If you are running a Facebook page, Facebook Events is a great tool for inviting your fans to a specific event. Facebook recently made it easier for you to set up an event and invite all of your fans, or just a selection of fans. Let’s see how that works.

Setting up an event

Facebook's create event function

You can only set up an event for Facebook pages, not for your personal profile. So you first need to use the “Use Facebook as” function and select the page you want to work on. Then click the “Event” button.

The Facebook 'insert new event' pop-up

In the pop-up you can fill in all the necessary event details. As you can see, your event is targeted to all your fans (as you can see I’ve got 308 likes at the moment). You can choose to add the event to your page right away, or define more specific targeting. Targeting doesn’t mean you are reaching all of your fans, I will explain this below.

The targeting function

In my example I choose to target my event specifically to my female fans, which lowers the targeted audience number but could increase the attending percentage. You can also target on:

  • Relationship Status
  • Educational Status
  • Interested in
  • Age
  • Location
  • Language

Combining these targeting methods lowers your targeted fans, as you are refining your targeting. Note: You can’t change the targeting once the event is added.

After adding your event, you could stop there. But there’s still some work to be done if you want to increase the chance of people actually attending your event.

Fine-tuning & promoting your event

The event details screen

When you click on the event link, you are taken to the event page. Here you can add additional information or updates about the event, include pictures or even set up a poll. This is also where you’ll find your statistics or people attending your event.

There are a number of ways to increase the number of people reached. These are:
– Boost your event
– Making an ad for your event
– Using your personal contacts list

Boost your event

The Facebook boost event screen

You can choose to boost your event, just like you would with a normal post. You specify a budget and a targeting method. You should always do one boost to people who already like your page, to make sure you reach all of them.

Facebook doesn’t show your events to all of your fans. They use their own algorithm for this, which is based on engagement with your page. Basically if your page has low engagement rates, it is harder to reach your audience.

Every page is fighting for the same eyeballs, so Facebook has to decided which to show in the limited space they have. Promoting your event increases your reach among your fans. You can also choose to target potential attendees who aren’t fan yet.

Making an ad for your event

The Facebook promote event screen

The second option is making an ad for your event. You will find the “Promote” button in the drop-down next to the “Edit” button.

Using ads isn’t much different from boosting an event. The main differences are:
– An event ad allows for paying per click and per impression with price control. A boost only allows for paying per impression, with Facebook optimizing your spent.

  • An event ad gets placed in the right sidebar, where a boosted event gets placed in the main timeline of a viewer.
  • Ad event ad allows for additional information and pictures, where a boosted event will be displayed as is.

Using your personal contacts list

Adding personal contacts to an event

The third option is achieved in a way which is a bit odd. You can use your personal contacts list (your Facebook friends) to send an invitation. To do this, you need to take the following steps:

  1. Switch to using Facebook with your personal account
  2. Visit the page where the event is added
  3. Click on the event link

You now see a new set of buttons where first the “Edit” and “Promotion” buttons were. You can choose to invite friends personally, or share the event on your timeline.


Facebook has taken the Event functionality very seriously, which gives you a powerful tool to add and promote events. If you want to do it properly it will probably cost you some money. But with Facebook marketing still being relatively cheap that shouldn’t hold you back on trying it out.

Quick tip: The event I added isn’t really my own event. It is hosted by a company I partnered with, and I earn a commission every time someone attends. It’s a perfect way of promoting your affiliate link in a natural way.

Note: Facebook has a help section on creating events in their knowledge base, but it is very limited.

Jacco Blankenspoor is a website developer from the Netherlands, and is currently just building lots of different websites. When he is not working on HIPAAHQ.com (about HIPAA compliant hosting) you might catch him enjoying coffee.

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  • Jeremy Bresciani

    But you are not given the opportunity to personally invite all of your fans? Only those that actually happen to see your event on their newsfeed will know about it?

  • http://www.buildyourownwebstore.com/ Jacco Blankenspoor

    Unfortunately there’s no way to contact them directly, only increasing your chance of them seeing your event.

  • humblepie75

    I volunteer for a small nonprofit. Another volunteer created a fundraising event on his personal page that now needs to be moved to the nonprofit page’s event tab. Can you help me understand how to do this?

  • Anees

    I don’t see the export functionality anymore with events with this revamp – is this feature gone?

    • http://www.buildyourownwebstore.com/ Jacco Blankenspoor

      Hi, I still see it when clicking on the “dotted” button right next to the “Edit” button.

  • http://www.yogeshsatpute.in Yogesh Satpute

    Setting up an online event – The Content Portal Meet. It’s an online event for testing the effectiveness of SitePoint. Join in and post a quick comment on your take.

    • http://www.buildyourownwebstore.com/ Jacco Blankenspoor

      Hi, the link just takes my to my own event list…?

