Believe it or not, Facebook groups are not just for sharing cute cat memes and funny videos. They can also be a powerful tool for growing your small business.
Whether you’re looking to connect with potential customers, network with other business owners, or simply find some inspiration, Facebook groups have got you covered.
The thing is, using Facebook groups alongside paid ads can be tricky. Worry not, though, as we’re here to help.
In this article, we’re going to cover how to run Facebook ads in groups (aka target group members with Facebook ads), as well as how to use paid advertising to grow your group!
Facebook ads in groups: Why you should create a Facebook group
Here’s why it’s a good idea to create a Facebook group if you’re a small business owner:
Connect with like-minded people
Whether you’re a small business owner or an individual with a passion for crocheting, a Facebook group can help you connect with others who share your interests.
Customer feedback is king (or queen!)
Facebook groups are an excellent way to get feedback from your customers (using polls, for example, something that we explored in this guide on Facebook polls). You get to hear what your customers or clients like, what they don’t like, and what they wish you did differently. With this valuable feedback, you can make changes and improvements to your business or product. Your customers will appreciate you for listening to them.
You can reach a larger audience
With Facebook groups, you can access a larger audience of potential customers. Think of it like inviting the whole town to a party you’re hosting. The more people you invite, the better chance you have of making new friends, finding new customers, and having a great time.
That said, keep in mind that the number of people who join a group varies depending on its purpose. A public group can have thousands of participants, while a closed group is usually smaller – sometimes fewer than 100 members.
Keep your community engaged
Many businesses neglect the importance of having a strong community, and it can result in lower engagement rates.
A Facebook group allows your customers to talk to each other. This creates a community around your brand, which can lead to increased engagement and loyalty. Plus, when people feel like they’re part of a group, they’re more likely to stick around and recommend your business to others.
Besides, with a Facebook group, you can host polls, contests, and other interactive events to keep your customers engaged and excited about your brand. And who doesn’t love a good giveaway or quiz?
Do Facebook groups have any cons?
Before you dive headfirst into the wonderful world of online community building, there are a few downsides to consider. For one, you might end up with more spam than a can of Hormel, and let us tell you, it’s not a pretty sight.
Another bummer is the potential for negative or abusive behaviour from members, which can be harmful to the group’s overall dynamic and reputation.
Furthermore, let’s not forget that running a Facebook group can be a time-suck and that managing an online community requires ongoing effort to keep the group engaged and active.
Finally, if the group fails to gain traction or attract members, it can be frustrating and demotivating for the group’s creator (we’re going to cover this in the next section, so worry not).
But, hey, don’t let the potential downsides scare you off. With a little bit of effort and a lot of heart, you can create a thriving online community that brings people together like peanut butter and jelly.
Facebook Ads in groups: How to promote your Facebook group using Facebook Ads
If you’ve ever created a Facebook group, you know how frustrating it is to see a small number of members or, even worse, a group with no members at all. But fret not; there’s a simple solution to this problem: using Facebook ads!
So, how does that work?
Well, Facebook doesn’t allow you to promote your group directly using Facebook Ads, so you’re going to do the following:
- Create a Facebook page that will work as the middleman. On that page, you’ll share a link to your group and encourage followers to join it
- Run Facebook ads for your page so that when your people visit it, they’re going to discover your group and, hopefully, join it
For the sake of simplicity, say you want to promote a group that revolves around home improvement.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you create an ad campaign for your Facebook group that will have home improvement enthusiasts (or any other group of people) jumping at the chance to join.
Step 1: Start by creating a Facebook page for your group
Before you can create an ad campaign for your Facebook group, you need to have a Facebook page.
“Why do I need a page when I’m looking to promote my group?”, you ask?
The short answer – you don’t necessarily need a page for your group. However, if you want to promote your group using Facebook ads like we’re going to go through in this example, you need a page to do that.
Plus, having a public page allows you to freely promote your group to a wider audience.
Pick your page’s type
First things first, you need to choose a type of page to create. Are you creating a page for a business, brand, or cause?
