<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.
The Main Advantages of Pages
Facebook Pages have some distinct advantages over Groups for businesses and here are the top ones:
- Facebook Pages have built-in analytics. You can measure what is working.
- You can advertise Facebook Pages. Reach new, targeted audiences with Facebook ads.
- Facebook Pages are more branded as your business. Groups facilitate discussion but you are participating as your profile.
- 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.
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!