Facebook plans to let brands target ads to people who RSVPed to events posted by a brand’s Page. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the company’s plan after Moshe Isaacian provided screen shots of the new ad-targeting option in testing.
The event-based targeting will be a new option within Facebook’s Custom Audiences ad-targeting product, which originated as a way for brands to convert their existing customer bases into an audience to target on Facebook and has expanded to doing the same for brands’ followings on Facebook and Instagram.
The move to add event RSVPs to its suite of ad-targeting options is a way for Facebook to reward businesses that use its events feature to promote branded happenings, like new product launches, in-store celebrity appearances and brand-sponsored festivals, as well as to encourage other businesses to do so. Businesses were already able to use events to build on people’s interest in their brands, and now they can use that signal of intent to follow up further or find others who may also be interested.
Advertisers will be able to choose to create a Custom Audience of people who responded to a specific event or any event created by the advertiser’s Page. Brands can specify whether they want to include only people who RSVPed as “going” to an event or only those who responded as “interested” in going, or a brand can include both groups. And brands can pool together these people from as far back as 180 days ago, though that’s a rolling time frame, i.e., someone who had responded to an event 180 days ago would be included in the Custom Audience list today but be cycled out tomorrow.
As with all Custom Audience lists, the brand can then use the list to target a campaign to those people, to exclude those people from a campaign’s target audience or to use them as a proxy for Facebook to target a “lookalike” audience of people with similar characteristics.