So the age – old question raises its head again. Having confused generations of Facebook users, we aim today to put the debate to rest. What is the difference between Facebook Pages and Groups and which should you use?
As both formats offer different services to the user, it is first very important to first discover these and then see which might be best for you.
So where is better to start, than Facebook itself. Thankfully they have managed to clear up some of the confusion by defining Facebook Pages and Groups for us.
‘Like a friend’s profile, Facebook Pages enable public figures, businesses, organizations and other entities to create an authentic and public presence on Facebook’
‘Facebook Groups are the place for small group communication and for people to share their common interests and express their opinion’
So there you have it. All your problems resolved? No.
While these definitions are nice, they still don’t give a clear picture of the services each offer and how you can use them, this is where we come in.
Ok so, some of the services Pages and Groups share. For instance, both allow stream publishing – where your updates are added to the History Stream on the Personal homepage. Also, both are indexed by Google but Pages hold a slight advantage in that they are easier to pick up. You also first need to have a personal account to set up and control a Page or Group.
So they are the similarities. The differences however seem to outnumber the similarities. Facebook Groups allow mass messaging, while Pages do not. Also Groups are allowed to restrict Membership and can be Public, Private or Secret. Functions in groups, such as sending group emails become difficult once you surpass 5,000 members. Furthermore, when creating an event, the Group sends an email to the inbox of all those invited while Pages only appear in the update bar. This is problematic as it has been found that most Personal Users pay little attention to this feature and publicity is denied as a result.
Pages on the other hand offer more targeted services and options for personalisation. Stream posts can be targeted by language and location so you are talking to your target market directly. Also from a customisation point of view, Pages offer support for applications, promotional widgets and Vanity URL’s. What this essential means is that you can have a page with greater reverence to your brand name and increase interaction through competitions and special offers. Also, an important component of the Page is the ability to set up Analytics to measure the engagement levels of your site. These are important to gauge the success and performance of your Facebook site.
So with all that in mind, which should you use?
Due to the custom ability, analytics and public nature of Pages, it is recommended that you use these for your brand or organisation. It is the focus of your Facebook efforts and it is your authentic Facebook identity. So if you are a Business, University Association, Brand, Community Organisation or profile figure that wants to appeal to a mass of people, then a page is most suitable for you.
Groups on the other hand are meeting spaces. People join to discuss, interact and associate themselves with something of value to them. They are designed for people to share their common interests and express their opinion. Groups allow people to come together around a common cause, to organise events, post photos and share related content. They are most suited to small groups such as an athletic team, political affiliates or a book club.
So there you have it. Hopefully, this has made things clearer for you and you now know the difference between Facebook Pages and Groups and which one is more suitable for your needs. Next, I will be going into more detail on how to set up your very own Page and Group so join us on Facebook to stay informed of any updates on our blog.