Facebook Groups and Pages – Features, Benefits And Killer TipsToday I was asked again about the difference between Facebook Pages and Groups.

The same question came up a couple of times during the Philanthropy.com chat that Chris Garrett and I conducted back in February.

Pages, Groups and Profiles

Facebook created Pages, Groups and Profiles – three separate applications – to help individuals and organizations achieve three separate goals:

  1. Create a presence for a business, brand or non-profit on Facebook (Facebook Pages).
  2. Organize a group of people around a common issue or interest (Facebook Groups).
  3. 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 Groups and Pages – Features, Benefits And Killer Tips

Facebook Pages

Facebook Groups and Pages – Features, Benefits And Killer TipsFacebook 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 and Pages – Features, Benefits And Killer Tips

Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups and Pages – Features, Benefits And Killer TipsFacebook 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.

Additional recommended reading:

How To Develop A Facebook Page That Attracts Millions of Fans

Facebook Fundraising: How YOU Can Help Make A Difference With The Coinjars App!

5 Creative Ways to Hack Your Facebook Profile Photo

Facebook Profiles and Pages and Groups, oh my!

Also check out John’s Facebook Booster offering.

Learn how one nonprofit increased their online fundraising by 1,400%!

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Learn the tools, tactics, messaging, and website tweaks that created thier explosive result!

Comments

  1. Hi John, I get asked this question all the time, especially by businesses and organizations that don’t understand why they aren’t getting traffic. The answer is usually because they have a profile which is not serving them best, and should have a page! I like the way you highlighted the differences. Three important pieces of info I would add:1.) the Boxes tab on Pages is a great place to put all those applications for increased functionality and engagement and is often a business’ landing tab 2.) there is a great new feature on Pages where you can “recommend a Page” and invite others to view it so it acts even more like a fan site and 3.) the more fans, the higher your rank within Facebook search. A very worthwhile post, John!

    Debra Askanase’s last blog post..The Facebook Page is the New Website

  2. Thanks. Can you talk about the messaging issues – like the 5000 limit and updates vs. messages? I’m in a situation where, without going into too much detail, a movement sprang up quickly on facebook, grew to over 5000 people in a group, I then established a page, and now I am having trouble figuring out how to capture those 6000 people.

    Also – Group titles are now changable.

  3. @johnscotthaydon – Facebook’s help pages indicate that they no longer convert groups to pages

  4. @BWChicago – Sorry, I thought you converted the Group (prior to the change). If you’re looking to get the group members to become a “fan” of the page, you’ve got to give them a reason to do so.

    Stay involved and active in group discussions. Each time you post or reply include a memorable link to your Page (something like “Become a fan of this Group’s Page here: http://…”).

  5. John, very well done. Many still don’t get the difference between groups and pages, then get frustrated when they want to make a change mid-stream from a group to a page.

    BTW, I say just do it. Your true followers will stick with you and you will earn far more new followers with a page than a group and be able to better communicate with them.

    Dangit, this is the post I have been meaning to write. :-)

    Anthony Kirlew’s last blog post..Search Marketer Sought to Replace Google CEO Eric Schmidt

  6. Thanks John for sharing some fantastic tips, I always love reading what you share and have listed this on my blog if that is ok.

  7. Facebook Groups and Pages – Features, Benefits And Killer Tips…

    Today I was asked again about the difference between Facebook Pages and Groups.

    facebook logo 289 75 Facebook Groups and Pages – Features, Benefits And Killer TipsThe same question came up a couple of times during the Philanthropy.com chat that Chri…

  8. John, any suggestions on how an organization (a YMCA) with several branch locations could have multiple 'walls' behind the main one? They'd like to encourange branch-specific postings, however, have all grouped together on one main Fan page.

    Ideally, a main wall, then tabbed 'sub walls' behind it.

    1. Facebook does not have this functionality. What would be great is for each branch to create a page and then fan each other. This creates more of an opportunity for people to find you on the web.

  9. Thanks for the instant reply! If they 'fan' each other, will one branch page's postings appear on the others automatically, or must they 'share' the posting each time? They want to ensure that visitors to the main, “Corporate” Page will see the breadth and unity of the organization, while allowing each branch to take ownership of their own location's page. Hope that makes sense.

  10. I have the same challenge as you posted a few months ago. I set up a group page for my business but really want to set up a fan page. How did you do the conversion? Manually tell all your group members to switch over? Thanks.

  11. Very interesting “Hacks” – Thanks! I manage multiple groups such as port water taxi and Brotherhood of the Coast. It seems that we allows anyone to post photos. Is there any way to create albums in a group, same as we can create albums in a usual facebook personal page?

