A Crash Course in Social Media Advertising for Events Professionals

There’s a good chance you’re already doing good social media marketing for your event. Events businesses are well ahead of the curve on social. Yet not so many businesses have experimented with social media advertising. It’s a shame, because if you get it right it can be amazingly powerful for events businesses.


Social advertising is a broad topic.  I’m going to concentrate on the two most common social platforms for advertising Facebook and Twitter. This doesn’t mean you should ignore other options. LinkedIn, Outbrain or Taboola can also deliver good results.

Custom Audiences

The most powerful functions of social advertising for events businesses is custom audiences. You can take a list of your customers and either advertise to them on Facebook or Twitter. You can advertise to people who the social network thinks are similar. Or even exclude people you’ve already got on your mailing list.

This is exceptionally powerful. Email marketing or other forms of direct marketing will always be important to events businesses.  Custom audiences is a huge leap forward in the targeting of social advertising.

Pinch the Audience of your Competitors

In the same way you can target your adverts to your customers you can also highjack the audience of competitors.

I do this all the time on Twitter. I want to find people interested in attending my event. Creating an advert that is only shown to people who follow a similar event run by a competitor is a no brainer to me.

Fit Your Creative to the Network

When you think of adverts on Facebook you think of those on the sidebar, but these aren’t the most effective adverts. Those within the newsfeed tend to perform much better. They also work well when they mimic how people use Facebook that isn’t advertising.

So don’t run an advert that says something like ‘register for our event’. You might be better running something like ‘Check out the great agenda at our upcoming event’. That’s more like how people use Facebook and usually better than how companies use the platforms.

Always Measure Your Results

People sometimes fall into the trap of thinking social isn’t measurable. That’s a myth. If you have a web analytics solution you can measure the impact it’s having on your business. Especially if you’re running paid advertising. Use tracking URLs. Follow the helpful guides each social site have on-site about tracking conversions.

In Conclusion

Most event managers are doing good social media marketing. But please don’t rule out social media advertising. It’s easy to get set-up and start delivering results. Find a small budget for experimentation and see if it works for your events business.

About The Author
Kelvin Newman
is the Founder of Rough Agenda, a company that arranges specialist digital marketing events which are among the fastest growing and most popular in the UK, including the sell out BrightonSEO.In 2014 Kelvin was voted by econsultancy as the most influential individual in digital and in 2013 won the Search Personality award at the UK Search Awards.He is also Co-founder of clockworkTalent with Natasha Woodford a specialist recruitment consultancy that genuinely understands digital marketing.
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