Deciding between a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group really depends on your goals. Both have its advantages, but serve different purposes.
A Facebook group is designed to create a community of people bonded by a common interest. Interests can be anything. Some examples are networking, children, single moms, stay at home moms, fitness, fashion, and religion. Note that this list is not exhaustive; there are many more interests used to create groups.
What sets groups apart is the community element of it. Unless the settings are changed by group admins, everyone can post in the group. Unlike Facebook pages, everyone’s posts show up on the timeline, so that it is easy to see and comment on. This encourages group members to post and share information as well as interact with each other. Again, this is where the community element comes into play. This takes pressure off the group admins, because members voluntarily share in the posting.
There are three types of groups:
- Public – open to everyone, viewable by everyone, searchable
- Closed – group admins approve people to join, only group members see content, searchable
- Secret – by invitation only, not searchable, content only viewed by members
When would you choose to use a Facebook group?
Think of a Facebook group as a virtual room of people talking with each other and exchanging information. When you want to bring people together around a common interest and you want them to interact, a Facebook group is ideal. Choosing a Facebook group means your focus is on the members rather than promoting your business.
Here are a few Facebook groups:
- Playdates & Playpals (public group) – a newly formed group by a friend that centers on healthy friendships for children. This group posts activities taking place in the community that makes life easier for parents to give their kids memorable experiences. It has quickly risen to over 1,000 members.
- Natural Hair (closed group) – with almost 150,000 members, this group provides support for anyone caring for hair in its natural state.
- Weight Watchers: Recipes & Tips (closed group) – with almost 215,000 members, this group supports Weight Watchers members along their journey.
- The Word Network TV (public group) – hosted by The Word Network Cable Television Network, this group is designed to bring people together with a common interest of spreading the gospel with over 15,000 members.
Groups come with many features such as the ability to go Facebook Live, create a poll, and customize your header. The members also help tremendously to keep the group going taking some of the responsibility off of your shoulders. However, groups don’t give the same analytics like the other platforms; do not expect to see the number of video views which is a common question I am asked.
A Facebook Page is the business side of Facebook. Choose this option when you want to promote something and establish an online presence. Decision makers are giving out book deals, casting actors, booking singers, and so many other things based on a thriving Facebook Page (the public one).
Facebook Pages are designed for businesses to create a presence so they can be found. 69% of consumers look up businesses online before they purchase, so creating a page for business is more important than many small businesses realize.
Facebook Pages are also public and searchable. That means that people without a Facebook account can find your business and look at your page in addition to Facebook users. Why is that important? Google is still the number one search engine, so when your Facebook page appears in search results, it works in your favor that people can check you out while you’re off doing something else (I do it all the time when promoting things). When your content is strong, they will ‘like’ your page and get connected.
The greatest advantages of Facebook Pages are:
- It provides detailed analytics. You can see how well your posts are doing (i.e. ‘likes’ which are now known as ‘reactions’, comments, shares, how many reactions on the shared posts, video views).
- You can do Facebook advertising. You can only promote on public pages and event pages. Unless you are a superstar, you will need some extra help in building your presence and increasing numbers. Facebook advertising helps tremendously. You cannot do this in groups or on your personal pages.
The greatest disadvantages are:
- It is harder to get people connected to your page, because they have become comfortable interacting on personal pages.
- It is harder to get people to engage with your posts.
There are solutions to the disadvantages which I will talk about in another blog, but it is important to not be discouraged. Your business needs a professional presence which can only be created on a Facebook Page. Just think, if an investor looked up your business on Facebook, would you want that person to sift through all the group posts to find information about your product/service?
Before you decide which option to choose, be clear on your goals. You may also create both, but create them for the right reasons, and be sure you have the time to maintain both.
Suzzette Turnbull is the CEO of Uncommon Marketing and a social media speaker and trainer. Connect with her on Facebook at Suzzette Turnbull and on Instagram, Twitter, and Periscope at @suzyturn. Be sure to subscribe to the website for more social media tips, resources and upcoming trainings. Click the Books Tab for more info on her social media eBook.