Facebook is one of top platforms for promoting a live music event and getting the word out to fans, who often use the service as a way to discover events. Even if you're already using Facebook Events, this article looks at some of the best practices for maximizing the services effectiveness.
Guest post by Bill Leigh of Eventbrite
Are you using Facebook Events to promote your shows and festivals? You should be. Events are one of the social media giant’s many powerful tools for getting the word out and reaching fans. And Facebook is one of the top places where people discover things to do.
If you already use Facebook Events or are considering doing so, get the most out of the platform by following these best practices.
1. Create a new Event for each show
Develop a calendar of shows by creating an Event for each one. You’ll be able to promote Events individually, and fans will love being able to look at your calendar of Event listings as a whole.
- Create the Event through your organization’s Facebook page, not your personal account. You’ll get better features, like in-depth analytics.
- Avoid sending tons of invitations for each event — it can come off as annoying and spammy.
- If you’ve already set up a ticketing page, you may be able to set up the Facebook Event through your ticketing provider. If you use Eventbrite’s Publish to Facebook button your Event details will automatically populate, and your Event will become a Facebook Official Event. You can always click “Edit” to make tweaks to your Event page.
- If you want to set up your Event prior to on-sale to build anticipation, create the Event directly through Facebook. You’ll be able to schedule an Event for publication and save drafts that other page admins can see, which makes collaboration easy.
2. Maximize your Event’s visibility
Use these steps to take advantage of Facebook’s considerable built-in features, and help your Event be seen by fans.
- Make sure the Events tab is one of the first tabs on your venue or festival page, so people can easily find a full list of Facebook Events. To rearrange the tab order, click “Settings,” then “Edit Page,” and drag Events to the top.
- Check “Publish New Events to Timeline” within the Event so fans will know when you’ve created a new Event.
- Share your Event on your page to reach your followers. This option is under the Invite menu.
- Add co-hosts, such as artists or sponsors, to extend your reach and expand sharing.
- Share your entire events calendar as www.facebook.com/[YourPageName]/events.
3. Promote the Event with Facebook ads
Facebook ads are the best way to get your Event in front of the right audience. And Facebook has potent targeting tools to help you pinpoint that audience.
- Boosting Facebook Events is simple and can be effective, but creating a new ad campaign in Ad Manager will give you the complete set of audience targeting options.
- Make sure you don’t target people who already responded to your event. Instead, target a new audience of their friends, or people who viewed or responded to any of your prior events.
- Create and posts ads directly on the artist’s page to pinpoint their fans within a certain distance from the venue. Get the band’s permission to post, and collaborate on the copy. You may pay for it or split the cost, but it looks like an ad from the band.
4. Make sure your ticketing partner is set up for Facebook ticket sales
Selling tickets on Facebook is a fantastic way to boost sales. Events that sell tickets directly on Facebook drive twice the amount of sales on average, compared to events with a separate ticketing page.
- Be sure to include the ticketing link on your Event page to drive sales
- If you publish your event through Eventbrite and enable integrated ticket sales, a “buy tickets” button automatically appears on your event page. Fans won’t have to leave Facebook to buy tickets.
5. Focus retargeting campaigns on people who’ve engaged with your Event
You’ve been stalked by ads online after checking out a product or service. That’s called retargeting, and it’s a great way to reach fans who came to your ticketing page but didn’t buy tickets. The key to retargeting is placing a marketing pixel on your ticketing page. A arketing pixel is 1×1 transparent images or snippets of code that let you track users’ journeys, so you can separate the audience of people who came to your page but didn’t purchase from those who did. Learn more about retargeting and pixels here and here.
- Facebook allows you to create an Event Engagement Custom Audience, which is a custom audience based on people who said they were Going, Interested, or both. That way, you can retarget those window-shoppers with ads that remind them of the show.
- Create a compelling advertisement with a clear call-to-action. Retargeting campaigns are most effective when there’s a driver of urgency, such as a promo code or an “almost sold out” message. Read this post for more guidance on designing an effective event ad.
6. Post updates regularly — both on your page and in the Event
Keep your audience engaged with periodic organic posts — nonpaid posts that fans see in their news feed. Facebook’s newest algorithmboosts posts that “spark conversation and meaningful interactions.” That means posts should be part of your promotion plan, especially those that ask open-ended questions or solicit feedback. The important thing is engagement; the posts don’t even have to be about the event.
- Post on your page to remind all fans about the event and build excitement.
- Post a few updates in the Event itself to stay engaged with fans who indicated they were Going or Interested. They’ll get notifications with each Event update, so don’t go overboard; too many notifications can cause people to disengage.
7. Manage your events and check your performance
Facebook has tools to keep you organized, even when you’re posting multiple events, and analytics that will help you make performance improving adjustments.
- Facebook Publishing Tools allow you to see and manage multiple events and posts from a single dashboard.
- Facebook Event Insights give you information about which fans your events have reached and how they responded. If you are using the Eventbrite Facebook integration, you can also see how many people clicked on “Buy tickets” on Facebook.
For more music marketing tips and examples, download the 2018 Music Marketing Guide: The Five Essential Elements.
Bill Leigh is a writer at Eventbrite, where he focuses on helping create successful live music events. He is also the former Editor-in-Chief of Bass Player magazine. When he’s not working, he splits his time between “dad mode” and “rocker mode.”