One of the most common topics related to Facebook Groups is Facebook Group vs Facebook Pages. Just like in a boxing game. It’s on many people’s minds because Groups are gaining more and more popularity. They were once used mainly for personal communities, such as family, friends, co-workers, and so on. Now you can really make a business with a Facebook Group.
So many Facebook users, many marketers are thinking:
- What are the differences between a Facebook Group and a Facebook Page?
- How can a Facebook Group help my business?
- What are the similarities between a Facebook Group and a Facebook Page?
- Can I use just one of them?
- Should I use only a Facebook Page/a Facebook Group?
And so many more. I will try to cover and answer to as many questions as possible in the following article.
- Introduction to Facebook Pages
- Facebook Pages Benefits
- The communities built around a Facebook Page
- Facebook Groups Introduction & Benefits
- The Facebook Group Community
- Similarities: Facebook Groups vs Facebook Pages
- Differences: Facebook Groups vs Facebook Pages
- What should you choose between Facebook Groups and Facebook Pages?
- The new Facebook algorithm
First of all, let’s put a frame on this subject and pin some things. It will be easier for us to understand and remember the information.
Introduction to Facebook Pages
As you know, Facebook Pages didn’t appear at the same time as Facebook did. Their first “Hello” was in November 2007; that’s approximately 4 years after Facebook’s launch.
Their complexity grew along the years, as it is normal. From simply using a Facebook Page in a similar way you were using a Facebook Profile, you are now able to do lots of things. The latest changes announced regard:
- A/B testing for posts;
- 1-10 Scale for businesses (beta testing), based not only on reviews but also on ratings and recommendations.
Facebook Pages Benefits
Let me start by saying that yes, I think every freelancer or company should have a Facebook Page. When they find about a new business, people’s first choice for searching in Google, then Facebook. If you don’t own a website, you must own an active Facebook Page. Otherwise, people will not even consider you. Just think of your own behavior.
In terms of benefits, I will outline as many as I can, but I will leave the details to some other article.
An excellent Facebook Page should contain your business’s name, phone number, location, description, photos of your business. You can skip one or two if you really can’ t publish them. The idea is to create a Page that will make people trust you. And not only this. A Facebook Page is your image – you don’t want to have a misleading or bad image.
Regarding the benefits of a Facebook Page, I will start by pointing out what I said above. A Facebook Page can be your reflection, one that your customers can see, too. Create it as you would create your website. Make it a beautiful and as professional as you can. This will do you nothing but good.
Another benefit is that your customers can like and follow your Page. Immediately as they do this, their friends will see on their newsfeed their action, therefore you’ll gain visibility. It’s like a snowball or a chain reaction: one will like your page, 3 of his friends will like it, too, then 3 of their friends will also like it; you’ll then have 13 new likes just like that.
As it is a public space, you’ll be able to constantly reach to new people organically, but also through paid ads. Yes, it’s not an easy thing to do, but if you make it, it will basically be an automated way of promoting your business.
Facebook Pages Reviews are quite important, as Google can index them and show them right in the browser. Of course, there can be spammers both good and bad, that can leave false reviews. With the new supposed feature I mentioned above (1-10 Scale), I believe your Facebook Page can be presented much better. This new scale will not only focus on reviews. Many people, that like a business, don’t write a review, because they don’t have the time or they simply don’t think they need to. But now Facebook can ask them only to recommend that business to his friends and to quickly rate it. Time-saving is gold for many of us.
Thus your reviews may actually increase. They will be represented by a percentage, such as “92% of people recommend this place”. Read here for more details.
Another benefit is that Facebook Pages evolved in such a way that they are almost automated. It suggests you types of posts to create, depending on your type of business. You are able to create automated answers so that you’ll never lose your customer if he writes you a private message.
You can even create an online shop with your Facebook Page or should I say inside it? You can then tag your promoted products and make a sale immediately. This is a situation that helps both you and your customer. As nowadays people want to buy instantly. Also, if you own an Instagram account, you can tag your products there as well. So convenient for everyone!