  12. Very interesting “Hacks” – Thanks! I manage multiple groups such as port water taxi and Brotherhood of the Coast. It seems that we allows anyone to post photos. Is there any way to create albums in a group, same as we can create albums in a usual facebook personal page?

  13. Hi i have made a Facebook group already but i'm wanting it to open in the Info part of the page instead of the Wall?? If anyone can help i would love to hear back from someone?

  14. Hi. Can pages or groups use friendfinder to suggest that people on their email lists become fans? Thanks in advance.

  15. I am SO frustrated! I created a FB Group 5 wks. ago for a little boy w/Stage 4 cancer. He & his mom BOTH are fighting cancer & I was reaching out to American Idol David Cook. In TWO days it grew to over 6,000 members & we got local news coverage because of it! What I DIDN'T realize was that after you hit 5,000 members, FB doesn't allow you to message your members any longer. 5 weeks later we now have 19,000 members!! It's driving me CRAZY as I am hoping to appeal to many of them to spread the word about our cause AND for the local ones, come out to be involved in a race/fundraiser for him. I started a Fan Page 2 1/2 wks. ago & have gotten 2,100 – but that still leaves 17,000 out there who support him that I cannot talk to! I've got a post/link on our Group wall about the new Fan Page and have also put it in the little box under the profile pic. This is so disheartening as we have lots of major media people (including Oprah producers) watching, etc. I know the members would probably be DOUBLED if I was able to talk to them the past 5 weeks – and I'm sure we'd have even more local people signed up and donating for our race! Is there ANYTHING I can do to communicate with my 19,000 members other than what I am? What was Facebook THINKING???? Here's a link to our group page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?g

  16. Are you saying if I start a discussion topic some sort of notification will go out to all 19,000 members letting them know?

  17. I have created a page for the statewide program I direct for a very large professional association. It is a page off my personal page. Can that page be transferred should I leave the association? Or will a new director have to start from scratch? Thanks for all the great advice and tips I have gleaned from your posts.

  18. Well , the view of the passage is totally correct ,your details is really reasonable and you guy give us valuable informative post, I totally agree the standpoint of upstairs. I often surfing on this forum when I m free and I find there are so much good information we can learn in this forum!

  19. Our bands Facebook Page only has 350 members and one of the band members suggested his friends from his personal page join the band page. However, when we try to confirm each suggestion, we get a message we aren't allowed to confirm that many members and we are warned we could be deleted if we continue. How do other bands have like 3,000,000 plus members if you can't accept more than a few a day? How do you get around that without offending Facebook? Is there a way we can change the page to something that is acceptable to encourage membership from our friends and fans?

  20. I need advice. I created a group today and added members/friends, etc. When I go on the site now, All I see are the main posts. no info, discussions or photo’s buttons. Where are they?

  21. @Debra – Thanks for the three additional tips! Profiles can now be configured to show up in a Google search, but you’re right – Pages are more appropriate for businesses.

  22. @Anthony - Good point! If folks are unsure about whether to do a Page or a Group, just do both. The increased exposure won’t hurt and you’ll become an “expert” sooner than you realize it!

  23. Scary… will doing both mean more work? Posting twice? I have a group of 2000 members, message them 5x week… lots of discussions and interaction… can I still create that on a page?
    Do you really suggest doing both?
    I'm a baby boomer with gen y tendencies who is feeling a wee bit overwhelmed with this in particular… grateful for this conversation…

  24. Joycelee – Do you mean posting on both a Page and a Group? One thing to keep in mind is that these “levers” are merely suggestions. Be creative with how you use them, and don't do anything that would be redundant.

  25. Thanks for the speedy reply John,
    I was responding to you advice to Anthony. What would you suggest I do with my 2000 member group that I intend to keep growing as a platform to offer teleseminars… I have a great website and also a biweekly ezine through Constant Contact. Should I start moving over now? Are there tips on encouraging members to follow?
    Thanking you in advance…
    Joyce Lee

  26. Joycelee,

    Got it. If the Group is growing, keep doing what you're doing. In terms of those fans engaging with your website or ezine, keep in mind that you can't move them over – they'll decide if your website or ezine has value for them. Make your focus content that's worth their time. Then message the group with options to opt-in to those other sites. Does that make sense?

  27. Thank you for you wise counsel on Oct 5. You have relieved some anxiety for me… I will continue to do what I am doing as it is working beautifully…
    If I can ever help you with some understanding of the Law of Attraction, let me know…
    Warmly,
    Joyce Lee
    http://www.joyceleelifecoach.com

  28. Joyce Lee,

    Remember, you can't move them over. They'll move over if they want. That said, make it clear that you've created a Page and give them a reason to become a fan. Let them know that something really special will be happening with the page. And make it about them – their reasons.

    Does that help?