When you’re not particularly au fait about managing your Facebook presence, it’s easy to be unsure of whether to set up a Facebook Page or Group.
Some individuals even go to the extent of posting their business messages and links on their Facebook profile –one grave mistake business people make all the time.
Granted, things have been a little murky on Facebook lately. Not long ago, Facebook made some serious algorithmic change that would see to it that most marketers shift their attention from Facebook pages to Groups.
This act served as proof that people don’t understand the difference between the two. While a great majority of marketers will be torn between starting a Facebook Group or setting up a page, a few just start by posting their affiliate links and promotional messages on their timeline – even when it’s pretty obvious a Facebook timeline is reserved for sharing personal information.
That aside: let’s look at the difference between a Facebook Group and a Page and help you decide which one between them is right for you and in what way.
A Facebook Page
A Facebook page operates a lot like your wall. It’s your brand’s page, featuring your brand posts and everything relevant to it.
A page also serves as a non-personal version of your Facebook profile. You’re simply setting up a company, brand, or business profile on Facebook.
Read this, keeping in mind that you need a Facebook profile to create a page. However, with a page, it’s hard to point out which personal profile is associated with a particular page.
The same goes for public figures such as celebrities and politicians. If you do not wish to mix your personal life with political or celebrity stuff, you have the option to set up a Facebook page and establish some boundaries.
Several people can also manage a single page. All you have to do is assign them roles. It can also be liked or followed by any Facebook user and even promoted and monetized.
The main features of a Facebook page:
- Profile information on your company or brand. With this feature, you have the option to include your company description, location, contact information, and operating hours.
- You can boost and promote your Facebook page posts or the page itself to extend its reach.
- It comes with an analytic tab that you can use to track your post reach and engagement.
- Comes with an optional feature for reviews
- It has a messaging functionality that your followers can use to engage with the page’s admin.
- It has a verification functionality that you can use to verify the legitimacy of the page. This feature operates a lot like Twitter’s verified status.
- A page prioritises on the posts you make as opposed to the posts made by other users.
- Follower posts can be found in the community tab.
- It’s possible to link a Facebook page to a group.
A Facebook Group
A Facebook group operates as a discussion hub. It’s a place you set aside where people with similar interests can meet and share thoughts and ideas. Usually, you create a Facebook page when you want to bring people with common interests, traits, or from a common region together.
You can also create a Facebook group when you want to bring people from the same institution, company, or work station together.
For instance, you can create a group for your workplace or a group consisting of people with an interest in AI or something similar.
Same as creating a Facebook page, you need a Facebook profile to set up a group. However, unlike a Facebook page, your group members can view your personal profile, where you’ll be listed as the group’s administrator.
Here are the main features of a group:
- Basic group info, including a short description of the group.
- The ability to establish group rules
- The group’s admin has a tool for moderating the discussion or removing any member of the group.
- You can create a short survey for people that wish to join your group.
- It comes in with a built-in events calendar.
So what’s the difference between a Group and Page
As you can see, a Facebook page and group aren’t similar in any way. First, they’re each intended to serve a different purpose. They also come with different privacy controls and analytics.
You create a Facebook page when you want to connect with your audience. It’s what you use to stay in touch with your prospects and followers and keep them engaged all through. For this reason, a Facebook page focuses on the posts that you make, with little room left for your followers to initiate discussions.
It’s not completely a one-way discussion forum as users have the option to engage with your posts. They can either like the post or drop a comment on it to continue the thread by voicing their opinions and contributions.
In other words, your page followers take a passive role, where they can only comment or react to what you post. They’re in no position to initiate a discussion.
As the page admin, you’re the person in control of the discussions happening. You introduce what’s to be discussed, creating the room for everyone to join in with their contribution.
Your followers’ posts are not prioritised on a Facebook page. Instead, they’re all lumped together and restricted to a separate ‘community’ tab.
However, you have the option of nominating any of your users and assigning them a role that will see to it that their posts start appearing in the main tab and not the community tab as with the rest of the other users.
A Facebook group, on the other hand, only exists for online interactions and discussion between members who join them. Meaning, every post a member makes will appear in the main tab for other members of the group to see it. Members also have the option to react or comment on any post that’s made by a group member.
You cannot control a page by making it private. But you can control a group by making it private. Meaning, it’s possible to restrict the viewership of your group to members only, and not outsiders.
A Facebook page, on the other hand, is always public. You can only restrict who posts to the community page, who’s allowed to tag your page in a post or bar people from certain countries.
