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A Facebook Advertising Hack For Event Organizers

Traci Browne
Jul 20, 2016
facebook advertising for events

A well-cultivated opt-in email list is a great asset to any event organization. You know the people you are sending your messages to want to receive them. However, getting the recipients attention once you are in their inbox can still be difficult.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a backup plan?

You probably know that just about everyone and their brother is on Facebook (in fact there are about 1.65 billion active users). However, did you know you can create a Facebook ad that will get delivered to your organization’s target audience? It is one of the best-kept secrets of Facebook advertising—the “custom audience” feature. Here’s how it works:

  1. Take your current email list and save it as a CSV or TXT formatted file.
  2. Click on the “Audiences” tab in Facebook’s Ad Manager.
  3. Click on the “Create Audience” button and then choose “Customer List.”
  4. Upload your CSV or TXT file.

Facebook then goes to work behind the scenes and matches the addresses you uploaded with public Facebook accounts.

Now, it is likely you are not going to get matches on 100 percent of your uploaded addresses. If someone signed up for your mailing list using the address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., but signed up for Facebook with the address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Facebook will not be able to make the match.

Don’t despair. Even if you only get a small percentage of matches, it may be worth it. The people it does find will now be seeing your advertisement or announcement in yet one more place.
Not to mention it will be a lot easier to create that targeted Facebook ad when you know the person who is seeing it is already very familiar with your organization and receptive to your message.

Facebook’s advice to those with a “custom audience” of less than 1000 people is:

  • Bump up your maximum CPM bid. Remember, it is a receptive audience, so it is worth spending a bit more on them.
  • Test different ads (both design and wording) to see what works better with your audience.
  • Make sure you update your “custom audience” as your email list grows.
  • Try creating a “lookalike audience” based on your “custom audience” to find other people on Facebook who are similar to your best customers/members.

If you want to try it out and see just how many matches you will get, go ahead and create a “custom audience” in Facebook’s Ad Manager. You are not paying for anything, or committing to anything yet. You are just seeing if you’ve got any matches.

If you have a lot, you might want to consider running an ad. If you only have a few, then you can head on back to the drawing board and try something else.

Check out step by step instructions straight from the source  to set up your own “custom audience.”

simone mescolini / Shutterstock.com

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