In our case, we want to create a Cause or Community page since we’re all about bringing together home improvement enthusiasts.
Enter a page name and get started
Now that you’ve chosen the type of page to create, it’s time to enter a page name and click “Get Started”.
Set up your page
Add a profile photo and a cover photo. We recommend using the same ones as your group. After all, we want to associate the two clearly, so that visitors know they’re related.
Next, add a bio and a bit more info about your page.
Pro tip: promote your group in the bio and include a link to it to encourage people to join. And don’t forget to create a pinned post on the page that promotes your group. This post will be fixed to the top of your page, so it’s the first thing everyone sees when they visit.
Step 2: Create a Facebook page likes campaign to run Facebook Ads in groups
You may be wondering, “aren’t page-like campaigns outdated?”
Well, yes, they are, but not for building a Facebook group!
Using this kind of campaign is like using a flip phone in the age of smartphones – not the most popular choice, but it still does the job!
1. Once you have your Facebook page set up, head over to Facebook’s Ads Manager
2. Click on the green “Create” button in the top left, and then choose “Engagement” from the list of campaign objectives
3. Enter your campaign’s name and choose your daily budget
4. In the Conversion section, choose “Facebook Page” and pick your page
5. Under “When you get charged” within the Optimisation and delivery section, choose “Page like”
6. The Audience section is where the magic happens. This is where you’re going to define who’s going to see your ad. If you’re promoting your home improvement page and group, clearly, you want to home improvement enthusiasts, right?
Enter the locations you want to target, and then specify interests and hobbies related to home improvement. Facebook will show your ad to people that fit this description.
Here are some extra tips to help you choose your audience
- Think about your ideal customer and create a persona that describes them
- Don’t shy away from experimenting with different targeting options to see what works best for your group. Test different combinations of interests and demographics to find the sweet spot
- If you already have a list of people who have joined your group, you can create a lookalike audience to target people who are similar to your existing members
- While it may be tempting to target a large audience, it’s important to avoid targeting too broadly. You want to make sure that your ads are reaching people who are most likely to be interested in your group
Step 3: Create your ad
Now it’s time to create your ad. Write a short and sweet sentence that describes what your page is about, and choose an image that’s relevant and eye-catching. Don’t forget to add a call-to-action button like “Like Page.”
Need some tips on creating Facebook ads properly?
Check these guides:
Step 4: Monitor your results
After spending a few bucks, check your ad’s performance. Are you getting clicks and conversions? Are people liking your page and joining your group? If not, don’t give up! You might need to experiment with a few different ads and targeting strategies to achieve the desired results.
Step 5: Invite new page followers to join your group
As your page gets new likes, you can start taking a more active approach by inviting your page’s followers to join your group. Navigate to your group and use the Invite Members section to send invitations.
Remember, it’s not just about the number of invites you send, but also the quality. So, personalise your invitations to make sure they don’t look spammy.
Facebook Ads in groups: How to use Facebook Ads on your Facebook group
Okay, so you can use paid ads to promote your Facebook group, but once people are in a group, can you target the members of that specific group using paid ads?
Well, while you can’t target the members of a specific Facebook group directly with your ads, there are some unconventional ways to do it. We’ll explore some of them here.
Facebook ads in groups: Retarget video views (the preferred method)
This is our go-to method for targeting Facebook group members with Facebook ads.
Why, you ask?
Simply because it’s both simple and accurate.
Create a killer video that’s both engaging and educational
Let’s face it; a killer video is way more exciting than a boring old blog post or a lengthy email. So, when it comes to promoting your product or service, your video has to be on point.
First things first, your video should be engaging and educational. We don’t want people falling asleep before they even get to the good stuff. To make sure your video is top-notch, you need to include a catchy thumbnail, a great hook in the description, and, most importantly, value-driven content. And don’t forget, absolutely no sales pitch. This isn’t a cheesy infomercial. We’re just educating the masses here.
