Facebook Page or Group: The Definitive Answer

boxing gloves Should you have a Facebook Page or a Facebook Group for your business?  I am asked this question all the time and so I wanted to dive deep into the definitive answer once and for all.

<Spoiler alert> In 99% of the cases, you should have a Facebook Page for your Business.  But we will get into all the reasons in just a moment.

I was asking myself this question again recently after noticing that the Facebook Groups I belong to seemed to had much better visibility to me on Facebook.  I know several people who have a Facebook Group and a Facebook Page for their business.

Usually the main reason for having a Facebook Group is to have a place where you encourage discussion among the members of the group.  Facebook Groups are for community building within the members.  They are a great place to have people ask questions that the group will discuss.

Facebook Pages however are better to brand your company name.  When you post something on your Page, people see that post in their News Feed as coming from your Page.  Then your Page can also participate in the comment section of the post.  In Groups, you are participating as a personal profile with the Group name also mentioned in the discussion.

Hugh Briss is a good example of someone who has a Group and a Page for his company Social Identities (make sure you check out Grandma’s interview with Hugh)  He gets a lot of questions within his group but also has a lot of discussion on his Page posts.  When answering in his group he has to answer with his Facebook personal profile.

Social Identites GroupOn his Facebook Page, he can answer as his Page name.

Social Identites Page

The Main Advantages of Pages

Facebook Pages have some distinct advantages over Groups for businesses and here are the top ones:

  1. Facebook Pages have built-in analytics.  You can measure what is working.
  2. You can advertise Facebook Pages.  Reach new, targeted audiences with Facebook ads.
  3. Facebook Pages are more branded as your business.  Groups facilitate discussion but you are participating as your profile.
  4. Facebook Pages allow the installation of Apps  that can help you collect e-mail addresses and leads or do things like run contests.

While I’ve noticed Facebook Groups more prominently in the News Feed, I don’t think that it’s a reason to switch strategies and use a Facebook Group as your main vehicle for marketing on Facebook.  But there are some times that Facebook Groups make perfect sense.

The Perfect Use of Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups do make sense when you have a “natural” group that wants to discuss something.  It could be a neighborhood, or a networking group, or even a private-coaching group for your business.  But the purpose of the group is to openly share ideas with others.  Take a look at #4 of this post for more ideas:  4 Unique Ways to Use Facebook for Your Business

When you have a group, other people will post in the group and the members of this group can see this post in their News Feed with the group name tagged in the comment (just like the post from the Social Identities group above).  This can lead to spam issues if you have an Open Group where anyone can join.

If you do want to use a Facebook Group specifically for your business here are the situations where it makes sense:

  • Technical Support – if you are teaching something where people have a lot of questions then a group can be a perfect format.
  • Closed Forum – this could be part of a paid product or a bonus for some of your special members.  I have done this with great success with Social Media Manager School co-taught by Phyllis Khare and myself.
  • Additional Visibility – while a Page should be a big part of your Facebook strategy, opening a group around your niche topic could get you some additional visibility.  But make sure you have the bandwidth to participate on your Page and in the Group.

Breakdown of Features of Facebook Pages vs. Groups

I’m a list maker and so I broke down the exact differences of Facebook Pages vs Groups in this handy chart.

Facebook Pages vs Groups Features

 

 

Some other points to note from this chart are that Facebook Groups aren’t visible outside of Facebook unless someone is logged in.  So if you are telling someone to “check you out on Facebook” and you point to a Group, they won’t be able to see you unless they are logged in.

And on the “Restrict people from Liking/Joining” option, you can only restrict people from Liking your Page by Country or Age in the Settings area.  So it’s a very broad restriction.  And if you do that, it leads to other problems like people can’t see your Like Box unless they are logged in, or they can’t navigate to your Page with your Custom URL, so it’s not a very desirable setting.  But it can be done.

One nice newer feature of Facebook Groups is that they can have a custom URL just like Pages can so they are more “findable”

So I hope that helps answer the question once and for all of “Should I have a Facebook Page or Facebook Group for my Business?”  You may be in the small category that says “both”.

What about you, do you have a Facebook Group that you use for business?  I’d love to hear your experience in the comments below!

