From it's earliest days Facebook has used its powerful data algorithms to deliver incredibly well-targeted ads. It was a dream for most advertisers. They wouldn't just put your ad in front of your target audience, they'd put it in front of the specific members of that audience who were most likely to engage with the ad. The success of this approach changed the entire landscape of advertising, and advertisers reaped the benefits.  For musicians trying to promote tour dates, though, this presented a problem.

Bands are in a relatively unique position, from an advertising perspective. In each tour city we have small but very valuable target group of people we want to reach.  It's critical that we reach ALL of that group, not just the ones who might be prone to engaging with Facebook posts.  If we've got 500 fans in New York City, we want all 500 to see the ad for our show. Until now, the best objectives were "Page Post Engagement" or "Website Clicks" which deliver to those people who historically took those actions when viewing ads.  In many cases that left a decent chunk of your fans out.

In late 2016 Facebook rolled out a new objective that solves this problem.  When you choose the "Reach" objective you are now functionally telling Facebook that you want to reach as many people in your target audience as possible. After a few months of testing we've found that ads with the Reach objective perform significantly better for these small but valuable targets.  Note that that when you're advertising to larger, non-fan target audiences....fans of similar bands, for example...you're still better off using the "Page Post Engagement" or "Website Clicks" objective. 

Another significant advantage to the Reach objective is that for the first time Facebook is allowing you to put a limit on how often people see your ads. Even an ad for your favorite band's show can get annoying if it's popping up in your newsfeed 4 times a day. This new feature lets you define an amount of time that a user will not see your ad again after viewing it. It's a very helpful tool that provides an extra degree of control to what your fans are seeing from your page. A good rule of thumb is to build in a frequency cap of at least two days for most campaigns. 

Taken together these two new features provide a huge improvement to the tour marketing arsenal. Facebook ads have always been a one of the most effective ways to reach fans in a given city, but the effectiveness was often limited by their optimization algorithms. With the "Reach" objective we now have a concrete way to reach all of them. 

WHEN YOU SHOULD USE THE REACH OBJECTIVE: When you want to reach ALL of your target audience and have the budget to do it. It is ideal for making sure 100% of your fans in a given city know about your show. It also works well for key campaigns like album releases when you want to make sure all of your fans see the post. 

WHEN YOU SHOULD NOT USE THE REACH OBJECTIVE: When you're targeting wider and larger audiences (usually anything that is not your existing fans).  Since you won't be reaching all of them, it makes more sense to leverage Facebook's algorithm to reach the people most likely to click or engage. In these cases you want to use "Website Clicks" or "Page Post Engagement" objectives. 

ADDITIONAL READING:

5 Mistakes Bands Make With Facebook Ads

Facebook Advertising For Musicians: A 12 Part On-Demand Course