For example, if you’re in the home improvement niche, you can create a step-by-step tutorial that shows viewers how to tackle common home improvement projects, such as installing a new faucet, replacing a light fixture, or laying tile in a bathroom on their own.
Now, why bother with all this effort?
Well, the end goal is simple – get as many group members as possible to watch your video and then retarget them using Facebook’s “video views” custom audience option.
Once you’ve created your masterpiece, it’s time to share it with the world. The first step is to post your video on your business’s Facebook page. That’s the easy part.
Next, it’s time to share your video’s link on your target Facebook group.
Use the “video views” custom audience option
Okay, now that your video has been shared and seen by the masses, it’s time to get down to business.
Once your video has garnered enough views, you can create a custom audience based on the members who have watched at least 3 seconds of your video. You can then retarget those viewers with ads that are specific to your product or service.
Facebook Ads in groups: Unleashing the power of Phantom Buster to crawl group data!
If you’re looking for a way to extract data from Facebook groups to help you target your audience more smartly, then Phantom Buster is the tool for you!
What Phantom Buster does is crawl through all the profiles of the members in the group and collect valuable information such as page likes and online behaviour. You can then use that data in your Facebook ads campaigns. What better way to (ethically) hijack your competitors’ audiences?
Pick the right Phantom
First, you gotta get your hands on the right Phantom.
1. Open up Phantom Buster and head to the “Phantoms” tab
2. Select “All Categories” and type in “Facebook Group Extractor” in the search bar
3. Click on “Use This Phantom” to get started!
Configure your Phantom and start harnessing data to run Facebook Ads in groups
Once you’ve got the right Phantom, it’s time to configure it.
1. Click on “Connect To Facebook”, and voila, Phantom Buster should do the rest!
2. Add the link of the Facebook group whose data you want to harvest and hit “Save”
3. Keep clicking on “Save” as the platform takes you through a series of settings
4. Finally, click on “Launch”
How to use this data
Although this method is not perfect for targeting members of a specific group, it’s still a great way to get insights into your target market. By analysing the collected data in a Google sheet, you can identify trends and patterns amongst group members and use this information for your detailed targeting options in ads manager.
Here are some of our notable guides on how to target Facebook ads properly:
- Facebook Demographic Targeting Done Right
- Facebook Ads Targeting Options
- Retargeting on Facebook Ads Simplified
So, once you’ve got all the targeting data using one of the aforementioned methods, you can use it to create killer Facebook ads. Here’s an overview of how to do that:
First things first, create a Facebook Ads account
If you haven’t done that already, no worries; here’s how to do it.
Choose your objective
Now, choosing your objective is like picking your outfit for the day – it’s important and depends on what you want to achieve. Do you want more people to join your group? Or maybe you want to boost engagement? Pick the one that suits your business’s goals best.
Next up, it’s time to define your audience
Don’t worry; you’re not giving them a personality test or anything. You can select demographic characteristics, interests, and behaviours to target your ad to the right people using the data we gathered using one of the aforementioned group-targeting methods.
Set your budget
Of course, nothing in life is free, so you need to set your budget for your ad campaign. You can choose whether you want to pay per click, per impression, or per action. Decide what works best for you, and you’re all set!
Create your ad
Now, let’s get to the fun part – creating your ad! You can choose the format, whether it’s an image or video, and get creative with your ad content. Just make sure to include a clear call to action that directs people to join your Facebook group.
For more details on how to create a Facebook ad the right way, check these guides that we published some time ago:
Last but not least, publish your ad and keep an eye on its performance
This is like waiting for the results of your latest dating app swipe – nerve-wracking yet exciting! You can track metrics like clicks, impressions, and conversions in your Facebook Ads account. Use this information to optimise your ad by tweaking your ad targeting or content as needed.
Need help growing your online community?
Growing and managing an online community is no small feat, and hiring a dedicated community manager can blow a hole in your budget. Worry not, though, as we can take care of that for you without leaving you penniless. Book a discovery call with us today, and let’s have a chat!