Let’s be real, there is no way you can stop scammers from using Facebook. They’re lurking wherever your fans can be found, which is generally on your Facebook Event listings and Pages where you market shows and gigs. Not only do scams funnel money out of the event industry, they also harm the relationship you have with fans when they get turned away at the door.
Events may be a hot target for scammers, but there are measures you can take to protect your fans from falling prey to their tactics. Here are four tips for slowing them down and getting more fans to your shows with real tickets.
Level up your moderation settings
The first step to minimising scams is to review your moderation settings on Facebook Pages and Events. Turning off fan posts and comments entirely is one way, but it deters fans from connecting with you and isn’t the greatest option from a marketing perspective.
There are two alternatives that we recommend:
- Turn on post approval
By changing your post settings on your Facebook Event, you can approve posts before they appear publicly. This allows you to block any posts aiming to sell tickets, which could be fake.
- Moderate comments automatically
Even if you have posts off or moderated, scammers can still sneak into the comments of approved posts. One way to tackle this is to block certain keywords to ensure that people aren’t making comments about selling or buying tickets.
You can set your own filters or download this handy template to restrict comments automatically, so it can be taken care of while you focus on other things.
Create a waitlist that works for fans
Tickets are always going to be resold. On average, every 1 in 4 tickets will change hands. And fans often turn to Facebook to source tickets to sold-out events because they think they have to. This leaves them vulnerable to scammers and scalpers looking to take advantage.
For a long time, ticket waitlists have been a static experience for event organisers and fans. If anything, waitlists are more like a newsletter subscription than a vehicle for getting people to your event. They want tickets and get crickets. If fans are on a waitlist but not getting an opportunity to buy available tickets, they will turn to other channels that are out of your control.
The best way to tackle this is to create a dynamic waitlist that instantly notifies fans when tickets for your event are up for grabs. By using Tixel to manage your secondary ticket marketplace, fans are directed to a safe and fair place to trade tickets. People can subscribe to email or Facebook notifications whenever a new Tixel listing is created or even ‘call dibs’ on the next available tickets by pre-authorising their quantity and spend.
Educate fans on scams and safe resale
Scammers will continue to target sold-out events on Facebook because it works. But the easiest way to cut them off at the source is to educate your fans and give them safe alternatives to buy and sell resale tickets.
By partnering with Tixel, you can provide all ticket holders with information on how to safely resell their ticket if they can no longer attend. This reduces the administration workload for your customer support team and gives you a place to direct fans looking for spare tickets. You’ll receive a Tixel event link that you can share on your marketing and support channels to educate fans on safe resale.
Tixel partner, Untitled Group, for example, use their Tixel link in their email communications as well as in their Facebook Event description. When their smash-hit NYE festival Beyond The Valley sold out for 2019/2020, they added the below message to their Facebook Event listing:
“BTV IS SOLD OUT!
We urge you to ONLY purchase second-hand tickets from Tixel. Any tickets purchased from other second-hand sites (or from people not going through Tixel) will NOT be accepted on the day and we don’t want to have to turn you away at the gate.”
By being clear and upfront with fans about not purchasing tickets through Facebook, they protected them from scammers on the platform. They also reduced the burden on their customer service team by having less people to turn away at the gate and by leaning on Tixel, who manage all resale enquiries on their behalf.
Have an Official Facebook Event Listing
If you don’t have an event listing on Facebook, scammers can’t exploit your event, right? Sadly, the opposite is true. Whether you have a listing on not, fake event listings are becoming increasingly common. We have seen as many as 20+ fake events created to replicate some shows! This is another tactic being used to sell fake or non-existent tickets and rip-off fans.
To tackle this, we advise creating an Official Event Listing linked to your Page. Add artists/management/promoters to the event as co-hosts to avoid duplicates of your page and have everyone directing fans to the one event. This link should also be used in your marketing and across your website and social media channels so that customers can find it easily.
After you have created an event listing, keep an eye out for fakes. Run a quick search for your event in the lead up and if you see any fakes, report them to Facebook.
Tixel is your partner in crime (stopping)
Tixel is founded on flexibility and transparency. We’ve created a suite of promoter tools that allow you to take control of ticket resale, alongside primary ticketing. Anti-fraud technology and capped pricing provides a safer, scam-free place for fans to transfer tickets — while giving you tools to improve sales and sell out sooner.
To claim your free Tixel event page, get in touch or learn more here.