Today I was asked again about the difference between Facebook Pages and Groups.
Pages, Groups and Profiles
Facebook created Pages, Groups and Profiles – three separate applications – to help individuals and organizations achieve three separate goals:
- Create a presence for a business, brand or non-profit on Facebook (Facebook Pages).
- Organize a group of people around a common issue or interest (Facebook Groups).
- Create a home base on the web for individuals to express themselves and connect with others (Facebook Profiles).
Facebook Pages vs. Facebook Groups
We know that profiles are for individuals, but what’s the difference between Facebook Pages and Facebook Groups?
Facebook Pages are used to promote businesses, non-profits, celebrities and artists to Facebook users.
Facebook states that “only the official representative of an artist, business, or brand may create a Facebook Page.” In other words, Pages are intended to be an “official” web page for your organization on Facebook.
- Facebook Pages are indexed in search engines – increasing the likelihood of folks finding your organization through a Google search.
- A Page can have multiple administrators. This lightens the workload of maintaining a page (groups also allow for multiple admins).
- Analyze Traffic. Facebook Pages captures data on visitors.
- There are no limits to the number of fans you can have on a page.
- Sending messages and updates to all your fans at once is quick and easy. And fans receiving those messages can easily forward the message OR post the message to their Facebook Wall.
Tips For Using Facebook Pages:
- You can add Facebook Applications like Video or Static FBML to enhance the experiences fans have with your Facebook Page (Groups don’t offer this option).
- Since each tab has its own URL, you can choose any of them as the landing Page for off-site promotion. You can also choose which tab to set as the default when users find your Facebook Page.
- Work your status! A frequently updated status with useful and interesting content keeps fans coming back.
- Pages now have the same multimedia functionality as the Wall tab on a user Profile – encourage posting!
- Encourage fans to “share” Notes or Photos with their friends or post to their Profile.
- Using the notes application, you can import an RSS feed to drive more traffic to your blog.
- Using Static FBML, you can include an email web form to capture subscribers.
Facebook Groups can be created by anyone interested in promoting and organizing people around a specific interests or cause. All members of a group have the ability to contribute content that appears on the Group’s wall – photos, videos, discussion threads.
- Active participation: Because members of the group actively contribute content and participate in informal but meaningful discussions, they are more likely to keep coming back.
- Groups come in three flavors: Open (anyone can join), Closed (group admin approves requests to join) and Secret (Only members and those invited know that the group exists).
- Warning: Secret Groups don’t allow you to send a second event invitation to the same person.
Tips For Using Facebook Groups:
- The Group name should make people want to join. Which name would make you join: “Let’s talk to Coca Cola about saving the World’s children” or “ColaLife“?
- Invite your raving fans to start a discussion on the group (you know who these people are, right?). They’ll feel a sense of pride and will likely invite new people to join the group.
- Upload photos and videos – encourage members to post these to their profile so that their friends can easily join the group.