Baby, You Gotta Pay to Play – Ads in Facebook Groups
It seems like a lifetime ago that I was new to social media; an optimist who truly believed that you could grow a page and have amazing results just because you were awesome at what you do. Over the last two years’ social media and particularly Facebook has changed. It is no longer enough to post a picture of a happy cat and reach 8 million people. It’s no longer easy to grow your page by a thousand followers a week. If you are fighting the organic battle, then you know that you are pushing sh*t up the Facebook hill and fighting for every person you reach and liker you gain. As Facebook rolls out yet another way to make money from its audiences (this time paid ads in Facebook groups) it’s time change up, yet again.
So as you may have guessed my strategy has changed over time, It’s a mix of trending articles, great graphics and paid ads (not to give it all away). I am now a strong believer in the fact that clients need to have some sort of ad budget. You don’t need to spend a million dollars but you need to have some cash in the kitty.
Which brings us to the elephant in the room….
Ads in Facebook groups
Last week I was part of a discussion on what exactly Facebook was planning to do with groups. The general consensus was that like winter paid group advertising was coming. For weeks Facebook has been prompting me to “discover” groups, so today I did. I was amazed to see that searching for groups has changed.
You can now search groups by keywords and categories which makes it a lot easier for people to connect (I can help with this if you get stuck).
The digital marketing industry is all over it
The shift to group marketing isn’t new. The digital marketing industry has embraced group marketing for several years now (around the time that organic page reach plunged into the abyss) If you have an eagle eye you would have noticed that some of Australia’s biggest bloggers have recently launched groups. While bloggers formerly known as Remarkables scatter, the new approach for blogger outreach has been all about the groups. Australia’s most read bloggers are scampering to start their own groups because Facebook reach was once the cornerstone of their “influence” and groups allow it to become that way again.
Groups = great free reach, or at least they did
Winter is here, and paid ads in groups have already started to find their way into group feeds in Australia, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand as reported by Tech Crunch who sat down with Facebook and asked the big questions.
Facebook says it will reach maximum News Feed ad load in mid-2017, which means it needs new revenue streams to continue its revenue growth momentum that’s been going strong for years. Tech Crunch
How will it work?
Right now it looks like you will be able to target groups by interest or keywords, the same way you set up your news feed ads. It’s a positive for the business who is paying for the ad, highly targeted ads in a highly engaged environment. What could go wrong?
Flip this and look at it from a group admin’s perspective, you have grown a group based around a product, interest or service and now John Smith can promote his business within your group…..
Imagine that you have a group based around your SEO course, it full of your followers who have joined the group to learn from you. Then an ad pops up for one of your competitors in your group…
So the question is how do Facebook plan to manage the rollout? Will groups be given the power to choose what types of advertisements their member see? Or like everything else on Facebook will it come down to the fact that you do not “own” a Facebook group / page so they can do whatever the hell they want?
Classified ads in Facebook Groups
Unless you live under a rock, I am sure that you are part of at least one local buy swap and sell group. If not then think gumtree but super local and sometimes a little too personal. Go to your local group and try and list a product to sell, you will notice that the process is different than it used to be. Facebook groups are now setup to sell, how long do you think it will be till you pay to reach all group members? Pay to have your ad displayed to people in your local area?
What would you pay to advertise your second-hand TV?
The verdict is still out on paid ads in groups, we don’t know enough just yet but rest assured change is coming. On the brighter side of life, if you can sponsor a post to be displayed to all member of your group, then perhaps you will now be able to sponsor your group to help it grow? And as many entrepreneurs and retailers know a great group can make or break your success!
If you are feeling a little lost then let’s connect, I’m here to help x