“How do you find the time to manage all of this social media stuff?” That’s one of the most common questions I’m asked whenever I present. And sometimes, I get the sense that people are hoping that it’s so complicated and time-consuming that they’ll have a great excuse NOT to do it. Not to learn [...]
Facebook Ads for Events: Yes or No?
As Conference Managers, we are often asked whether we use Facebook Ads to promote our events and more importantly, whether they work! This short article captures some of our learning in marketing, both B2B and B2C events, through Facebook Ads.
1. An engaged community will increase the return on your ads
Facebook was designed for peer-to-peer engagement, which means that it is highly reliant on networks. You get to see what your friends (and your friends’ friends) are reading, liking and attending and that encourages you to do the same.
According to Facebook, ‘if a user sees a friend’s name in an ad, they are 68% more likely to remember the ad and twice as likely to remember the brand.’
So, before you start contemplating whether to invest in Facebook Ads, look at your current offering on Facebook and whether you are leveraging the ‘free’ features - Is your event listed on your Facebook page? Have you invited your colleagues and friends? Have they RSVP’d?
2. Consider linking back to your Facebook page instead of your events website
Although your Facebook Ads can take users directly to your website, Facebook does suggest that you point them to a page, event or app because these ads would include the names of friends who have already liked you, increasing the chance of a click.
If you are not sure what will be most effective, run two campaigns, one pointing to your page and the other to your website and measure the results.
3. Take the time to understand how the ads are served up
Facebook Ads work differently from search in that they pop up in front of your target audience, without the need for them to search for any keywords. This means that you will appear in front of people who are not actively looking for you or your event, increasing your reach.
This can often be seen as an advantage; however, monitor your clicks. If you are getting a lot of bounces, perhaps a search marketing option is more suited for your event.
4. Plan to run a test campaign first (if possible)
When setting up your ad campaign, you will be able to stipulate your budget and select your target audience. Budgets, however, vary, and from our experience, clicks tend to average between $1.00-$1.50, so keep that in mind for your initial campaign.
From an events perspective, being able to restrict the audience to a particular age group or geographical area can be very beneficial. However, you need to evaluate whether your audience is on Facebook and more importantly, if they are in the right mindset to respond to your ad whilst being on Facebook.
Our advice is to run a test campaign, track the clicks and monitor any results. This will give you basic statistics on which to base a more intense campaign and make informed decisions.
As event marketing tends to operate within tight deadlines, test the waters for a week or so whilst you are getting other marketing collateral ready. Alternatively, if you have the opportunity, try out your Facebook Ads on a small event first.
At the end of the day, only you know your specific goals for your event, which means only you are in the position to evaluate whether Facebook advertising is right for you. By being methodical in your setup and evaluation approach, you will quickly be able to formulate a sound and considered opinion.
You might be interested in this upcoming event...
NEW: Social Media for Small Business Webinar Series
Practical ways to use social media to grow your business
Online Webinars - Starting 28 May 2013
NEW webinar series: designed to dispel the myths about social media and arm small business owners with skills and know-how to make social media a powerful force for business development and bottom line results.
Experts will present practical ways to use social media to:
- Build brand awareness for your organisation
- Network and make connections all over the world
- Build your personal profile and position you as a credible authority
- Drive traffic to your website, blog or social networks
- Convert social media followers to leads and leads to customers
- Grow you reach with suppliers, staff, resources, alliances, sponsors