How to Use Facebook to Boost Attendance at Your Live Event

Vendini Marketing, Social Media

Let’s face it: everyone is on Facebook. Nearly 2 billion users are active on the platform each month. The social network has seen fierce competition lately, most notably from Snapchat, but Facebook still remains one of the primary drivers of website traffic outside of organic search for many businesses — particularly those in the event industry.
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Marketing an event on Facebook can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Once you have a solid social media strategy that leverages multiple ad tools, you’ll be better positioned to go beyond simply posting content to your brand page. So, if you’re ready to increase your reach and improve the likelihood that you’ll connect with patrons outside of your existing network, keep reading.

Here are some ways to streamline your time on Facebook, while also maximizing your ad spend and selling more tickets.

Create A Facebook Event Page

The most obvious way to get traction for an event on Facebook is to create an event page. But before doing so, it’s important to note that the event must be associated with a Facebook Page, otherwise your ads won’t show up in the News Feed. Events created on your personal timeline will only be eligible for right-column ads.

All events created in Vendini are automatically available for sale on Facebook, but if you’re not on the platform yet, you’ll need two things to promote your event on your News Feed:

  1. A Facebook Page: If your business already has a Page, make sure you have permission to create ads for it.
  2. An event to advertise: Learn how to create an event.

Create a facebook event

Instructions Via Facebook

Once you have both of those, you can promote your event:

  1. Go to your event and then click … › « Promote Event »
  2. Fill in the details of your ad, such as its audience and budget
  3. Click « Place Order »

Use Local Awareness Ads for Your Live Event

The popular social media platform has introduced a number of ad options that are location-based and focused on mobile, making it easier to connect with existing and new patrons wherever they are. With local awareness ads, venues can quickly and easily find new customers by showing ads to people near the venue or other event locations in the neighborhood. Local ads are built to offer more precise targeting and greater reach. It’s a great way for venues to reach a wide variety of people, since people who use Facebook often use it to discover things near to them.

Creating an ad takes just a few steps. To get started, sign into your Facebook account and head to the Ads Create tool and select “Local Awareness”. Select the page of the business you want to promote.

Create a local awareness ad

Next, enter your venue’s address (if it’s already provided on your Page, the address automatically populates) and the radius you want the ad to reach (for instance, an area covering 1 mile around your business). A map will show you extent of your selection. Facebook uses all this information to create an audience for the ad that includes people who live nearby or were recently near your business.

Select the map radius for your Facebook ad

Last, enter the imagery and text for your ad. For example, if you’re promoting a weekly performance at your venue, you might want to choose a picture of the performers on stage, along with some text enticing people to come see it live. You can also add a call-to-action for your ad — “Get Directions” (to help people find your venue) or “Like Page”.

Add text and image to your Facebook ad

Leverage Facebook Messenger

Facebook recently rolled out a bunch of new features for Messenger that they say will make it easier for businesses to communicate with customers using one-to-one messages. To create a Messenger ad, login to your Facebook account and find the Lead Form creation flow — there you’ll see a Messenger section:

Add a lead form to your Facebook Messanger

Select the option « Add Messenger » and write a customized message that will greet people when they open a conversation from your ad.

For people who open up a Messenger thread via your Lead Ad, they’ll see the following form:

User's view of your Lead Ad form in Facebook Messanger

Best Practices for Facebook Lead Ads

  1. Provide more context than you would with a traditional ad, since you’re requesting immediate action from the viewer. For example, if the sign-up is to receive a particular deal, ensure that it’s clear that the viewer must submit their contact details in order to receive the deal.
  2. Consider including coupons or other incentives in the ad creative for lead ads — anything that gives the viewer an incentive to share their information with you.
  3. The ad copy is also an opportunity to highlight the value proposition — try letting the user know why sharing their information with you is good for them.

Facebook Lead ads forms

  1. Try to create a few different ad sets with different forms. Experiment with forms to find the format that gives you the lowest cost per lead.
  2. Only ask for the information you really need — while more information is great, it comes with a trade-off. Additional questions add additional screens that the viewer has to click through and every additional screen increases chances of abandonment.
  3. Keep free-form text input to a minimum. With custom questions, you have the ability to ask open-ended questions, but keep in mind that any text input increases friction in filling out the form. Try providing some options for the answer that they can choose from instead.
  4. For questions where the viewer can choose one of many options, try to limit the options to three or four. Minimizing scrolling leads to a better the experience.

Managing and optimizing ads on Facebook is no picnic; we know this first hand. However, when armed with the right tools, the challenge isn’t insurmountable. While there are countless tools available on Facebook to promote your business, these three types of ads are a good place to start boosting event attendance and selling more tickets.

For more tips, check out Social Media Best Practices for Live Music Venues