The Supergroup in the Post-Organic Social Reach Era

Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, and Zuckerberg

Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, and Zuckerberg

It’s 1967. David Crosby and Stephen Stills are at Joni Mitchell’s house. They’re playing a song they wrote together, “You don’t have to cry.” Another musician in attendance is listening. His ears perk up. It’s Graham Nash from The Hollies. The song ends. He’s blown away. He asks them to play it again and then one more time after that. By the third time through, he knows every word. They play the song a fourth time. This time Nash sings along with them. Fast-forward two years. Crosby, Stills, and Nash add Neil Young to the mix and the foursome play at Woodstock in front of a crowd of 500,000 people. Nash would later reflect on the way the legendary band brought to life some of the greatest rock and roll songs of all time, “It was like lobbing a live grenade in a vacuum”.

Crosby, Stills Nash and Young were a phenomenon known as a Supergroup which swept its way across rock n roll in the late 60s. Supergroups are best described as A-teams composed of legendary musicians from other bands. The success of these bands can be attributed to the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Can that same idea apply to a Facebook Ad strategy? Uh...sure. Did we shoehorn a classic rock backstory into a Facebook Ad strategy because the catchy name for the strategy vaguely resembles a band genre? Definitely. 

Reach - On Sale Now!

We all know Facebook continues to make it harder and harder for brands to get posts to reach their followers organically, they've said it themselves. Facebook says their continuous algorithm updates are about "connecting people to meaningful posts from their friends and family in News Feed." We think the more likely motivation around Facebook's algorithm priorities is that brands tend to have advertising budgets.

Not long ago, brands were able to amass large followings on Facebook & Instagram for a relatively low cost and then send out posts which could potentially reach them all for free. Unfortunately for brands, those days are long gone. Getting a branded message out on social media today works more like how TV or radio ads do - pay to play. This is why Facebook invented the Boost button.

The Boost button is designed to be the simplest and easiest way for people to spend money towards promoting a post (creating an ad). But just because we're living in the post-organic reach era of social media doesn't mean we should just push the easy button and let Facebook take the wheel. We built the Supergroup approach as a way to more strategically target top performing customers and high potential prospects.

The Facebook Supergroup

Defined simply, the Supergroup is a combination of custom audiences built in Facebook Ads Manager which allows you to take full advantage of Facebook's epic targeting options and unlock the true potential of your post. Using this strategy, you’ll create a custom audience of customers, engaged prospects, and lookalikes that should get more post engagement (likes, comments, and shares) while attracting more new followers at the same time.

Engagement AND Growth - The Supergroup Advantage

How to build your first Supergroup campaign :

WARNING: The next steps assume that you are already using the Facebook Pixel on your website, have at least intermediate level familiarity with Facebook Ads Manager, and understand how to build custom audiences and lookalike audiences. You'll also obviously need to have made some organic posts on Facebook and Instagram since you'll be using them as your ads. Check out any of the links above for comprehensive step-by-step info from Facebook. Alternatively, you can always...ahem.. hire an expert ;)

  1. Create lots of custom audiences using your most engaged customers and followers - These audiences should include customer files, website visitors, account followers, cart abandoners and anyone who has ever engaged with your Facebook or Instagram accounts.

  2. Create lots of Lookalike Audiences –– Facebook's interest based targeting can be great, but instead of guessing who your target audience is, leverage Facebook's massive customer database to create audiences that "look like" your own. Build lookalikes of any or all of the audiences we mentioned in Step 1. For this strategy, we recommend keeping the maximum lookalike percentage at 1%.

  3. Create a Saved Audience as the Supergroup –– Go to the Audience section of Ads Manager, click the “Create Audience” button, and select “Saved Audience.” Next, click the empty "Custom Audiences" box and add in each of your custom audiences you created in the previous steps. Finally, name your audience "Supergroup" and click "Save."

  4. Create your first Supergroup campaign – In Ads Manager create a new campaign, set the objective to “Engagement,” and the sub-objective to “Post Engagement.”

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You're already making unique posts specifically for Facebook and Instagram, so you'll definitely want to create a unique Ad Set for each.


Budget and scheduling parameters for each Adset are up to you, but in the "Placements" section, only select the original platform of the post you'll be promoting (Facebook or Instagram).

In the Audience section, click on "Use a Saved Audience," select your newly created "Supergroup," and click "Continue" to move onto the Ad section.

Since we are using an existing post, make sure you select the the "Use Existing Post" tab at the top of the page, then in the Creative section, click “Select Post.” You will see posts from both Facebook and Instagram – so again, make sure you’re picking the right ad for your desired placement. Once you're done here, you’re ready to launch.

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Bonus for those of us with OCD -  One rather annoying issue when using the Boost button to promote a post is that each time you use it, Facebook creates a new campaign. If you Boost often, you can really start to clutter your Ads Manager Dashboard. This makes it difficult to monitor and report on your campaigns effectively. However, if you build Supergroup posts in Ads Manager, you can just keep placing new posts in your existing Ad Sets, this will keep things tidy while making performance monitoring much easier.

Encore - Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young proved that the right mix of people can combine to produce explosive results. We proved an effective Facebook Ad strategy can have a cool name. Give the Supergroup a shot, we’d love to hear if it works as well for you as it has for our clients. We’ve seen increases in post engagement by more than 25% while increasing followers by more than 30% (vs traditional Boost button tactics). Don't be afraid to experiment with different combinations of interests, audiences, and exclusions to figure out what works best for your brand. The harmony you can create when you find the right audience mix can be music to your bottom line.