by Mari Smith
Which is better: a Facebook Page or a Facebook Group? This is a question I get asked regularly and my short answer is you need BOTH a Group and at least one Page. Each serves different purposes:
- Special interests, causes, masterminds, study groups, beta testers, book reader groups (e.g. long before you publish your book, you could build up a tribe of people interested in your subject, give them sample chapters, get feedback on the content and cover, request testimonials, etc).
- You can message ALL group members – up to 5000 members – and your message lands right in their inbox.
- All group activities go out into the feeds: wall posts, posted items, discussion threads, photos uploaded, and videos uploaded. This provides tremendous viral visibility, as I call it.
- Groups tend to be more informal and based around interests, so you can create better “stickiness” (members keep coming back) especially with regular email messages
- Anyone can start a Facebook group around any topic.
- You can take advantage of any of the three different types of Groups for different purposes: Open, Closed, and Secret.
- Groups are great ways to segment Facebook members and find your target demographic to expand your network.
- Once you reach the 5000 emailing threshold, you’ll no longer be able to message everyone in your group.
- There’s minimal customization in groups and you can’t add apps.
- If you no longer want your group to be live, it can be tricky to delete.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Your Facebook PAGE is specifically to represent your business and gets indexed by Google.
- Facebook currently has an Alexa ranking of 5: meaning it is the 5th most trafficked site in the world.
- Pages can only be created to represent a real public figure, artist, brand or organization, and may only be created by an official representative of that entity.
- Your page gets indexed so more people can find you outside of Facebook.
- You can have multiple pages – great news for that SEO.
- As and when you reach the 5000 friend limit on your personal Profile, you have your fan Page to stay connected with more people.
- You can have unlimited fans.
- You can message all fans… though see Cons below.
- You can add rich media and most all apps.
- I recommend placing an opt-in box above the fold using an app like ProfileHTML.
- You can work on your Page behind the scenes building out content, then publish it.
- Little activity goes into the profile news feeds. The most visibility is when (a) new people become a fan and (b) fans upload a photo or video to your fan page.
- When you send messages to all fans, it goes out as an “Update” which is in a separate section of Facebook, not the main email Inbox. This means fewer people may see your messages.
For both Groups and Pages, you do have to manually track any and all activity. There is no app or feature in Facebook that will notify you when someone has commented on your Group or Page wall, posted a link/photo/video, added to the discussion board etc.
Also, for both Groups and Pages, once you create the title, it’s the only field that cannot be changed.
So, be sure to create BOTH your Group(s) and Page(s) for maximum visibility on Facebook!
Mari Smith is a Relationship Marketing Specialist and Facebook Business Coach. She helps entrepreneurs to accelerate their business growth using an integrated social marketing strategy, with particular focus on Facebook. Mari is passionate about showing professionals how to develop powerful profitable relationships.