Moving on, chatbots are a relatively new thing: they make your life and your customer’s life easier. They are a bit difficult to set them up, but once you do, the results will please you. If you own an online shop, again, everyone’s lives will be easier. You can be relaxed knowing that your customers will find out answers or will order much quicker. Your customers will instantly know the answer to their questions (how long does it take for the delivery to arrive, can I make a reservation at 8 o’clock, do you have yellow shoes?).
Another thing I want to mention is the Insights. As long as you have 100likes to your Page, Facebook will help you know your audience better in terms of age, location, hours when they are online. One new feature regarding pages is that you can now know your Top Fans. A Facebook Page Top Fan is the user that is the most active on your Page. You can use this and reward them, making others wanting to be active, too. This is how they will appear when your fans will look at the Page:
Furthermore, Facebook is not just a Social Media platform. It grew to be so much more, from bringing people together, to help them find information, to use the Marketplace to sell easily. Users can use Facebook as a small search engine and find content written by you or shared by others.
Besides these, with a Facebook Page, you can Boost your posts, or create Facebook Ads. This means you can pay for more reach, engagement, traffic and more, all to reach more and more people that can be interested in your company.
Not only these, but you can now post Jobs on Facebook. As I said before, things get pretty automated or intuitive better said. Facebook rolled out a type of Page post that you can specifically use for searching for the right candidates. They will appear like this:
Another new cool feature is Facebook Pages Stories. They work exactly like those from Snapchat: you post something in your story and your followers will be able to see it in the next 24 hours. It is useful as not every customer you have has a Snapchat or Instagram account, therefore not everyone can see what you share on those platforms. Now, you can be fully integrated: sharing the same story across all of your accounts.
The communities built around a Facebook Page
As I said, you can reach a lot of people, by paying or organically. This also means that you can reach to people that will not necessarily like your company but will like your post because you had something fun/nice/straightforward to say.
Some may have liked because one of their friends asked them to do so. Though I’m not talking about an established brand, that is known all over the world. I’m talking about the smaller local companies. Don’t you have in your likes list companies or freelancers liked only because you were invited by a friend and you wanted to support what they like? We all do.
Also, you may have launched a contest, and even though you asked people to just comment, some started to like your page. Maybe they thought “just in case”. They are not your real audience, because they will eventually unlike your Page. Also, with the new Facebook Algorithm, they may not even see what you are posting, because they didn’t have a history of engaging with you, nor you have been very active in terms of posting.
Therefore, a Facebook Page community is a bit diverse, in my opinion. It can happen that this community to not be the one that truly represents your brand.
Not to forget about this: if a user comments on your Page, leaves a review or simply like your Page, their friends will see these in their newsfeed. This can be the cause of a small level of engagement coming from your customers. It’s not that they wouldn’t like to talk with to, it’s just that they would like a more private place. This situation kind of gets us to Facebook Groups.
Facebook Groups Introduction & Benefits
Being a bit older than Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups were first welcomed to the world somewhere around 2006.
Changes are normal, and they did change. I remember that Facebook Groups were not that popular. They were used mainly for personal use: school, family, friends, work. I remember creating a Facebook Group whenever a big event was close: birthday parties, gatherings, going out. They were the pioneers in talking to a group, as Facebook Chat or Messenger weren’t even available.
Nowadays people really understand their power, and they are using them more as a business tool. They can offer a large number of benefits, but I’m just going to mention them. You wrote a more detailed article about Facebook Groups Benefits.
One of the biggest benefits is that you can create a community where you can genuinely talk to your customers. If you set your group to Private or Secret, whatever your members talk about in your groups will stay there. Their friends will not see this on their newsfeed (only if they are members, too). This will eliminate the situation where customers aren’t comfortable in talking to you.
You can create a comfortable vibe for your members (customers) by creating a genuine relationship. Talk to them, respond to their ideas, involve them in your decision. This will raise their level of trust and they will become more loyal.
