Having few attendees at your business’ event can make you feel like a child whose friends didn’t show up to their birthday party. It sucks.
You may have created a Facebook event and asked people to invite their friends, but frankly, that might not be enough.
Depending on the nature of your business and target audience, you might have to advertise through more than word-of-mouth and a couple social posts.
Not sure where to get started? I’m going to outline five basic Facebook ad strategies that you can implement to ensure that your next event is an overwhelming success.
Standard Facebook Ads
If you don’t have a following on Facebook, you’ll want to start with a standard ad campaign to gain your first group of RSVPs. Hopefully, you know what your target audience responds best to with regard to Facebook advertising.
There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy here, so you may have to do some testing to find the most effective way to influence your target audience to take action. We recommend AdEspresso to easily A/B test a variety of Facebook ad variables.
We also recommend sending visitors to a landing page rather than a Facebook event page. Your event will look more official on a landing page, and this will give you the ability to customize the visitor experience in depth. Additionally, you’ll be able to gain visitors’ emails for future marketing—something that you own.
Warning: If you’re creating an RSVP landing page, make sure visitors don’t have to fill in more than three pieces of information (unless you want a high bounce rate). Collecting their full name and email address is sufficient.
Boost Posts to Page Followers (and Their Friends!)
If you have a following on Facebook, you could pay to ‘Boost’ posts about your event to your followers and their friends. This is a great way to increase the number of page followers as well because you have the ability to specifically advertise to those who have friends who like your page.
Encourage Attendees to Invite Friends
Unfortunately, you cannot directly target friends of attendees with Facebook ads, but you can still indirectly market to them through their friends who plan on attending.
Reach a larger circle of people by incentivizing future attendees with complementary gifts if they invite people. For example, you could offer free admission to those who come in groups of 5+, or a free drink to attendees that share your event on Facebook.
You can directly target event attendees with Facebook ads, their email address, or through the Facebook event page.
Use Pixel Data from Previous Events
Ensure that you install your Facebook pixel on your landing page. By doing this, you’ll be able to target those with similar interests (as attendees) in the future.
By doing this consistently for similar events, your Pixel will gain more data with each event you host, thus becoming more effective with every campaign (in theory).
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Facebook pixel, here’s Facebook’s guide to installing one on your site
Retarget Those who are "Interested"
I’ve saved the best for last. After you’ve promoted your event with an initial campaign, you can retarget those who have left their attendance status as “Interested.” Targeting this small group of warmed leads could be the difference between a “pretty good attendance rate” and a sold-out event.
These are five powerful Facebook ad tips that you should implement to ensure your future events don't flop. If you’re interested in learning more about Facebook ads, check out my blog regarding underappreciated Facebook ad functions.
Thanks for reading. See you next week!