Promoting an event on Facebook – with it’s 1.62 billion daily users – seems like a no brainer. And it is; despite falling in popularity among teenagers in more recent years, the platform is still the most dominant social media brand and is constantly evolving its advertising and promotional offering.
But it’s not as simple as just creating an event page and expecting the tickets to sell out all by themselves. To promote an event successfully on Facebook, a small amount of strategic thinking and attention-to-detail can make a huge difference. In this article, we look at some of the key ways to get your event noticed on Facebook, and to promote your brand in order to increase those all-important registrations. Let’s start with:
How to create an optimised event page on Facebook
Successfully promoting your event on Facebook starts with creating a killer event page that’s fully optimised. Don’t forget, Facebook works via algorithms that suggest content (and events) to people based on a range of criteria, so making sure your event page is packed with relevant information is key.
Make sure to assign the event to the appropriate category (e.g. concert, conference, workshop, class etc.), and provide a location for your event. It’s also a good idea to add in some tags of what people might be looking for. These could include things like ‘digital conference’, ‘yoga classes’ or ‘gigs’.
You should also:
Choose an enticing cover photo that’s 1920x1080 pixels
If you’re using a designer to create promotional materials for your event, make sure you brief them to translate one of these into a banner that fits the Facebook event page cover photo size (1920x1080 pixels). While it can be tempting to overload this image with key information about your event, try to keep it visual instead. Something that stands out aesthetically and generates the right kind of atmosphere around your event will be more impactful than a load of cramped and unsightly writing.
Choose a short and catchy event name
When it comes to promoting your event on Facebook, it’s crucial to acknowledge that the majority of Facebook’s traffic now comes from mobile (it gets 94% of its advertising revenue from mobile). With that in mind, it’s important to make your event page mobile-friendly, including its actual name. Keep it short, and keep it catchy – otherwise it’ll look clunky and off-putting on small screens.
Highlight your event calendar
If you’re running multiple events, you can promote these together by using a calendar view that puts them all in one place. To find your event calendar, you just need to add “/events” to the end of your Facebook page URL. So it would look like this: www.facebook.com/YourPageName/events.
Sharing this URL regularly will help people keep tabs on what you’ve got coming up. Plus, you can add your event to any of your collaborators’ calendars, which will widen its view again. To do this, click ‘More’ on your event (it’s next to ‘Invite’), and then click ‘Add Page’.
Top tip: Create a business page for your event/s and promote your events from there
If you run multiple events, creating a business page for your brand is a great way to attain followers, rather than starting from scratch every time you create an event page. You can also make it so that your ‘upcoming events’ show prominently on your company page, providing a consistent place for people to get updates about what you’ve got in the pipeline.
How far in advance should you post an event on Facebook?
Posting your event on Facebook should be one of the first things you do after you’ve got the basic logistics of the event confirmed. As a rule of thumb, you should create your Facebook event page three to four months before it’s set to take place. This, of course, might vary depending on the nature of your event and how long you have to plan for it. In essence, Facebook provides a great place to start building hype around your event from its very early stages – before you’ve built an official website for it, say, or even chosen a registration platform.
You don’t need to fill out all of the finer details of your event on your Facebook listing, but providing some exciting teaser information is a great way to start to build awareness in advance of registration opening.
How to get your event noticed on Facebook
To get your event noticed on Facebook, plan to produce and post plenty of content in the months and weeks running up to it. This should include things like:
Facebook Stories – giving snapshots into the ‘behind the scenes’ of your event, or just sharing nice, topical and related videos and images.
Live streamed teaser videos – live streamed videos are fast becoming one of digital marketing’s most powerful tools; make use of this medium with fun, live insights into your event.
Pictures – create albums of any behind the scenes work you’re willing to share.
Other inspirational materials – for example, sample playlists for a music event, or short interviews with keynote speakers.
Research shows that the sweet spot for how often to post on Facebook for marketing activities is once per day, but with a minimum of three times per week. Any more than this could actually see engagement per post fans drop off, according to a Hubspot study.
A second option for getting your event noticed is to put some spend behind your promotional efforts via Facebook advertising. Which brings us on to:
How to advertise an event on Facebook
To advertise your event on Facebook you’ll need to add an ad account in your Facebook Business Manager first. After that, it’s all about getting to grips with Facebook’s different ad types and figuring out which one might best suit your budget. These include simple picture ads, video ads, and ads to drive event registrations (where the ad prompts users to ‘buy tickets’ or head to your event registration site). Plus, more complex/detailed options like carousel ads (which let you display a number of pictures), and slideshow ads (which let you use a mixture of images, animations and text in your ad). Hootsuite has a great guide on how to run Facebook ads.
If you don’t have a huge marketing budget (or event if you do), we’d recommend using Facebook’s simple ‘Boost Event’ feature. This quickly and easily turns your event page into an ad that can appear in people’s News Feeds based on factors that help Facebook determine whether or not they’d be interested in it.
Facebook has a quick and easy guide to boosting your event >
And we’ve written an article on using Facebook’s Custom Audiences feature for events.
How much does it cost to promote an event on Facebook?
The average cost per click for a Facebook Ad is $1.72, but how much it might cost for your event will depend on a range of factors. Facebook has really robust testing features which means you can research thoroughly which kind of ads will bring the best ROI for your event.
When to boost a Facebook post
There’s no set time to boost a Facebook post, but ideally you should wait for at least a few hours after you’ve posted it to give it a chance to appear organically first in people’s News Feeds. Try not to go overboard on boosting posts too – if they appear too often people are likely to tire of them.
Choose an event registration platform that integrates with Facebook
When it comes to promoting your event on Facebook it’s really important to choose an event registration site that integrates with the platform.
For example, Ticket Tailor has a Facebook application that adds a ‘Buy Tickets’ tab to your organisation’s Facebook page, and which lists the events you currently have open for registration.
This kind of integration is key to keeping your events promotion and registration process streamlined – and ultimately more successful.
We have a quick guide to selling tickets on Facebook here.
Don’t forget to go multi-channel with your event promotion
Last but not least, don’t forget that taking a multi-channel approach to your event promotion is the best way to reach as many people as possible. Check out our guide on promoting an event on Instagram to see how the platform (now also owned by Facebook, incidentally) can be used to boost those registrations.
Using Facebook to promote an event can be one of the most lucrative ways to get the word out and increase ticket sales. With these simple tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to getting the most out of the platform, and the best possible ROI on your event marketing efforts.