Are you using Facebook Events to promote your gigs and festivals? You should be. Events are one of the social media giant’s many powerful tools for getting the word out and reaching fans. And Facebook is one of the top places where people discover things to do.
If you already use Facebook Events or are considering doing so, get the most out of the platform by following these best practices:
1. Create a new Event for each show
Develop a calendar of shows by creating a Facebook Event for each one. You’ll be able to promote Events individually, and fans will love being able to look at your calendar of Event listings as a whole.
- Create the Event through your organisation’s Facebook page, not your personal account. You’ll get better features, including in-depth analytics.
- Avoid sending too many invitations for each Event – it can be perceived as annoying and spammy.
- If you are using Eventbrite, its “Publish to Facebook” button can help you populate your Event details automatically, and your Event will become a Facebook Official Event.
- You can always click “Edit” to make tweaks to your Event page. If you’ve already set up a ticketing page, you may be able to set up the Facebook Event through your ticketing provider.
- If you want to set up your Event before your tickets go on sale to build anticipation, create the Event directly through Facebook. You’ll be able to schedule an Event for publication and save drafts that other page admins can see, which makes collaboration easy.
2. Maximise your Event’s visibility
Use these steps to take advantage of Facebook’s considerable built-in features and help your Event be seen by fans.
- Make sure the Events tab is one of the first tabs on your venue or festival page, so people can easily find a full list of Facebook Events. To rearrange the tab order, click “Settings”, then “Edit Page”, and drag Events to the top.
- Check “Publish New Events to Timeline” within the Event page so fans will know when you’ve created a new Event.
- Share your Event on your page to reach your followers. This option is under the “Invite” menu.
- Add co-hosts, such as artists or sponsors, to extend your reach and expand sharing.
- Share your entire Events calendar as www.facebook.com/[YourPageName]/events.
3. Promote the Event with Facebook ads
Facebook ads are the best way to get your Event in front of the right audience. And Facebook has powerful targeting tools to help you pinpoint that audience.
- Boosting Facebook Events is simple and can be effective, but creating a new ad campaign in Ad Manager will also give you the complete set of audience targeting options.
- Make sure you don’t target people who have already responded to your Event. Instead, identify a new audience off their friends, or people who viewed or responded to any of your prior Events.
- Create and post ads directly on the artist’s page to pinpoint their fans within a certain distance from the venue. Get the band’s permission to post, and collaborate on the copy. Whether you pay for it or split the cost, it will look like an ad from the band.
4. Make sure your ticketing partner is set up for Facebook ticket sales
Selling tickets on Facebook is a fantastic way to boost sales. Events that sell tickets directly on Facebook drive twice the amount of sales on average, compared to Events with a separate ticketing page.
- Be sure to include the ticketing link on your Event page to drive sales.
- If you publish your Event through Eventbrite and enable integrated ticket sales, a ‘Buy Tickets’ button will automatically appear on your Event page. Fans won’t have to leave Facebook to buy tickets.
5. Focus retargeting campaigns on people who’ve engaged with your Event
Have you ever been stalked by ads online after looking at a product or service? That’s called retargeting, and it’s a great way to reach fans who came to your ticketing page but didn’t buy tickets.
- The key to retargeting is placing a marketing pixel on your ticketing page. A marketing pixel is a transparent image or snippet of code that lets you track users’ journeys, so you can separate the audience of people who came to your page but didn’t purchase from those who did.
- Facebook allows you to create an Event Engagement Custom Audience, which is a custom audience based on people who said they were Going, Interested, or both. That way, you can retarget those window-shoppers with ads that remind them of the Event.
- Create a compelling advertisement with a clear call to action. Retargeting campaigns are most effective when there’s a driver of urgency, such as a promo code or an “almost sold out” message.
6. Post updates regularly – both on your page and in the Event
Keep your audience engaged with periodic organic posts – non-paid posts that fans see in their news feed.
- Facebook’s newest algorithm boosts posts that “spark conversation and meaningful interactions”. So make posts part of your promotion plan, especially those that ask open-ended questions or request feedback. The key is engagement; the posts don’t even have to be about the Event.
- Post on your page to remind all fans about the Event and to build excitement.
- Post a few updates in the Event itself to stay engaged with fans who indicated they were Going or Interested. They’ll get notifications with each Event update, so don’t go overboard; too many notifications can cause people to disengage.
7. Manage your Events and check your performance
Facebook has additional tools to keep you organised, even when you’re posting multiple Events, as well as analytics that will help you make performance-improving adjustments.
Facebook Publishing Tools allow you to see and manage multiple Events and posts from a single dashboard.
Facebook Event Insights give you information about which fans your Events have reached and how they responded. If you are using the Eventbrite Facebook integration, you can also see how many people clicked on ‘Buy Tickets’ on Facebook.
For more music marketing tips and examples, read The Changing Face of the Music Business: How to Market Like a Pro.