Facebook is the largest social network in the world. With more monthly active users than WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram combined, it makes sense to explore how you can use the platform to sell more tickets to your event and excite attendees leading up to the day.
The amount of potential customers you can reach through Facebook for free is a constant battle against 1) the increasing amount of content published by everyone else, and 2) personalised newsfeeds limiting content to only what Facebook deems the most relevant. And this all makes sense, Facebook was built for people and their friends, not businesses and potential customers - it puts users first.
So how can we get our events and businesses out there? Introducing Facebook Advertising.
The Power of Facebook
What’s fascinating about Facebook is, on the one hand, the website and app get over a billion visits per day, which is far greater than viewing figures of any television or radio show in history, and on the other hand, it understands those visitors better than close friends and family do. Facebook knows what we tell it directly, our activities on the channel, what we do across the web, where we are, who we know, and the technology we use, and far more - which the Advertising Manager tools allow us to take advantage of.
It’s also easy to get started - with the default minimum daily budget of just $5/£5, making it affordable for most individuals and organisations to test. The Advert Manager tools track results to help analyse the ROI from the get-go.
Curious? Here are 15 tactics to get you started...
1. Identify Your Goals
Not all campaigns are designed with the same end in mind. First and foremost you need to establish what you hope to achieve by advertising on Facebook. For example you could focus on creating more awareness of your brand leading up to your event, try to get more website traffic, increase video views, drive event app installs, or simply to make sure you have a full house by advertising ticket sales. Once you know what your goals are, you can create campaigns that match your objectives. If you have no idea what you’re trying to do, your chances of succeeding are pretty low.
2. Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience is the best way to advertise successfully to existing customers, and also to seek out people who would be interested in your event. Luckily, on Facebook, you don’t have to guess anything.
Facebook collects information on user’s behaviour taking into account explicit actions (profile information, status updates, brand page likes, groups joined) and implicit signals (devices used, subjects of websites visited, your location). Custom audience targeting is a feature of Facebook Advertising that allows you to use this specific information to find the perfect target market for your events.
3. Reach Past Attendees And Website/App Visitors
If you’ve organised similar events before, you are likely to have access to past attendee’s email addresses and phone numbers already. Upload a txt file or csv with phone numbers and/or email addresses to target ads to existing customers.
In the Advert Manager tools you can easily create a Facebook pixel to place in the header tag of your event’s website template or app to create a user list to target your adverts.
4. Create ‘Lookalike’ Audiences
You can also set up ‘lookalike audiences’ who are people with similar attributes, behaviours and signals associated with their Facebook profiles to Facebook profiles of your best customers and therefore likely to be interested too. You do this by using the list created with email addresses and phone numbers.
5. Speak Directly To The Audience
Brainstorm and research what motivates your audience. Create small audience segments to advertise too. This means you can create content that appeals to certain groups and advertise directly to them. Speaking directly to someone about a subject they care about is the best way to grab their attention and get them to take action.
6. Boost Posts To Gain Popularity
A great way of generating social proof for your event is ‘boosting’ posts, which is a Facebook Advertising feature that allows you to boost content from your events page to user’s newsfeed, making it more visible. By doing this rather than relying on organic reach your content is more likely to get noticed and liked by the right people, therefore giving your event’s facebook page a far more popular reputation.
7. Determine What Creative To Use
Over time you’ll learn what types of content and ad styles work well on Facebook for your target audience. Headlines are important, for example lists and click bait style headlines seem to make their way across Facebook with ease. Images and videos are the best way to grab the attention of your audience, and therefore making them more likely to react positively to a call to action.
To continue to give your ad campaigns the best chance of being successful you’ll want to refresh images after a while to prevent ad fatigue.
8. Design For Context
For an ad to be effective you have to consider more than it’s content. For it to be successful you’ll also need to consider how it will look against the rest of the Facebook page, especially next to all the competing noise.
9. Design For Mobile
No other platform owns mobile devices like Facebook. Four out of five users log in via their phone. If you’re advertising on Facebook and haven’t designed for mobile, you’re drastically limiting what can be achieved.
10. Designate The Landing Page
If you haven’t already determined a landing page, create a page or designate one that’s relevant to the campaigns you are running. This is really important to ensure the that Facebook don’t reject the ads due to little relevance or you don’t get a high bounce rate which will be a waste of time and money.
11. Have An Engagement Strategy
If you receive feedback and comments about one of your ads, or your campaign as a whole, then have an engagement strategy. If there are several comments about the same issue with your ad, then it’s obviously something that needs improvements.
12. Don’t Just Let It Be
Just because your campaign is live it doesn’t mean it’s a done deal.
Once you’ve built your audience segments and started advertising to them it’s important that you fight the urge to relax. Unlike Google Adwords where there is a steady flow of new users to show your adverts and campaigns just require fine tuning, with Facebook Advertising you need to monitor the ROI of the campaign and audience so that you cherry pick rather than exhaust the segment you’re targeting. Always analyse and continue to seek out more potential segments to advertise to next.
You should also perform regular checks of your landing page URL’s once or twice a week to make sure that users are being redirected to active and relevant pages.
13. Test And Optimise
Facebook automatically rotates each of the active ads in a campaign, so after a while you’ll soon see which ads are appealing to your audience, and those that aren’t. Do some further tests and see what aspects of your ads need improvements, whether it’s the images, fonts or copy - don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board if necessary.
If you continue to test a number of different ads and find a variable that is getting a great response, stick with it, but tweak the other details of the ad to keep things fresh. By doing this you’ll be keeping the aspects of the ad that are already popular, and changing other aspects such as fonts and images to make a greater impact.
14. Control Your Budget
To advertise successfully over a long period of time it will require time, effort and of course, money. This is why it’s important you control your budget, and know how to prevent overspending. In the Advert Manager tools, click on ‘create a new campaign’ and then either select ‘lifetime budget’ or set your daily amount to a manageable amount.
15. Track Campaigns In Google Analytics
From the beginning, tag your URLs with tracking codes to track future visits from paid Facebook traffic. If you don’t, Google Analytics will combine referral and paid social traffic together. Here is a URL builder to create the tracking code: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033867?hl=en&rd=2
If you are curious about Facebook Advertising, the tips above will help you test whether this channel is right for you, and give you the tactics needed to use it effectively for your own campaigns.
At F8, the Facebook Developer Conference, big changes were announced which will change the face of events forever. The power of Facebook is set to grow even stronger and event planners need to be prepared to get this most out of this social network.