Companies and businesses should be aware of the fact that they can find valuable knowledge about a customer. They can ask members to share their experience with the products. Customers can explain why they like the new product or why they don’t. It will be easier for them to do these things as they know they are in a community who shares the same ideas.
A great benefit is that you can also create rules. Building a strong community is not an easy thing to do. You have to be aware that your customers need some guidance, need a leader. Be theirs and teach them that they are in a behaved community where they can only post about specific things. Otherwise, you’ll risk having spammers, trolls, and others.
Owning a Facebook Group lets you share more valuable content. Whatever your business is about, you can always teach your customers: how to use a product, how can they do this, where they can learn specific stuff and so on. You can be closer to them, making them realize that your company is run by humans.
Another benefit is that you can tag an event inside your Facebook Group. You can create it and instantly invite all of your members. Kind of related to this, you can also mass message your group. Which is extremely convenient if you want to share something important to all of them and you want to make sure that everyone sees your message.
A fun thing to do is the new feature called Watch Party. You can choose one or multiple videos posted on Facebook, and you can watch them together, in real time. This helps to bond as you can react, like and comment together, at the same time. Read about this here.
One feature that makes things feel a bit more like home (by home I say your personal newsfeed) is that you can share posts with colorful backgrounds, just like you would do in your personal profile. This can lead to a greate level of comfortableness among your Facebook Group community.
The Facebook Group Community
As I mentioned above, this community is uniform. You can choose exactly who do you want to approve in your group, by creating a set of rules and by asking a set of questions. Here, people are feeling more comfortable talking to you, as a company (even though an admin must represent the business). Members will want to share their experiences with you as they know that the others are there for the same thing: to genuinely talk with you.
As I said in one of my other articles, be their leader, not their boss. Encourage your members to share their ideas, to share resources and to help others. Don’t be that admin that doesn’t let anyone comment, post or engage with the community.
Building trust among your members and your customers will lead to genuine recommendations. People will love to share your business and your group if they know that you will be valuable to their friends, too. Thank them if they do this, and you’ll make them feel appreciated. Which in life (not only in sales) is a big thing.
If you want to launch a new product, post a poll and ask your Facebook Group community about it. You’d save a lot of time and resources. And, again, people will feel that their opinions are valued and appreciated. This leads to brand loyalty, which is one of the greatest things you can achieve.
Engage with your Facebook Group members in various ways, and don’t let them get bored. I wrote in this article some engagement ideas that you may find useful.
A future new feature is that admins will be able to create a new Facebook Group Subscriptions. You’d have to have a group with a big audience, then create an adjacent one that’s more specific and niched. I can’t decide yet whether this is a good or a bad thing in terms of what are Facebook Groups for (communities, free, more personal).
There are so many more things to say about each of these two Facebook tools. Unfortunately, I don’t want to write a novel right now. You may be in a hurry and I just want to help you out by pointing out the differences and the similarities between Facebook GRoups and Facebook Pages.
Similarities: Facebook Groups vs Facebook Pages
|Facebook Groups||Facebook Pages|
|Audiences||Big or small audience to talk to.||Big audience to talk to.|
|Comments and Opinions||People share their opinions and ideas about a topic or about your company.||Less often, but people can comment and share their opinions on your Facebook Page, too.|
|Customize URL||You can customize the URL for both of these, helping people find you more easily.|
|Notifications/See First||Members can choose to be notified whenever someone posts in your group.||Followers can choose to “See First” your Page’s posts.|
|Cover Photo||Both have the possibility to use a cover photo that represents your business the best.|
Differences: Facebook Groups vs Facebook Pages
In terms of how public everything is, people might choose not to comment on your Page’s post if they agree or not with something. That is because if they do this, all of their friends will see this. While in a Facebook Group (a Private or a Secret one), all of their opinions will remain inside the group.
Regarding promotions and ads, you can use ads only on Facebook Pages. It is advised that you don’t over promote your products in your Facebook Group, as the group is not specifically made for this. You have the Facebook Page to promote whatever you want. The valuable content is the main focus in a Facebook Group.
