I’m pretty sure by now you’ve noticed that Facebook groups are getting more and more popular. Facebook groups are one of the best ways to build a real relationship with your target audience, whether you are the owner of the group, or simply a member.

Facebook recently announced that there are about 620 million groups on Facebook, and counting.

Facebook’s algorithm favours 2 types of posts: paid ads, and posts made in groups. It’s no suprise why groups have grown somuch in popularity, and ad spend is at an all time high.

But what if you could pair the two together? What if there was a way to target people from specific groups… Wouldn’t that be great?

Well, this is exactly what we will cover in his article! But before we get into the meat and potatoes, let’s talk about why this can be very effective.

Why a Facebook Group Audience Can Be Better Than An Interest-Based Audience.

Sometimes, it can be diffucult to build an audience using simply interests… Let’s say you sell a weight loss program, you have the option to target people that are interested in Fitness or an audience with people that have a desk job, or like Pizza and Hamburgers…?

The audience where we target people interested in fitness might not want a weight loss program… they may already be in great shape because fitness is an interest of them. But the second audience, (although they may need a weight loss program) might not have any interest in working out… they just have unhealthy behaviors.

With that being said, if people are in a Facebook group for individuals trying to lose weight, and the members motivate each other to stay on track and share their story, it doesn’t matter what Facebook classifies them at (someone that likes pizza, fitness…) we know that these users are definitely interested in losing weight. So let’s build an audience of those people who we know, are already interested in weight loss, and have already begun taking action!

Best Use-Case

Where we find the biggest use case of targeting Facebook groups is for brands that are just getting started with Facebook ads and don’t have any assets like an email list, Facebook page, or post engagement… For those that haven’t yet created a great audience on Facebook.

Or sometimes it will be the companies that maybe have all these different assets and they have already taped in and maxed out from their current audience (this should really only apply when using large budgets).

2 Ways To Target Facebook Groups With Facebook Ads

I’m going to start by saying that this is not something that is easily available to you in ads manager like “Click Here” to target a Facebook group… Although I wish it was that easy!

So we will have to play with some workarounds in order to create that audience.

If you prefer consuming this content in a video format, here you go:

If not, you can keep reading this article! P.S I prefer option 2

Option 1:  Crawl The Group’s Data With Phantom Buster

Phantom Buster Software

Option number 1 consists of using an automation tool like Phantom Buster that visits each member’s profile from the group page and collects information that is available such as their page likes, online behaviors etc.

Then, we can analyze this data in something like a Google sheet and try to identify common trends and patterns between these members. For example, if you see an industry that many of these members seem to show interest in.

Once you have identified commonalities, you can use these interests and behaviors for your detailed targeting options in ads manager.

As I said earlier, this is definitely not the preferred method of targeting specific group members because it’s a tedious task, but it is a great way to help define who your target market is. 

Step 1: Pick The Right Phantom

  • Open phantombuster
  • Click Phantoms > All Categories
  • In the search bar, type “Facebook Group Extractor”.
  • Now click on “Use This Phantom”.

Step 2: Configure Your Phantom

Simply click on “Connect To Facebook” and it should auto-fill the rest. Click “Save“.

Connect Phantom To Facebook

Add the URL of the Facebook group you want to scrape. Then hit “Save“.

Which group should phantom buster scrape

You will be brought through a series of settings.

Keep clicking the “Save” button until you get to a page with a button that says “Launch“. Click it to launch your Phantom.

Launching Facebook Group Extractor Phantom

Again, this won’t let you target the people that are part of that group but it will collect some of their information like Age, Gender, Page Likes, Interests… so you can I have a better idea of who you should target in ads manager.

Facebook Targeting inside ads manager

Option 2: Retarget Video Views

This is my preferred and more accurate way of targeting Facebook groups with Facebook ads.

Let me walk you through the process step-by-step.

Retargeting video engagement in Ads manager

1. Create A Good Video

Good Content

You will need to produce a video that is engaging and educational. It should be about the service or product you offer, and be a way to “get your foot in the door”. The goal is to get a group of people to watch your video, and then retarget them using the “video views” custom audience option.

You want your video gets as many views as possible so make sure it contains these elements:

  • A good thumbnail.
  • Have a great hook in the description.
  • Give value (I can’t stress this one enough!).
  • No sales pitch. This is simply educational.


2. Post Your Video On Your Page Then Share It Inside Your Target Facebook Groups

So you’ll want to post the video on your business Facebook page first and then share it to your target Facebook group afterwards.

Please Note: Most groups only allow people to join, not pages. So when sharing your video inside the group, share it with your personal Facebook profile.

3. Retarget The Video Views

Once your video has enough video views you can go in ads manager and create an custom audience based on the group members that have watched at least 3 seconds of your video.

Retargeting video engagement in Ads manager

Pro Tip:

  • By first sharing your video to your Facebook page, you’ll probably get views from the people who like and follow your page. You can exclude “people who have liked your page” that audience if you only want to retarget the FB group members.
  • If you decide to exclude the people that have liked your Facebook page, keep in mind that if a user is part of that group and also likes your Facebook page, that value won’t get added to your target audience.


So here you have it. Two ways to target people from Facebook groups with Facebook ads.

Keep in mind that these two options are simply just workarounds. But if you ask me… I believe think that with Facebook groups getting more popular, Facebook will soon give the admin of the group the option to retarget the group members and create lookalike audiences based on the members. But that’s just a prediction.

About The Author:

Cedric Potvin

Cedric Potvin

Facebook ad specialist

As a Facebook ad specialist at Vertex Marketing Agency, Cedric manages a lot of different ad accounts and spends a lot of money on Facebook ads. His goal is to share what he learns with the rest of the population.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This