate wisdom, removed that button. I haven’t had time to update the article.

  43. Penny says:

    Will I need to start a new group and add everyone that I need to at the beginning or is there another way around it that you know of?


  44. Cortney says:

    Hi, I was wondering: when I post a photo/post to my business EVENT’s wall, does that automatically show up on my normal timeline feed? And if so will this update show up in my fans’ newsfeeds?

  45. Charlene Kingston says:

    That’s really a great question, Cortney. Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer. A couple months back, Facebook made big changes to how events work, and I haven’t been using them since that change. So I don’t have the latest information on those kinds of details. I suspect that it will not show up in your fan’s newsfeeds. However, you can post your event on your timeline, and that will make it show up in the newsfeed.

    If you figure out anything more, I’d love for you to come back and share it here.

  46. Cortney says:

    Thanks anyways Charlene – I think you are right, I suspect that if I post to an event’s feed it will only show up there (and maybe in the newsfeeds of guests). But since businesses can’t invite guests to their events anyways, it would truly only show up in the event feed and nowhere else (not even on the business’s timeline)! But again those are just my suspicions.

  47. Charlene Kingston says:

    Between the time I answered your question and you replied, I was out looking at Facebook events again. I just don’t see the value of them right now with the combination of features they have and the very low (16%) fan reach Facebook estimates from the timeline. I think businesses are better off using a service like Eventbrite, but that also means having an email list. I just don’t see where Facebook delivers value in this area.

  48. Jen Ward says:

    Hi Charlene -
    Maybe you can help me with an issue… I am trying to invite my personal friends to Facebook events for pages I manage and for some reason, it won’t let me do that. Am I missing something> I have one page I manage for an organization that automatically allows me to invite whoever I want. However, business pages I manage are not allowing me to invite any friends at all. It does not even give me the option to do so. There is not button that says invite friends. I am not sure what else to try but they are all doing it and this is really not helpful to list an event if you can’t invite anyone and are ttrying to grown your Facebook page.
    Thanks so much!

  49. Charlene Kingston says:

    Hi Jen. Facebook continues to change the way events work. I have stopped using Facebook events, so I can’t help you. I understand your frustration. The best advice I can give you is to use something other than Facebook events for your business. Try Eventbrite, for example.

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