I often get asked this question.
"I'm starting a business and I don't know whether I should have a Facebook page or a group. What should I use to promote my business?"
Ok, so first I will tell you the difference between the two... as they are completely different animals and have very different functionality and features.
The GOOD News
Facebook pages are built for promoting businesses in a variety of ways. For starters, the About Tab is indexed by Google so the information you put in this section can be found by everyone who is looking for it which is a great feature.
Pages are also considered public so it's yet another reason to have one. If you set one up, people without Facebook personal profiles are able to find the business and read the information.
Pages offers ad creation which allows you to advertise any number of things; your events, your blog post, your opt-in etc. and target specific audiences.
Pages also gives you insights on the page activity, when your fans are online and much more.
The Bad News
Facebook continues to be a free place to set up a page and post updates.
Those updates continue to decrease in organic reach (unpaid) so all those hard earned blog posts we are writing may only be seen by 10% of our actual Page fans. Seems cruel doesn't it? We've created a following, and now we can't talk to them!
This is where I like to remind people, that Facebook has forever been FREE.
A free place to do our business advertising... so truly, we can't be disappointed that at this stage, after all we have been given an amazing platform to use without spending a dime. It makes sense that we may have to invest some money into Facebook ads in order to promote certain content.
The other thing that can prove difficult with Pages is really making a personal connection with our fans and followers. When people post on our business pages, it gets filtered to the side bar where not a lot of people see the interacting between us and our fans. It's a bummer.
Online marketing is all about building relationships and establishing trust so the more transparent we can be with our fans and followers the better. This feature really makes it difficult to takes conversations and relationships to the next level.
...So let's switch over and talk about Groups shall we?
The Good News
See that big ol' smile on her face? That was me when I realized the power of Facebook groups.
Facebook groups were created to act as little communities where like minded people could gather and have open discussions and connect on common topics.
It's truly hard to beat email marketing when it comes to making a personal connection with your fans, but I have to say groups can come pretty darn close.
Groups allow everyone to pitch in and have conversations, ask questions in a private and safe forum where they feel comfortable enough to do so. It's a place where your fans can get to know you in a casual manner and also a place where you are able to provide value and benefit to them.
Here's the thing though....creating a group with the intention of selling won't work. Starting a group must be created with the intention of offering value and benefit driven content to your followers with the goal of establishing a relationship with them and nothing other than that.
The hopes of course would be that in the future, you would be "top of mind" when it comes to your expertise and hopefully would have been yourself enough for people to like you, trust you and think you may know enough to help them.
The Bad News
The bad news is you can't truly rely on Facebook Groups 'alone' to market your business.
They don't offer many of the business features which truly allow you to take things to the next level when it comes to your business.
Your not able to access any analytics behind your fans or be able to create an ad when you have something big to promote.
While this is an amazing place to communicate with your audience (for free), this is not what you would want to rely on solely to market your business.
So what do you think???? Page or Group? or Both????
I often tell my clients, once they have a page up and running and have started to gain some momentum, I recommend that they create BOTH a Page and Private group so that they also have yet another free place to communicate with their fans.
There are many other points that could be made as to why one is better than the other, but the bottom line is that with both you receive all the features that they both can offer - the benefits of a Page where you can leverage all the business features, and the benefits of a Group where you can establish relationships and build trust with fans by giving them value.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post! If you are looking for additional support for your Business and using Facebook check out my
"Facebook Support for Business" Group!
This is a group that supports each other with the many facets of Facebook in a free and comfortable setting. Often times, we have small and simple questions but they end up being huge because we don't know the answer.
Pop over and join today!