Facebook marketing has caught the imagination of all businesses from relatively new start-ups to established brands. However, one of the first questions that come to mind when you are starting your social media campaign on Facebook is which one is the best for the promotion of your brand – a Facebook page or Facebook group.
To answer this question, you need to understand the difference between these two platforms.
According to Facebook, groups are “for members of groups to connect, share and even collaborate on a given topic or idea”. Groups are an extremely effective marketing tool to raise awareness around ideas.
- Groups are usually created with people who share the same interests or a common cause.
- They are an ideal place to network and build a strong community.
- If you are a new business looking to establish a presence, you could think of creating a Facebook Group to generate discussions around your niche.
Facebook Pages “allow entities such as public figures and organisations to broadcast information to their fans.” If you were looking to set up your company’s “official Facebook presence” and establish a brand, you would opt for Facebook Pages.
Facebook Groups or Facebook Pages: A Comparison
Pages support two-way communication; Newsfeed of fans or followers exclusively features the posts made by the page administrator. Member posts are displayed in condensed form on the side of the page, although, they can be added to the Page timeline by the administrator manually. While the Page administrator is notified when any member makes a post, these posts do not show up on newsfeeds of members. Simply put, pages discourage all around communication.
This has its own advantages; firstly, the administrators do not have to monitor each post made by a member. They have total control over the content posted on the page. They can weed out negative comments privately.
However, on the other side, there is no loyal community interacting on your posts. Members may miss your post altogether if you do not post frequently or they do not check their newsfeed at regular intervals. In addition, page administrators cannot send invites to events to the inbox of fans or followers. They are only featured as Page updates.
If a fan misses your update on his newsfeed, the only way he can revisit your page is by remembering the link, which is a remote possibility. This may be one of the reasons that it is difficult to grow pages organically. It takes longer to promote them and you may need to use Facebook marketing tools.
Pages are an optimal choice, in case, you want strict control over the content. Basically, there is already a market for your products, what you want to do is establish the uniqueness of your brand.
Groups are ideal for all-round communication; Posts by any member show up on the newsfeeds of all members. This factor alone increases the read and visibility of posts made in a group. There is little chance of a member missing your post, as they can easily skim through group activity by clicking on the group icon on the sidebar of their newsfeeds. Group administrators can send inbox messages to members including invites to events.
On the flipside, it can be very difficult to find a group on facebook, if you or your friends are not already a member.
You should ideally create a group if you are selling a relatively new idea and need to create an interest around it.
A group is self-sustaining, in the sense that once you have to build a community, you can leave it to group members to carry forward communication. Even if you are not posting regularly member posts can keep your group active.
However, to keep your Page on the top of people’s mind, you must post regularly.
You would need to devote time whether it is your Facebook Page or your Group. The advantage of having group is that at the times you can leave it on group members to do the talking for you.
3. Time Investment:
Building a Group requires more investment in terms of time. In the initial days, you would have to spend several hours replyin to comments and posts. As you community grows, you would have to check post and communications on a regular basis to encourage interaction and also keep a grip over the content.
Create a group only if you have the time to manage and reply to conversations on a regular basis. Pages, on the other hand, take up less of your time.
4. Search Engine Optimisation:
Search engines index both Facebook Pages and Groups; however, Facebook Page administrators have greater resources at their disposal for search engine optimisation.
If you are looking at SEO to improve your organic reach, you should consider Facebook pages.
5. Vanity URLs:
Vanity URLs or usernames are the unique URLs that redirect users to your Facebook Page. The users can directly search for a page by typing in the URL. With the latest updates on Facebook, you can create a URL for your group.
Features available only on Facebook Pages:
- Targeted Posts: Facebook Pages have the ability to filter posts based on language and location. This ensures that your English-speaking fan base is not looking at your updates in French.
- Support for Applications: Page administrators can use third-party applications to customise and personalise their page. They can create tabs and CTAs to drive business goals.
- Promotional Widgets: Pages can use widgets to promote themselves.
- Analytics: Page Insights provide Page administrators with the demographic breakdown of their fan base. It also provides data about posts and comments that generated the maximum engagement this data can be very useful in formulating marketing strategies.
- Facebook Ads: It is often argued that Facebook ads are the most effective way to increase the reach and visibility of your business. You can advertise your Facebook pages through ads.
Facebook pages provide you with a lot of options to customize a unique experience for visitors on your page. Several studies have concluded that Facebook groups have much greater visibility and organic reach as compared to pages. Nevertheless, tools like page analytics and Facebook ads tilt the balance in favour of pages.
Once you have clearly understood the nuances of Facebook Groups Vs Facebook Pages, it is easy to grasp that both have their own advantages. The ideal tool for your business would depend on your business goals.
A group would have little utility for stores selling physical products. A page would make more sense to create brand awareness.
However, a group could be used to raise awareness around the product in the initial days of your business. Groups create a loyal community to market your ideas in the nascent stages, especially if:
- You are selling a service through an app or a website.
- You are selling niche products.
There are several studies that prove beyond doubt that groups have much more visibility and reach as compared to Facebook Pages.
Most business can work well with Facebook Page. However, if you feel that your page is not generating enough traffic, you could add-on a Facebook group to increase your reach.
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