  • http://www.buildyourownwebstore.com/ Jacco Blankenspoor

    Hi, I believe the only way to do this is set up a new event on the page, losing any likes for the personal event. It is possible for the volunteer to re-invite his/her contacts to this new event.

  • knobson

    Absolute garbage. Facebook does NOT take events seriously – all they are interested in is screwing money out of events organisers – and it is NOT reasonably priced – it is a total rip-off. Why don’t Facebook have an invite facility for Page owners to be able to invite their email contacts – I have tried for months to work out how to do this but it just doesn’t work. Facebook is complete and utter sh*** from start to finish. Their help pages are useless and they never reply to feedback. I work very hard staging events and yet Facebook does not provide me with a facility to be able to invite even the people who like my page never mind my list of contacts. Useless.

    • http://www.buildyourownwebstore.com/ Jacco Blankenspoor

      Hi, you’re right about the monetary part. It’s quite a shame you can’t reach your own fans directly, but I guess it makes sense for them business wise.

  • http://mmmsocialmedia.com/ Danielle Miller

    Hi Jacco, I am attempting to follow your instructions, but do not see any targeting option.
    I’ve tried as both my personal profile and page, creating the event from scratch and copying a past event. There are no cases in which the targeting was applied. Ideally, I’m trying to create a repeating event (https://www.facebook.com/help/210475378992333?sr=1&query=repeat%20events&sid=02e1EcjLzX3DXUFio) that invites the same people automatically. Could you offer any insights or guidance?

  • Sol

    Facebook really are a big bunch of w&nkers – Events on FB are rubbish. Unless you pay $100 or more your event is not going to be seen – by your fans – or by non-fans. Better off paying your office girl $100 to email / phone / text everyone. And what’s with showing how many people are going? If you get a low response rate, then even fewer will opt in…

  • Liz Tullo

    As someone utilizing a Business Page and creating Events targeted to your fans, why have they not included an Invite All button so you can instantly send the event to those individuals? I don’t understand the logic of having to use your personal contacts (who most likely won’t be the same demographic of your company) to get invitees. You’d think they’d figure this out by now. Am I just overlooking a feature and totally missed this option?

    • ZionBalance

      Facebook doesn’t want people to send out 1000s of invites to events because it clogs users’ notifications and people don’t want to be invited to events that aren’t in their area. There are several javascipt codes floating around that can be used to select your entire friend list on the event invite section but Facebook recently changed the rules so you can only invite 1500 people max now from each account. Before you could send out 5k+ invites at one time regardless of how you checked each name/person.

  • Do Lally

    Hi Jacco

    Nice post about events (only one I could find about the new event layout).

    Do you know where the “invited” number comes from on any event page? Is this the figure that would show if I was to use my personal friends list and send an invitation out to them? Seems crazy if it is but hey-ho that’s Facebook!

  • curious

    do you know of a way to promote (i.e. paying to promote) the invite to those who have been invited? the promote options only seem to let us target new people. or target followers of the business page that the event was created under. but there should be a way to promote the event to everyone that’s been invited, whether they like the business page or not. i cannot seem to find a way. it seems silly that this would not be an option. please advise.

  • http://www.buildyourownwebstore.com/ Jacco Blankenspoor

    Hi, I’m afraid I can’t help you on this, not sure how to do it myself either…

  • zionbalance

    This part definitely isn’t true “You can only set up an event an event for Facebook pages, not your personal profile.” I’ve set up over 500 events through personal accounts.

  • Cmon

    Facebook doesnt UNDERSTAND how events work. The pages system is garbage. If I create an event through my page I cannot invite everyone who likes my page. Ridiculous.

  • Monika

    Hi Jacco, I came accross your explanation about creating an event. Thank you. I realise that you posted this six months ago and perhaps fb changed yet again some of thise. I simply do not have the possibility to select “Use Facebook as”. Any suggestion, Please ?

  • Stephanie

    I am still confused. If I create a event on my FB business page and save it. It shows up on my business page wall. but then there is a share tab under the invite tab and it says share event. So I clicked on it. Now I have two posts on my business page.. Am I doing something wrong?

  • Jan

    Is there a way to have the event not appear in the newsfeed of my list if I am creating it earlier than I actually want to publish the event information?

  • Loni

    I went to invite my friends for an event but most of them are ‘grey’ and cannot be invited. Do you know why this is?

  • http://www.technocrews.com hossaingoni

    Thanks for a nice article. Nowadays Facebook fun pages becoming very popular for any event. we organized many events successfully with the help of it.

  • Walzer

    Seems like it is not possible to create a private event (Or by invite only) through a page, which to me seems ridiculous… I have to create a such event from my band’s page and I’m not allowed to do so!

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