Many businesses today are seeking to start up a Facebook presence online, from the newest startups and smallest mom ‘n’ pop shops to companies with decades of experience and large corporations. However, the first thing people find out is that Facebook isn’t a one-option-fits-all site. There are different options when creating a home for your brand, business or association.A Facebook page and a Facebook group each has its benefits, and they’re totally different things. So, this leaves some at a complete standstill in terms of which to select. To know which option best suits your needs, let’s examine the difference in a page and a group and subsequently look at the pros and cons of each.
A Facebook page and a Facebook group each has its benefits, and they’re totally different things. So, this leaves some at a complete standstill in terms of which to select. To know which option best suits your needs, let’s examine the difference in a page and a group and subsequently look at the pros and cons of each.
Quick note: you may remember (if you are a loyal reader and have a super awesome memory) that I’ve previously posted a similar article on this subject: Facebook Pages vs Facebook Groups – worth checking out as well. However it’s always nice to have a refresher course in these key Facebook marketing subjects, particularly as Facebook changes things so often!
The Differences Between a Page and a Group
A Facebook Page
Designed to act more like a personal profile for businesses, public figures, and organizations, a Facebook page is basically a place to create an authentic representation of what you’re about. It’s very similar to a basic profile in structure and function, but the intent is for the actual page to become the entity rather than the person behind a profile. For instance, your brand is what’s known by its page – e.g. the Coca-Cola brand and its page and promotions and fans, not the CEO of the company and its followers.
Connecting with a page allows a user to closely follow the brand. Pages are also verified for authenticity and can help a brand develop a deeper level of trust.
A Facebook Group
Pages act as profiles for entities, while groups act more like places for like-minded communication. People who share common interests and want to express their opinions in a safe forum will either join or become part of a group for these purposes. Charities, organizations, people with the same objectives, etc, all find groups very useful.
Think about the differences in respect to the previous Presidential Election. Barack Obama would have had a Facebook page, whereas people organizing for his campaign would have belonged to a group – a conglomeration of members. Both send updates to News Feeds and can be used by businesses, but they’re quite different.
Of course, it’s not either-or here. You can always create a page and create and/or belong to a group. Your options aren’t limited in this respect. Just know that they’re different; so if you want to go the group route, that’s not a page, and vice versa.
The Pros and Cons of Pages and Groups
- Pages are much easier to update and stand as better options for brands who frequently add new material
- A brand page looks more like a personal profile, so you can play to the social context of the site better and engage at higher levels
- Pages have customizable URLs and you can better promote the page to fans directly
- Pages give you more options for posting photos, events, various links, etc
- Page owners can distinguish their content from other content to make it stand out
- Pages allow you to create a banner and personalize the page more to your purpose
- Pages are harder to grow organically and usually require a Facebook marketing tool and spending to give it a boost
- It typically takes a lot longer to promote a page, even though it’s easier to promote per options and function
- Conversations are more difficult to manage, especially between fans
- Everything’s more out in the open with a page, so you have to monitor things more closely
- In groups you can easily communicate with all members via chat, email, wall posts, messages, and even create a shared Doc
- A business is allowed to promote an event through Groups in general, whereas a page doesn’t allow that option
- Groups tend to display a higher degree of personality and even personalization, since they’re often created to be personal presences rather than brand presences
- Making common connections is much easier through a group setting, particularly for businesses searching for contacts
- Unlike pages, groups don’t allow you to add on any additional applications for promotions or aesthetics
- For business purposes, it’s harder to keep track of what you’re doing in a group, because Facebook Insights is not available in this format
- The lack of a vanity URL makes it hard to fully customize and personalize a group
- In a group you’re always going to be playing to a much narrower audience
- Groups are very difficult for other people to find unless they’re already part of a group or have a friend who joins
Deciding on a group or a page is probably going to boil down to what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re part of an organizing committee or need to rely on other people and entities for business, a group might be more up your alley. Whereas brands looking to do business would be better served with a page to handle their presence.
Author’s Bio: Craig Robinson is a professional writer for Qwaya, a technology company specializing in Facebook marketing.