You can control a Facebook Group with rules and settings, whereas your Facebook Page is public and visible to everyone. This can be a plus though, as your followers can share your posts with everyone, almost anywhere. While in the Facebook Group, things are not open to the public, unless you prefer a Public Facebook Group (not advised, see here why).
Having a Facebook Page lets you contact your followers with your Page. You can comment, react or share with the Page. In the Facebook Group, people are generally using their personal profiles. Recently, Facebook enabled the possibility to manage your group (linked with your Facebook Page) under your Facebook Page’s name.
In Facebook Groups you can’t add applications or tabs, as you can do in Pages.
You can present your company better in terms of public things (hours, location, description, reviews, etc.), on a Facebook Page. In a Facebook Group though, things can go a little deeper: share insights of your company, talk honestly with your customers and so on.
Regarding Insights: in a Facebook Page you can see and expand your knowledge about your audience; while in a Facebook Group things are limited to only a few information related only to the members.
As I said before, you can communicate better in a Facebook Group, as things are less visible to everyone who is not interested; there’s true, long-lasting engagement; it’s more personal, more community-based. On a Facebook Page, everything is public, and people can be intimidated by that. Again, I’m talking about smaller business. The big brands are a different story; same are Facebook Pages that promote celebrity news, food recipes, meme etc., where people only tag themselves in comments. There isn’t a real conversation with the Page/business.
If you want to send a private message to a lot of people, use a Facebook Group.
Facebook Groups don’t have Stories, yet! This is a new thing even for Facebook Pages, and I’m sure Facebook will implement Stories to Groups, too.
You can start a Q&A in Facebook Pages, you can post offers/discount and you can write notes. Things that are not possible within a Facebook Group. What you can do, is to start a Watch Party and to upload files in a Facebook Group.
Here are the main ideas from this paragraph:
|Facebook Groups||Facebook Pages|
|Visibility||Can be Secret/Closed.||Public no matter what.|
|Ads & Promotion||No Ads; Promotion is OK in a small amount.||Ads + Promotion (though here its also advised having somewhere around 20% promotion and 80% content)|
|Rules & Control||Rules + Control||No rules; a small amount of control (you can delete spammy comments)|
|Ways of Contacting your Followers||Through your personal profile||Directly with your Facebook Page|
|Applications & Tabs||No||Yes|
|Presentation||Deeper thoughts/ideas; lets customers get to know your company better.||Better for hours/location/description/phone etc.|
|Demographics & Insights||No||Yes|
|Communication||More personal, more genuine||Less personal|
|Mass Private Messages||Yes||No|
|Q&A Post||No, but you can start discussions||Yes|
What should you choose between Facebook Groups and Facebook Pages?
I think a Facebook Page is definitely a must because people are used to every business having a page. In the case of a Facebook Group, you may think a bit if you can and have the additional time to nurture your group. Don’t worry about its topic. You just need to decide whether you want to use it solely as a way to communicate with all of your customers: encouraging them to leave their good/bad opinions about you. Or whether you’ll use it to make people trust you more: share great content; help them with ideas that are related to your business, but also content that will hhelpthem in general.
Even if you have a recycling company, you can create a Facebook Group for recycling learning or something similar.
If you own a B2B company specialized on office supplies, you can create a Facebook Group for office ideas and advice. No matter what your company is about, think of what would your customers love to learn about, and how can you help them.
The New Facebook Algorithm
This new algorithm will favor posts from friends, family, and groups, rather than from pages and businesses. This means that you should gather your people in a group and offer them valuable content there. You’ll be sure that they will stay in the group, and will continue to see your posts.
Don’t be afraid, everyone started from the bottom. At least you can try to start your own group. Do this before your competitors do it! Or if they already did, well…you shouldn’t think twice! Everyone has a Facebook Page, but not everyone has a Facebook Group. That’s the bottom line regarding Facebook Groups vs Facebook Pages.