Facebook Fan Page vs Groups

by Paul Wilson

 

I have a very talented sister who is both quite technical and very marketing savvy. She recently decided to focus on her social media consulting. The below article came from one of her clients questioning whether someone should focus on a facebook page or a facebookgroup. When she finishes her consulting site I will update this post to let you know where you can find the best sm consultant out there :) . Until then you can live vicariously through mymarketer and enjoy the fruits of her labor here. Thanks sis!!!

Social Media: Facebook Fan Page Vs Groups
by Amy Claypool – a Social Media Consultant

Fan Pages

Fan pages are generally better for a long-term relationships with your fans, readers or customers. Facebook Fan pages could perhaps be best described as the hot-yet-high-maintenance younger sibling of the two, offering more options in some instances, but also more inconveniences in others.

  • Creation: When creating a Fan page, you begin by selecting your category, choosing from either Local Business, a Brand or Product, or a Public Figure / Celebrity. The detailed information you add will depend on your earlier selection. Ie: If you chose Brand or Product, you would be asked to fill in a Mission Statement.
  • Messaging: Messages sent to Fan members will not appear in your Inbox, but rather in your notification bar on the right hand side of your profile (this is changing soon to make it more assessable).
  • Accessibility: Unlike Groups, Facebook Fan pages can be indexed on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), and are thus publicly accessible .Facebook sporadically displays Fan pages that your friends are a part of, and they are also added as links to the public profiles of your Facebook account assisting in promotion.
  • Recruiting: With Fan pages, you cannot send bulk messages using your friend list, inviting people to join. Well, in theory you can, but not through the Fan page dashboard. When someone becomes a fan it is posted in their profile on their wall which is visible to all of their friends virally promoting the fan page. Fan page recruitment can be generated through more passive means, through external marketing (posting the URL on your blog, website, twitter tweets etc.) as well as through personal message invitations.
  • Content: Here you have more freedom in terms of content generation than you would have with Group pages. With Fan pages, you have the usual wall, discussion board, video and photo uploads that the Groups have. In addition, however, you can also import a blog feed, meaning automatic content can be generated on the page, making it look “busy” and “fresh”. There are also numerous other applications you can add to your Fan Page, such as StumbleUpon, Quizzes etc

Groups

Groups are generally better for hosting a (quick) active discussion and attracting quick attention.

  • Creation: When creating a Group page, you begin by choosing a name for your Group. For best results, something clever will do. Thereafter, it’s a matter of choosing the Category Type (ie: Business, Common Interest, Just For Fun etc) as well as a more detailed Sub-Category (Beauty, History etc). Then simply add a brief description of your Group and the setup is basically done.
  • Messaging: Messages sent to Group members will appear in their Facebook Inbox. This means potentially greater reach, although if you overdo the Group Messages, members will eventually make a point of ignoring you or leave your group.
  • Accessibility: Groups are not publicly accessible via conventional search, and can only be accessed through Facebook itself. So, even though your group on Facebook Group has a million members, no one outside of Facebook will be able to view the page without being granted permission to join the group.
  • Recruiting: With Groups, you are allowed to send bulk messages to friends inviting them to join. This means that numbers can quickly be built up.
  • Content: The major weak point with Facebook Groups would have to lie in the creation of content. If you would like to post regular pics, stories, or video, this has to be done manually. If you have a blog and would like its content displayed here, the Group will unfortunately not be able to pull the feed.

Differences

Two major differences between Facebook Fan Pages and Facebook Groups include:

  1. 1. Fan pages are visible to unregistered people and are thus indexed (important for reputation management, for example);
  2. 2. Unlike fan pages, permission to the groups must be granted to join the group. An facebook group admin person needs to grant permission to each user and allow users send out “bulk invite” (you can easily invite all your friends to join the group while with pages you will be forced to drop some invites manually). Groups are thus better for viral marketing, meaning that any group member can also send bulk invites to the friends of his.

Key Feature

Facebook Page

Facebook Group

Vanity URLs

No

Yes

Wall and forums

Yes

Yes

Extra applications added

Yes

No

Messaging to all members

Yes (via updates)

Yes (via private messages)

Visitor statistics

Yes (“Page insights”)

No

Public video and photo

Yes

Yes

“Related” event & invitation

Yes

No

Promotion with social ads

Yes

No

Recommendation

There are pros and cons for both types of pages, corporations, celebrities and large businesses do seem to be making use of the Facebook Fan Page option, as it seems to be the meatier of the two. Group pages remain popular and easy to set up, so whichever choice you make, be sure to dive in with both feet (though, I recommend Facebook fan pages for most business ventures on Facebook).

Content updated and modified from the following sources: gottaquirk.comsearchenginejournal.com

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