We’ve been writing a lot about Facebook groups, lately. First we published a white paper about how to position yourself as a neighborhood expert, and hence, get more clients. Then we talked about two separate promotional strategies: Preparing a neighborhood report, and linking up with other Facebook groups.
But there’s one more promotional tool that’s worth discussion—paying for advertising. While you’re not selling any product, advertising can be used for social media promotion, too. But before we get into how, let’s address the elephant in the room—what.
What should you advertise?
Any advertisement is only good as its offer. You can have the best looking ad, but if your product sucks, no one’s going to buy.
Advertising Facebook groups is still like that. Groups can suck, too. See, everyone already knows heaps of people on Facebook. Do they just want to find more friends just because an ad told them to?
So the cardinal rule that underlies this entire post is this: Have something interesting to advertise. In our white paper, we recommend creating a neighborhood report. This is the type of information that should be the “offer” of your advertising. It’s something valuable that people can latch onto. Then, they’ll join your group based on the expectation of more content like that, not just for the people.
Now you have a good offer, the first advertising method is to create a normal Facebook post, then “boost” it. Boosted posts appear higher in other people’s news feeds, at the cost of a small amount of money.
The upside to boosting posts is it doesn’t cost a lot of money per post. If your post is good enough, there’s a good chance it will be spread further, potentially going viral.
The key rule when it comes to boosting posts is make sure your post is interesting. Only boost posts that correspond to a great blog post you’ve written, a white paper, and make sure you have a good picture, since people like pictures. It’s your money, and boosting costs the same regardless of the post, so make sure you make it count.
The other way to advertise is, surprisingly enough, to create ads. But the medium influences what ads look like greatly. While these will be dedicated ads, they will be Facebook ads—suitable for Facebook, not for posting on your window (or even another website).
These ads are known as native ads. Like an editorial, they look close to a “native” Facebook post, but are still clearly recognizable as an advertisement. As with boosting posts, make sure you have something to say. If you’re going to go to the trouble of advertising, don’t advertise your group exactly—advertise a neighborhood report. The people who this appeals to will then see your group and decide to join it based on the promise of more information.
Here’s an example:
Facebook advertising for groups isn’t terribly complex. But it does require a solid understanding that you’re selling value, not real estate. It’s the value that will get you more friends.