Facebook Group or Page? Are we really still getting asked this?

“Should I make the move from Facebook Group to Fan Page?”, I find this quite startling that i have been ask this question twice in one week. We thoughts that this question had been put to bed at the start of last year once and for all.

Apparently not, so lets run over some basics again here…

Groups are great for some things it is true, but for any professional companies/non-profits you have to seriously consider a switching to a fan page on our Monkey opinion.

In short:

  • a Page is perfect for branding and sharing with the public
  • a Group is ideal for community communication

So based on that, here’s what I believe should work for most companies:

  • Create a Facebook Page for external social media purposes (public)
  • Create a Facebook Group for internal photo sharing and other informal (private)

Oh and as a side note, the term “Fan Page” went away into the history books when Facebook dropped the “Become a Fan” button and went for the more causal “Like”. And no we don’t use “Like Page” either, just not cool…

To be a ‘fan’ of something is a huge commitment in most folks minds; to just ‘like’ something is much more casual. We personally like many things, but rarely consider our Monkey selves a fanatic of any particular sports team or band or food (expect bananas!). We think that over time, people have been much more likely to engage in this “Like” behavior, purely based on language alone.

So waht do you call them? FACEBOOK PAGES , duh!

We’ve been working with one of our professional clients to get their groups switched over to pages. Yes multiple groups for their multiple niches (more on that later).

The process is remarkably frustrating to get everyone moved over and posting on the page but in the long run we believe extra engagement will be the reward.

Facebook page vs. Facebook group
Facebook page vs. Facebook group

A few points to answer that “Why do we need to change?” question:

  • You can’t share photos or stories from a group to anyone else (THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT)
  • Group postings are not placed in the users feed, thus most do not get seen (THIS IS THE SECOND IMPORTANT)
  • You can’t tag a group (mention it with a link in a posting on your personal page) and drive traffic
  • Groups are not visible to unregistered people, simply PRIVATE
  • Groups are not indexed by Facebook or Search Engines (BING!)
  • You will not be able to use a custom URL to promote it, no vanity here
  • In a group you can’t tell what are official postings (they always come from a person)
  • You can’t add plug-ins or apps on a group (things like calendars, etc)
  • You can’t promote a group with Facebook Ads
  • There is a serious limit of the number of users you can have
  • Also when a person likes a page they get instant access to post… for a group they have to ask and that will deter some.
  • You can’t pin an imported post to the top (highlight)
  • You can’t use the check-in feature for geo
  • You can’t set up third party tools to automatically post to your Group (i.e. when you send out a newsletter it can put a post on your page)

If you are wanting to keep your posts private and want serious control over your users then you should probably stick with a Facebook Group.

If you want more engagement and sharing then switch to a Facebook Page. In most cases we believe the extra work will be worth it in the end.

Have more reasons for or against? Whack ’em below…

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