By Lewis Lindsay, Managing Director – SA Agency

With 1.5 billion people logging in to Facebook on a daily basis, the social media site has now become the go-to place for businesses and individuals to promote and publish events. On Facebook, you can find a huge variety of events ranging from music, sports, nightlife, comedy, religion, networking and food. There really is something for everyone.

If your target audience and potential ticket buyers are to be found anywhere online, the chances are they’re on Facebook, actively interacting with friends, family and brands. In a recent webinar hosted by Facebook and events company Eventbrite, the social media network revealed that more than 500 million Facebook Page users every month, utilising the events feature. The number of users engaging with events organised by Pages (businesses or brands) is growing by 40% year on year, demonstrating the platforms growing influence in the events marketplace.

With that in mind, read on for our top 5 tips on how to demystify Facebook’s advertising complexity and sell out your event.

  1. Set up your Facebook pixel.

The Facebook pixel is a piece of code that is embedded into websites. This, using cookies, allows you to track users as they interact with your site and Facebook Ads. This smart piece of code collects data helping you to build your target audiences and allows you to re-target those who have already interacted with your brand online. Facebook’s tracking pixel is the lifeblood of Facebook advertising and is key when attempting to sell out events. It helps to ensure your ads are seen by the people who are most likely buy a ticket and attend.  Knowing what users have already been to your event website or added tickets to their cart allows you to be more targeted with your adverts vastly improve your conversion rate and therefore boosting your ROI.

Even if you’re not using Facebook ads yet, you should install the Facebook pixel now. It will start collecting data right away so that you don’t have to start from scratch when you’re ready to get started.

  1. Optimise your targeting.

Facebook has a powerful audience selection tool that lets you display ads to the audience who are exactly right for your event. Whilst many event organisers may be tempted to target by geographic location, as it represents the largest relevant campaign reach across all activity, its broad nature also represents the smallest propensity to convert ads out of all prospecting activity. We therefore recommend that event organisers narrow down their targeting further. This is done through leveraging lookalikes, learning who your current customers are and trying to reach more of the same demographic. We recommend finding out about your customers such as age, gender, education and interests as well as previous purchasing behaviour to fully optimise your target advertising.

3.Create a funnel and change your ad strategy for each segment.

A funnel helps you to break down your audience by the likelihood of their purchase and targets each group differently, as opposed to targeting one big audience. By breaking your audience down into a top, middle and bottom funnel, you prevent wasting any of marketing budget and helps you better optimise your ads. The top-of-funnel are those who have never visited your site or interacted with your event in any way. This is the widest point of the funnel and normally your first point of contact. Top-of-funnel ads at campaign level typically tend to be video views, post engagement or brand awareness objectives.

(Top-of-funnel ad example)

The middle-of-funnel are those which have shown some engagement and potentially visited your event/website watched your 25% of videos or subscribed to an e-mail list. These will require some retargeting where you will want to give them as much value as possible so you can educate them, build trust and brand loyalty.

(Middle-of-funnel ad example)

Finally, the bottom-of-funnel are those who have been to your site but haven’t completed your desired action e.g. they may have added an item to cart or tried to order tickets but didn’t complete the purchase. As these are the most likely to make a purchase, this is where you may want to send your customer a call-to-action ad or a message such as ‘hurry – we have limited tickets available!’ to encourage the sale.

(Bottom-of-funnel ad example)

4.Analyse the data and optimise.

You need to constantly maintain and improve your Facebook event advertising. Without managing this, the results you’re seeing can decline fast, even within a few days after setting up a new ad campaign. Make sure to incorporate some A/B testing into your campaign and understand Facebook’s advertising relevance score. In Facebook’s own words “This score determines how much Facebook charges you to run your ads. When you run an ad to a given audience, Facebook quickly analyses how well the audience is responding to your ad—are they clicking on it, liking it, sharing or commenting on it?” The response to this indicates how relevant your audience considers the ad to be, and the higher the relevance the less you’ll be charged for the ad. This is Facebook’s way of rewarding marketers for producing the types of ads that the social network wants to display to its users—ones with relevant content. By analysing your results and optimising based on the data in front of you, this will help lower your costs and increase your ROI.

5.Engage your attendees with a Facebook Messenger bot.

A Facebook Messenger bot is a piece of automatic messaging software that uses AI to have conversations with your audience. These bots are programmed to answer common attendee questions about things such as directions, set times and could also be used to serve up content or information that comes out about the event as it happens. With Facebook Messenger being the third most-used app in the world and the Messenger bot providing 24/7 availability, this tool can serve as a great communication method to save you time and provide your customers with timely responses. With studies showing that people are 3.5 times more likely to open a Facebook Message from a company than a marketing email, it’s no surprise that the use of Messenger bots is exploding at a rapid rate of 300% per year.

If you or your organisation is struggling to get the most out of your Facebook events or would like to learn more about Silver Arrow Agency’s Facebook marketing services, please reach out to us for a free strategy call.

Lewis Lindsay is digital marketing agency owner.

Having retired from professional football due to a lengthy knee injury Lewis now runs a Facebook Advertising Agency specialising in selling out events.- SA Agency – Lewis is based in Bournemouth, UK but often travels for work. 

Adam is the co-founder and editor of Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.