As per Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Facebook groups are “a place to communicate about shared interests with certain people”… which means that ultimately Facebook groups are super valuable hubs consisting of people who have the same niche interests or belong to very specific communities, and because of this… I often get asked how to target members of specific Facebook groups with Facebook and Instagram ads.
Here are some examples of why people would want to do this…
- An online coach wants to target a Facebook group run by someone who is in a similar niche (ie; a coach who teaches people to build online courses wants to target a popular Facebook group run by someone who also teaches this)
- A product-based business wants to target Facebook groups where they know the buyers are qualified (ie; a pet supplies company wants to target groups of dog owners)
- A B2B service-based business wants to target Facebook groups consisting of specific types of business owners (ie; a commercial lawn care business wants to target property managers)
With the above examples, surely you can see why it would be super valuable to be able to target specific Facebook groups with your ads.
So… can you?
Yes. But it’s not straight-forward, it’s not always possible, and it comes with some risks.
Let me explain.
It would be all too easy if you could simply select a Facebook group for targeting at the ad set level of campaign set-up, wouldn’t it? But of course, you cannot do this. Sorry to burst your bubble.
But there is a workaround.
Here’s how you do it:
Step 1: Create a video and post it on your Facebook Page
You might already have a video that will appeal to the members of the groups you want to target, and if so, you can use that one. If you don’t already have a video that will provide value to the members of the Facebook group/s you want to target, you’re going to need to create one.
Make sure the video is not promotional in nature. It should either be educational or entertaining. You’ll see why this is so important in the next step…
Once you have the video ready, you’ll want to post it to your Facebook Page — a business Facebook Page that you are an admin of, not your personal Facebook account where you check up on what motivational life quotes aunt Linda is sharing today.
Step 2: Share the video to the Facebook group/s you want to target
This is where things can get a little tricky.
Why? Well, not all Facebook groups will allow you to share videos from your pages into the group. This is usually because those groups have likely caught onto people doing this for the exact reason we’re discussing in this article.
If the Facebook group DOES allow you to share videos from pages, you’re going to want to…
Go to the video on your Facebook Page where you originally posted it, and then select “Share”, select “More options”, and then select “Share to a group”. Once selected, you’ll be able to choose from a list of the Facebook groups you belong to.
Step 3: Create a “Video” custom audience in Business Manager or Ads Manager
We are now going to create a Custom Audience based on people who have viewed the video that was shared into the Facebook group/s.
First, create a Custom Audience from either the Audiences dashboard or from the ad set level of campaign set-up.
Next, we need to select “Video” as the source of our Custom Audience:
Then we need to select how much of the video/s people need to have watched in order to be included in the audience:
At this step, there is nuance and strategy as to how you choose an option from the drop-down. When making your selection you need to choose people who have shown interest in your video AND you need enough of them to form an audience big enough worth running ads to.
I generally choose people who have watched either at least 50% or at least 75%, depending on the total number of views the video has, and the length of the video. If there are quite a few views on the video (let’s say over 10,000 for the purposes of this example), I might use 75%. If there are not very many views, I might choose 50%.
If the video is over 60 seconds, unless there are a very large number of views (let’s say over 100,000), I might move to choosing people who watched at least 10 seconds instead of people who watched 50-75%, otherwise my audience size is going to be extremely small.
After you’ve made your selection, you need to click on “Choose videos”. This step is absolutely crucial for this strategy to work.
Then you are going to ensure the right Facebook Page is selected, and choose the video from the list that you posted on your page and then shared to the Facebook group. Please note that if you’ve posted quite a few videos, there will be multiple pages of videos for you to toggle through.
Once you have your video selected, click “Confirm“.
Then you are going to select your retention period. I would recommend 365 days unless the content of the video is not relevant for a long period of time. The retention period is the number of days people will remain in your audience after they engage with your content. People will be removed from your audience after the set time period unless they engage with the content again.
Lastly, name your audience something that will help you to remember what it is. You can see below that for this example I’ve chosen “Freelancer Guide Video Viewers | 75%”.
Click “Create audience” and now your audience has been created.
Step 4: Select that custom audience at the ad set level of campaign set-up
Now that our Custom Audience is created, we’ll be able to select it ad the ad set level for the targeting of our ads:
So as you can see, it is indeed possible to target certain Facebook groups with ads, but…
- It needs to be a group where sharing videos from Facebook pages is allowed
- You can only target the people who watch a part of the video you post in the group
- If the group owner/admins realize what you’re doing, there is a risk of being kicked out/banned from the group
With the above said, there are still plenty of Facebook groups that will allow you to share your videos in them. It’s just less likely in specific spaces like the online coaching space or any groups lead by specific personal brands or thought leaders.
And again, if you do use this method, ensure the video you share is full of value or is entertaining. This strategy is very unlikely to work with a promotional video as the group members may see it as spam, and/or the admins will and might kick you out pretty quickly.