Are your social media posts falling into the abyss?

There’s no guarantee that your witty posts are reaching your own followers — much less new people on social media. The News Feed is a crowded place. On top of that, most social networks actively de-emphasise organic brand posts in favour of user-generated content.

To stand out and expand your reach, it’s worth investing money in paid social media advertising. Here are three simple steps to get started.

1. Identify your target audience

Unlike a TV spot during a Grand Final telecast, social media is extremely precise. In fact, you can measure exactly how much traffic each impression drives and pay only when people land on your listing (called “pay per click”).

Narrow who you target — by interests, age, gender, and behaviour — based on your attendee profile. After one week of testing different social networks and targets, redirect your budget to the ads driving the highest results to ensure no dollar is wasted.

As you learn more about your core attendees, identify the people on Facebook and Twitter who share similar profiles or behaviours and pay to target them (called “lookalike targeting”). This is one effective way to reach like-minded people most likely to attend your event and expand the number of people in your targeted segment.

Tools such as Boostable and ToneDen — that automate Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter advertising — make it easy to promote your event and target the people most likely to attend.

2. Experiment with your content

During your first few weeks of running paid ads, experiment with different forms of content (including images and videos) on each social network, and take note of what works where. You might find that your Facebook followers crave more substance than what your 140-word character limit on Twitter allows.

Replicate the posts with the highest engagement, and you’ll start to see the results.

Don’t know what content to test? Check out The Anatomy of an Ideal Event Ad.

3. Use real-time analytics to prioritise your social marketing

Now, it’s time to get scientific about social, especially if you decide to invest in advertising. Every organiser dreams of driving more ticket sales at a lower cost. And you can! With the right data, you can quantify your impact on each social network to ensure every dollar is being spent wisely.

Between social media and your ticketing platform’s analytics, you can track exactly who is seeing, engaging, and buying. Determine where your ticket buyers are coming from (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram) by applying unique tracking pixels to your event listing. Then double down on the social networks driving the most sales.

For an even more holistic look at your online promotion, use Google Universal Analytics to track the full path people take to reach your ticketing page.

Advance your paid ads knowledge

After you’ve learned what you need to run an ad on social media, it’s time to up your expertise before spending more. Read How to Master Facebook Advertising and Sell More for all you need to know to optimise your spend on the most common advertising platform for events.