Facebook is the ideal platform for event marketers. You can use it to find new prospects and drive attendance among existing members. You can build excitement around your conference and inform attendees of speakers, special events, and exclusive offerings. In short, promoting your event on Facebook will get more people in your door AND those people will be primed and ready to engage. Thanks to smart customizations and audience targeting, you can deliver personalized marketing messages aligned with your buying cycle. Even if you’ve never tried online advertising before, these five steps will have you running effective campaigns in short order.
Step 1: Use Facebook Ads to retarget known users and find new prospects
Facebook Ads are a great way to reach your audience outside of email and direct mail. They offer efficient personalization not possible with these other channels. To get started, use the Power Editor. Consult Facebook’s library of tutorials, including videos, to help you take full advantage of all the platform’s features.
Once you get the hang of things, you can use Facebook Ads to align your communications with your buying cycle. For example, people who already registered for your event don’t need to see ads that ask them to register. Instead, you could show them an ad about your keynote speaker. You can introduce your organization and event people who don’t know who you are. You can also retarget visitors to your website or Facebook page, to reassure their interest and encourage them to register.
Step 2: Install the Facebook pixel on your website, create custom audiences
The Facebook pixel is a piece of code that helps you track and target visitors to your website. Don’t skip this step! The pixel makes laser-focused ad campaigns possible.
To install the Facebook pixel, log on to your Facebook page and navigate to the Ads Manager tab. Click the button that says “create pixel.” Once your pixel is generated, paste that snippet of code in the
tags on each page of your website—including any “thank you” pages that appear upon form submission.
Create custom audiences
Four types of custom audiences help you reach the people most likely to attend your event:
- Customer file—upload your existing email list, which Facebook will match to user profiles
- Website traffic—target people who have visited your website or specific pages (based on insights from the pixel)
- App activity—reach out to people who have taken specific actions on your app
- Engagement on Facebook—connect with people who have already interacted with you on FB
Use these audiences to craft highly personalized ads based on your buying cycle. You can also create lookalike audiences from your custom audiences. That means you can ask Facebook to find people with similar interests and behaviors who might be interested in your event. Lookalike audiences are a quick, easy, and cost-effective way to grow your base and drive attendance.
A feature called “custom conversions” helps you target prospects who have already taken some action. That might be someone who signed up for your newsletter and was redirected to a “thank you” page (i.e. a conversion). You can optimize your ads for this conversion, so Facebook will show your ad to people most likely to convert again.
Step 3: Make a Facebook page for your event, or create an event through your main page
A special event page ensures that members and prospects focus directly on your event and its offerings—instead of getting distracted by other content. You can also create an official Facebook event from your main page for easy promotion.
For either option, follow these best practices:
- Choose a high-quality photo in line with the rest of your branding
- Use a clear, descriptive but short event name
- Add specifics on location, date, and time
- Include the ability to register (Facebook calls this “Buy Tickets”)
- Add any FB page you manage as a co-host to expand who sees your event details. You can also add vendor and speaker pages so your event will appear on their calendars also.
- Include keywords to help people find you
- Write a brief description that explains the value of your event
Step 4: Create a content calendar
Plan your Facebook content to help you stay focused. Include a mix of blogs, images, videos, status updates, opinion polls, and a few outright promotional messages. Craft posts about individual speakers , workshops, or special events to get your fans excited. Ask open-ended questions to encourage dialogue and feedback. Post regularly for best results. Don’t forget that your Facebook presence is an extension of your brand, so your messaging, images, and offers should be consistent with the rest of your branding and marketing.
Step 5: Monitor and evaluate your efforts
Facebook offers infinite possibilities for customizing your messaging, images, offers, and formats. But none of that matters if you don’t track what works and what doesn’t. Use the platform’s reporting features to see how many people saw your ads, how many took action, and what actions they took. Edit or turn off ads that aren’t performing to your expectations. Consider increasing your budget on ads doing exceptionally well. Use what you learn about your audience’s likes and dislikes to adjust images, messaging, and offers going forward.
Don’t miss out on attendees and new members
If you’re not marketing your event on Facebook, quite simply, you’re missing out. Your members and prospects are already there, hanging out and hungry for engaging content and offers. Leverage this smart platform to reach your base, find new prospects, and drive event attendance.
Be even better—for your members and your industry.COUNT ME IN >