Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Facebook Pages vs. Facebook Groups

What is the difference between a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group? Is one better than the other?

According to Facebook:

Pages can only be created to represent a real public figure, artist, brand or organization, and may only be created by an official representative of that entity. Groups can be created by any user and about any topic, as a space for users to share their opinions and interest in that subject.

For artists, businesses, and brands looking to establish a presence on Facebook, both Pages and Groups offer similar levels of user interactivity via features such as the Discussion Board and the Wall. However, Facebook Pages offer several distinct advantages including greater visibility, customization and measurability.

Here are some of the benefits of launching a Facebook Page versus a Group...

Facebook Pages:
  • Your logo appears in each member’s profile with a link to the Page
  • Customizable and will work with Facebook apps (add a blog, video, etc.)
  • Provide detailed statistics about visitor traffic and demographics
  • Can be promoted via Social Ads
  • Messages are sent to each members' Notifications page
  • Pages never display their admins' names (so you can maintain a personal/professional distinction)
  • Unlimited ability to send messages to members
Facebook Groups:
  • Your logo does NOT appear in members’ profiles, only a single text link to the Group
  • Not very customizable and do not work with Facebook apps
  • Facebook doesn't provide you with traffic or demographic information
  • Cannot be promoted via Social Ads
  • Messages are sent to each members' Inbox
  • Admins’ names are posted publicly in the Group
  • Admins can't send messages to all members once the Group exceeds 5,000 members
Facebook Groups tend to be related to common interests, such as "Support New Jersey State Troopers" and "1,000,000 Strong For Stephen T Colbert," whereas Facebook Pages are specially designed for business use. Barack Obama and Coca-Cola use Pages to connect with fans on Facebook. Guess who else uses Facebook Pages to promote themselves? Facebook does.

Facebook will also launch a new design for Pages in the next few weeks. Pages will look much more like user profiles. The new design will not only make the Pages look less cluttered and more dynamic, it will also work to make sharing more prominent and viral.

What if you've already created a Facebook Group and want to switch to a Facebook Page? No worries. You don't have to start from scratch. Fill out this form and Facebook will transfer over the group members and any discussion board posts, reviews, posted items, and Wall posts to your new Page. (Unfortunately, any videos and photos will need to be manually transferred.)

[ Update 02/24/09: Jon Newman of The Hodges Partnership, a public relations firm in Virginia, shares his company’s reasons for switching from a Facebook Group to a Fan Page. Click here to read his blog post. ]

No comments:

Post a Comment