When you use Facebook as part of your social media marketing strategy, you can have a business Facebook page or a group (or both!) . But many people are confused between the two – so what’s the difference?
A Facebook page works like a public profile. It allows your business to have a ‘face’ on Facebook and introduce your products and your brand to Facebook users.
A Facebook group is more like a community. A group gathers those with a similar interest or hobby together, and offers a place for them to discuss and share opinions.
So which should you use for your business?
Facebook Pages are viewed as the norm.
When you think about a business, and you search for it on Facebook, you may see several different options appear in the search results. Facebook will show you results that match the same and similar names – pages, groups and personal accounts. You may then want to filter those results – and when most people do, they filter to show business pages – not groups.
It is shown, that internet users are more likely to search for a business website or a Facebook page – almost never do they search for a group.
But what about Google searches?
Both pages and groups show up in the Google search.
There was a time not so long ago that groups didn’t appear in the search results – but having done a bit of testing myself today, I can say that they now do!
Groups create a sense of community.
The theory behind a group is that those people that join will have some sort of similar interests, ideals, or be able to relate to each other in some way. This creates an opportunity of connection and communication amongst the members.
Facebook is a social platform (social media, there’s the clue!), and wants users to chat and connect with one another – hence the boost to the groups function on the site.
It is obvious that Facebook wants to encourage businesses to create groups within their fan base as that’s why the opportunity to link groups to a page was created.
Pages tend to be more business focused, groups are more interest focused.
When it comes to marketing a business, Facebook pages work well as the public face of the brand. They can be used to promote products, show behind the scenes, and create engagement by asking questions and providing value to their viewers. Page followers only interact with the content that is received. When someone comes across your page, they can see immediately what is it all about – the header, name, about information, etc is there to easily see – and that is what people are used to. People can see posts directly from the page owner (or admin team!), and there is no confusion.
When it comes to groups, they tend to work better for discussion based communication, rather than solely promotional posts. People join groups to connect with others and learn more about something. If admin settings allow, group members can be active participants in a group as they can create and start new conversations instead of waiting to be spoon-fed contents.
Advertising and insights tend to favour the use of pages…
But, as it is now notoriously difficult to get your page seen without running adverts, particularly if you are not a well-known established business, having a group can really help boost your visibility – particularly if members set their notifications to receive notice of all posts.
The insights that you can see behind the scenes of a page offers incredible data that can really help you to better understand how your posts are performing and gives you valuable information about your fans so you can really find out who you are reaching.
Unlike groups – a page and the posts created for it can be easily promoted with adverts in an attempt to reach a greater audience and attract new fans.
Pages are easier to share and get shared.
For those of you that like to network and take part in engagement groups etc, it is far easier for people to comment on your page, than to have to join your group first. When I see groups taking part in such threads, I often ask if they have a page instead. I am really reluctant to join a group I don’t know just so I can make a comment. People are far more likely to openly share a business page – where people can simply view it and see immediately what it’s all about – than attempt to get people to join a group. (Unless the group is super helpful!)
So a page or a group? Which should you choose?
Personally, I always recommend both.
A page to be the ‘public face’ of your business on Facebook. That first introduction to your brand, the ‘hello, this is me and mine’ stage presented there for all that views it. It is a place where people can openly support you, without feeling they are signing up to something. There isn’t any barrier for people to burst through as there is no ‘joining’ and no need to feel any sense of commitment being made.
And a group to build a connection. To develop a community around your business and brand. To bring together your target audience and nurture relationships. The group can be joined once someone has a feel for your business, a sense of what you are all about and a connection with you – something that resonates with them so they are likely to want to support and buy from you.
For what it’s worth, that is how it works for me personally as a Facebook user. I rarely – if ever – join a group connected with a business immediately. I don’t want to join a group, have a welcome post created mentioning my name, and then find out that it really isn’t for me and have to slope off out of there. I would rather get a feel for a brand – and the person behind it – first. Do I like them? Do I connect with them? Do I resonate with their story? Do I love what they do? If yes – then I will seek out their group and join, now knowing what sort of voice to expect within. I am then far more likely to stay a member and participate that way.
Now over to you? What are your thoughts? Group or page? I’d love to know. Click here to send me an email and let me know.
PS. If you are an Growing Handmade member, you will find a huge list of social media post ideas within the training portal. Many of these can be used within a group or a page.
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