About Andrea Vahl

Andrea Vahl is a Social Media Coach, Speaker and Strategist. She is a co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies. She also sometimes likes to wear wigs.

Comments

  1. Great info as always, Andrea! I’d love to share the graphic on my site and link to this post. Is that OK?

  2. This is a great visual to outline the differences. I’m surprised about the advertising point. Didn’t know you can’t advertise a group. Also, per Facebook’s terms of use are you no allowed to use a group post to admin a contest?

  3. Glad you enjoyed it Lowell! It’s not really that you “can’t” advertise it but Facebook no longer gives you the option in the Ads area. It doesn’t have the same functions as advertising a Page – with Pages you see friends who have Liked the Page.

    Also, you can run a contest within a group by linking to an outside entry form, but you can’t use one of the myriad of Facebook Contest Applications that are available to install then entry form within the Group. Facebook has also stated that you can run Timeline contests on Pages, not personal areas. Hope that helps clear things up!

  4. Glad you enjoyed it Louise! I would love to have you share this on your blog with a link back to the post but would like to have a 1 week exclusive on my own site first. So feel free to share this any time after a week from today! Much appreciated

  5. Very helpful post, Andrea! I have a Facebook Page for my business, and it’s still very new. I update regularly and am trying to direct traffic to the site on a regular basis, so I’m going to be looking at the apps that are available. (p.s. I didn’t know about the apps, so your post is very timely!) I am also in the process of building a business page on Pinterest. If only there were 36 hours in a day.

  6. Thanks for sharing this post, Andrea. It gives us some points to think and work upon. Like i dint knew about availability of apps for facebook pages. I am going to try it now. Thanks !!

  7. Great post, Andrea, and that chart makes it easy to understand. I agree that in most cases it’s not an either or question and every business should have a Page and not try to decide whether to have a group instead but a group can definitely be an excellent adjunct to a Page.

  8. Very succinct indeed for a Grandma! (and useful). Do you have a view as to where a Facebook Group is a better option than a Forum?

  9. You bet Andrea, thanks!

  10. The groups are perfect for more visibility within a small community. Secret groups are a great way to make people feel special after they have participated in a live event with your business. Also, the default setting for notifications in groups is ON whereas on pages it’s OFF.

  11. Cary Lifelifetothefullest says:

    Andrea, just subscribed to your newsletter. As an inspiring Social Media Entrepreneur, your tips are fantastic. You go straight in deep and I love it! My virtual mentor. Thanks!

  12. CarissaColes says:

    I only have Facebook page. The group is perfect if you are a guru, consultant, or coach since you are selling a virtual product that needs after sales support. It is also great if you want to build a solid community.

  13. Andrea, thanks for this valuable information! I have a question regarding the Facebook pages but from the point of view when I am posting or commenting on pages that are not my own. Granted that the page gives you permission to post in the first place, where does this post appear? Will it only show in the box “Recent posts by others” or does it also come up in a news feed somewhere? Likewise, if I comment on a post on a page, who will most likely notice it? Do you think posting or commenting on other people’s pages is worth the effort?

  14. Great post! Very practical and helpful. I’ll be sharing!

  15. Kristen E. Wilson says:

    I’d be interested to hear more on this topic now that the organic reach of Facebook pages seems to be down. Is it true that you need to pay to have Facebook “boost post” in order for people to see it in their feeds even if they have liked the page? This is a bummer for community organizations that have built their audience and have limited resources for marketing.

  16. I am looking to start a page for our business community in which businesses can post various specials and promotions to. A Facebook page would be perfect except for one thing: I think that when the other businesses post to it, their post will end up in the “Posted by Others” sidebar, rather than on the main feed. is there any way around this? I can’t make them all co-adminstrators of the page, that I will keep for myself. Thank you for any help you can give.

  17. Yes without them all being admins it would show up in Posts by Others – you as the admin could Share that post if that’s a good option.

  18. Carrie Riesgraf Bruder says:

    I noticed in your example above that Social Identies uses the same name for his group and page…How do you do this? I just created a group and went to make a page with the same name and it wont let me, it says the name is already taken. Thanks in advance for your help!

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