If you don’t make this restriction, your page will be open to being viewed publicly by anyone. So if you wish to keep your page from being viewed publicly, you have the option of either unpublishing it or deleting it completely.
However, unlike a Facebook page, a Facebook group offers multiple privacy levels. The first one is the public level, where the group is not restricted in any way. In other words, the group is open to anyone who wants to view or join it.
You also have the option of subjecting the joining process to admin approval. With this option, those interested in joining the group can only send their invitation and hope for you to approve them.
Lastly, a group can also operate based on invites only. With this option, members don’t have to join the group but wait until you make an effort to invite them. For instance, where you’re creating a family group, you can restrict outsiders from joining the group by making it an invite-only group.
This makes Facebook ideal for managing large communities, as well as small groups comprising of family members only. You can even use them to run secret groups that don’t even show up in the search results.
Coming next is analytics. Unlike Facebook groups, Facebook pages do feature detailed analytics that gives administrators great insights on demographics, audience, engagement, post reach, and other crucial data.
Groups don’t have these features, save for minor information on member activities, and similar data.
Who Should Create a Facebook Page?
Pages aren’t effective when you’re looking to consolidate a close-knit community or network. They’re not suitable for those interested in growing a community of like-minded people.
Rather, they’re suitable where you’re looking for a platform to promote your business or brand. If the only reason you’re working on your Facebook presence is to get more customers or prospects for your products or services, then what you need is a Facebook page and not a group.
Pages are also suited for public figures or celebrities that wish to grow a fanbase or to promote their products or manifesto.
A page allows you to draw the line between your personal or private life and your professional or celebrity life. So while your Facebook profile will be reserved for what’s private or more personal to you, your Facebook page is what you use to promote your professional or public life.
Here are a few scenarios where you can use a facebook page:
- To promote your products and services as a brand.
- To promote your website content to a Facebook audience. This applies to bloggers and content marketers that are looking for a way to promote their content on Facebook.
- Politicians who want to sell their manifesto to voters and get them to consider voting for them
- Celebrities who wish to update their followers on the going-ons of their careers or if they have any new music, movie, or any other product
- A non-profit organisation that wants to share news or new announcement with its audience
Who Should Create a Facebook Group
Groups are ideal for fostering discussions. They’re ideal for creating a channel where members are allowed to voice their viewpoints and get the rest of the community to chime in with their contributions.
They’re effective when you’re looking to consolidate a community or network.
A group isn’t effective where you’re looking to promote anything. You can’t use it to promote your business, profile, or individual viewpoints.
Instead, you create a group when you’re interested in discussions or where you wish to see members exchange ideas.
Groups are also great for creating support networks or when you want to solicit the opinions of other group members.
There exist all kinds of groups, and their mission is to allow members to learn from each other. For instance, there are groups on decors, parenting, illnesses, freelancing, internet marketing, and so forth.
Examples of scenarios where you can create a Facebook Group:
- When you’re looking to bring together members of a community to share news, viewpoints, and important updates.
- When you’re looking to bring together people with a common interest to discuss or share ideas,
- To create an information hub for people with a common interest such as family or employees of a given institution, or students from the same college, high school or university.
Scenarios that May Require you to Operate Both a Facebook Page and a Group
There’s no harm in operating both a Facebook page and a group. However, you have to make sure that you’re not just running them for the sake of it.
Plus, Facebook gives you an option to link a page and a group, with the only requirement being that you’re an administrator in both.
Linking a Facebook page is effective when you’re looking to link your brand to a relevant business group or community.
Linking a page to a group also allows you to interact with the group using your page or brand name – rather than your personal account.
Also, where you feel like your audience has a lot to share, and a discussion to conduct among themselves, it fits you to set up a group, which will be acting as their own space for holding their own personal discussions.
For instance, if you’re running an animal shelter, you may link your page to a pet adoptions group in your region. In so doing, you’ll be able to gain an audience to your page post and also crowdsource for information from participating group members.
Another approach isv a celebrity linking their page to a fan group. For instance, Marvel may decide to link their page to a fan group of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
If your kind of business is one that needs a forum, then chanced are good that it could work with both a Facebook page and a group.
By now, you should know which one between a Facebook group and a page is best suited for your business. But if you have the resources to manage the two, why not run with both?
To sum it all in one line: you need a Facebook page to find a much wider audience to promote your brand to, and you need a Facebook group to deepen your engagement with existing fans.
Still undecided or stuck on what approach to take? Talk to our Facebook management team at MediaOne, and let them help you set up a Facebook page or group or help you strategise on how you can use them to drive high quality leads to your site.