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How to use Facebook's Custom Audiences for events

Facebook provides a great opportunity for events planners and marketers to connect with people who are actually likely to buy their tickets.

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Facebook is an incredibly lucrative advertising medium, which is no small thanks to its industry-leading, hyper-specific targeting abilities. 

On Facebook Ads, this type of targeting gets called ‘Custom Audiences’, which means audiences that can be built out to meet a vast range of criteria. 

Using them is a tried-and-tested way to reach the right people with the right information. It provides a great opportunity for events planners and marketers to connect with people who are actually likely to buy their tickets.

Who can you target with Facebook’s Custom Audiences feature?

At its most top level, Facebook’s Custom Audiences allows you to target people based on basic demographic data. In other words, their gender, age and location.

This often isn’t enough to have the desired impact, though. Say for example, you were advertising an underground indie music gig of a relatively unknown band in London, UK. 

Even if you know the majority of this band’s fans are females between the ages of 18-25 who live in the south of England, you could still end up targeting millions of people with your ad – the majority of whom wouldn’t be interested in your event.

This is a funny one because Facebook seems to put a lot of weight behind basic demographic data like this via its user experience. When you create a Custom Audience, for example, you're immediately asked to fill out this demographic data, and it’s not always obvious how many other targeting options you can choose. 

In reality, it’d be more effective for you to dive straight in with these other options, which include targeting in a much more specific way. 

a group of people with their arms raised in concert

Who event planners can potentially target using Facebook’s Custom Audiences

Here are some of the cool ways you can target audiences as an event planner using Facebook:

  • People who’ve responded with ‘Going’ or ‘Interested’ on your Facebook event page
  • Only those who’ve responded with ‘Going’, or only those who’ve responded with ‘Interested’
  • People who’ve visited your Facebook event page or your event website
  • People who’ve engaged with your Facebook event page – aka by liking, sharing or commenting
  • Include people who’ve engaged with your event page – you might do this to retarget those who are closer to completing a purchase
  • Exclude people who’ve engaged with your event page – you might do this to reach a new audience that you haven’t tapped into yet
  • People who’ve registered certain interests on Facebook
  • People with certain job titles 

You can also create a Lookalike Audience, which is basically where Facebooks takes all of your criteria for an existing audience, and replicates it across to people you haven’t reached yet. 

It’s a great way to keep spreading the word to potentially vast amounts of people, but always in a really specific, strategic way. 

How to create an event Custom Audience on Facebook

It’s easy to create a Custom Audience for your event on Facebook. To do so, simply:

  1. Head to your ‘Audiences’
  2. Select the ‘Create Audience’ drop-down, then ‘Custom Audience’
  3. Select ‘Create Custom Audience’ (you’ll only get this option on your first time, before you’ve ever created a Custom Audience before
  4. Hit ‘Events’
  5. Open the drop-down, and choose the option you want to refine your audience by (if you use Ticket Tailor and have integrated it with Facebook, you’ll be able to use the options listed above around ticket engagement etc.).

a person on stage with a microphone and a crowd of people

Benefits of using Custom Audiences to advertise your event 

Statistics show that 98% of website traffic won’t make a purchase on the first visit. This is one of the most crucial reasons using Facebook’s targeting features can have a serious impact when it comes to making connections that count. By putting your event back in front of people who’ve already expressed interest in it, you're much more likely to close the sale. 

Other benefits include:

  • Reaching new audiences that share the same profile of your existing ticket-buyers
  • Boosting profits with audience exclusions (so actively avoiding wasting money advertising to people who’ll probably never be interested in your event)
  • Nudging people who are on the fence about your event, or who may have forgotten about it

We all know how specific audiences can get for certain (most) event-types – which is why using Facebook targeting really is a no-brainer when it comes to event promotion.

Want to know more about social media marketing for your event? Head to our article on using Instagram effectively for just this.

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