Facebook with its highly interactive nature and over 150 million active users worldwide offers an attractive choice of platform when considering social media marketing. It can be effectively used to build and grow your brand online as discussed in our previous blog on how to build your brand through Facebook Pages.
There are 2 ways to create a brand’s identity on Facebook. One is to create a Facebook Page and another to create a Facebook Group. There is often a dilemma between which one to choose that would prove better for growing your client base, keeping them engaged and building a brand loyalty. In our opinion, Facebook Pages offer a better choice over Facebook groups. ‘Why’ - is discussed below:
1) Facebook Pages are much like normal profiles on the site. They have the ability to have friends, can add pictures, and have walls that fans can post on. They are open for everybody to join and in that sense, are more public in nature. The best thing about them is that they do not have a limit on the number of fans who can join. Groups, on the other hand, are more like private clubs where administrator has complete control over membership. Members can be invited or they may request to join a group or he may set join permissions on groups such that they are either open to anyone, closed (where users must obtain administrator approval to join) or secret (invite only). But Facebook groups have are unable to send bulk emails if they have more than 5000 members.
2) Because of the control they offer,Facebook Groups are more of a reflection of the personality of their creators or administrators. When something is posted by group administrator, it appears to be coming from his personal profile. Therefore, the activities that take place on a group are more of an extension of a personal action and groups are, therefore, more suited for personal interaction. Facebook Pages, on the other hand, appear more like independent entities. The content that is created comes from the Page itself and is not linked to any personality.
3) As long as a group is under 5000 members, group administrators can send updates in the form of email which appear in the users’ Inbox. Page updates on the contrary, can be sent by Page itself and appear under‘updates’ section of fans inboxes. There is no limit on the number of fans you can send updates to.
4) Another key difference is, Pages are indexed by external search engines like Google while Groups are not. So your business has better chances of appearing in online searches through Facebook Pages than through Facebook Groups.
5) Pages can host applications and therefore can be more personalized and show more content. Groups cannot do that.
Facebook Groups are a better option if your target audience is a community of school or university students, for people sharing common interests like music or reading and for people willing to associate with a common cause. It is easy to host a quick and active discussion with the help of a group.
If you have deals or promotions to offer, creating a Page is more useful where updates can appear directly in the fan’s news feed, there’s no limit on the number of fans you can have, applications can be added and thus more content and your page can appear in search engine results.
So, while Facebook Groups can serve social causes and common interests better, Facebook pages are more suitable for creating long term relationship with your clients or fans and cater well to business purposes.
The following image further depicts the difference between the two:
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