How to Advertise Your Event to the Right Audience on Facebook


1When it comes to managing Facebook events, getting it in front of the right eyes can be huge challenge, even for veterans of social media marketing. Here we look at some important tips for band and artists on how to advertise to the intended audience on Facebook.

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Guest post by Maggie Jones of Eventbrite

Getting your event in front of the right audience on Facebook is challenging for even the most experienced teams. Facebook continually changes its algorithms so it can surface only the most relevant content to its users’ newsfeeds.

If you want to sell more tickets and improve your ROI, targeting the right audience is key. In fact, good targeting increases your number of conversions and reduces the amount you spend. So how can you find your target customers on Facebook and get your ads in front of them successfully?

With something Facebook calls “audiences.” Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about using audiences to strategically target the Facebook users most likely to be interested in your event.

What is a Facebook Audience?

Most Facebook targeting is done by creating “audiences” of users. These audiences can be made up of any of Facebook’s two billion monthly users, including your fans. There are three types of audiences —  Saved, Custom, and Lookalike — and each one has its own benefits and use cases.

Saved Audiences

Saved Audiences is Facebook’s default way of creating an audience to target. If you’ve created a campaign before, this is the default targeting option Facebook provides.

Saved Audiences use Facebook’s built-in targeting criteria (e.g. location, age, gender, demographics, interests, etc.) to create a group of people you want to target.

For example, if you’re running a tech conference in San Francisco, you might use “San Francisco +50km radius” for location, “All” for gender, and “22-60” for age. You might even drill down further by selecting criteria like “listed their employer as Technology in their Facebook profile” or “have expressed an interest in or like pages related to Startup company” in detailed targeting.

There’s a wide selection of very specific criteria you can use to narrow down your audience. However, the more specific you get, the smaller your audience will be!

When to use Saved Audiences: If your target market is large or you have a wide variety of criteria that makes for granular targeting.

Custom Audiences

Often your target audience will come to your event website and won’t convert on the first interaction. (Note: If you’re having chronic issues with website conversion or aren’t sure how well your website converts, read this guide.) That’s where Custom Audiences and retargeting come in.

“Retargeting” means targeting people with ads who have already visited your website and/or ticketing page. Retargeting these people gives you a second (or even third) opportunity to bring them back to your event page.

Custom Audiences make retargeting on Facebook possible. Here’s how to create one:

  1. Head over to your Ad Manager and select “Audiences” from the menu at the top left
  2. Select “Craft Audience,” and then “Custom Audience”
  3. In the menu that appears, select Website traffic
  4. Set the criteria for your audience by including or excluding people who visited certain URLs on your website
  5. Exclude anyone who reached your “thank you for buying” page, since they’ve already bought tickets

And here’s how to target them with your ads:

  1. Set up your Campaign with the goal of “increase website conversions”
  2. In the “Ad Set” stage, type in the name of the Custom Audience you’ve created
  3. Layer additional targeting criteria to further refine your audience

When to use Custom Audiences: To stay top-of-mind with people who’ve already engaged with your event, but have not bought a ticket.

Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike Audiences can help you reach out to more people and expand your event into new audiences. This type of audience is generated by Facebook and is made up of users who are demographically and behaviorally similar to one of your Custom Audiences.

To create a Lookalike Audience on Facebook, you’ll first need to create a Custom Audience of your website visitors, your email subscribers, or your existing customers. Your Lookalike Audience will be composed of people who share qualities with your Custom Audience, but are entirely new.

Here’s how to create one:

  1. Head to the “Audiences” page in your Ads Manager
  2. Select the checkbox of the Custom Audience you’d like to create a Lookalike from, then select “Actions” and “Create Lookalike”
  3. In the pop-up, select the region you want to target
  4. Select how wide a match you’d like (the smaller the range, the closer the match will be)
  5. Click “Create Audience”

When to use Lookalike Audiences: When you want to expand your Facebook ad’s reach to people statistically likely to be interested in your event.

Start small and track what works

Whether you’re new to Facebook ads or a seasoned social marketer, start small and test with your most targeted audience. That way, you can measure your performance and determine what’s working and what’s not. Experiment with targeting criteria such as age or interests to see what audiences give you the best ROI for your spend.

Want more tips on using Facebook ads to get your event in front of your ideal audience and convert them into ticket buyers? Read How to Master Facebook Advertising and Sell More Tickets to learn how to increase your number of paid attendees.

Maggie Jones is a managing editor at Eventbrite and a lover of cheeseburgers, martinis, and serial commas. Her first concert was Weird Al Yankovic performing “Eat It” at the Portland, Oregon Zoo.