Why bother participating when you can advertise?

Posted: February 18, 2010 in social media
Tags: , , ,

I recently had someone ask me a question regarding Facebook advertising.  The questions was:  Is it possible to advertise directly to a specific group on Facebook?

The answer is: Not unless you’re the owner/administrator of the group or page you want to advertise directly to.  It is possible to target keywords in people’s profiles, so say it was a group interested in snowboarding in the Rockies.  If they have snowboarding filled in as an interest, you could target that keyword, and then geo target your ads to Alberta, or to cities in Southern Alberta and get close to reaching a similar kind of audience.

My gut tells me, though, that if your desire is to reach an audience that specific, you’re wasting your time with advertising.  A group is a niche that’s already been identified.  Seeing the Facebook group shows you exactly who those members are and where they come from.  A little button on Facebook also gives you the opportunity to join this group.  So, if you can become a member of their community at the click of a button, why in the world would you want to advertise to them?  Especially when nobody looks at Facebook ads… and generally interest groups hate being advertised to anyway.  It’s kind of like you’re saying “I see you, I don’t actually want to talk to you… so please read my ad and find out what I have to say… even though I don’t really have time to listen to what you’re group’s all about.”

My advice in this case: Join the group.  Get to know the members, post on the wall, comment on other posts.  Become a member of their community.  One group isn’t going to take up hours of your time.  Taking 30 seconds to check in once a day, posting something once a week after you’ve been online for awhile, that doesn’t take long at all.  All it is is networking, and Facebook has served up a means for you to talk to the group directly.  All you have to do is participate.

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