Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Facebook Groups vs. Pages; what’s the Difference, Anyway?

I’ve heard Facebook groups referred to as pages so many times that I’m even confused!

Let me clear it up for you.

First of all, DO remember that pages are ALWAYS public and most groups tend to be as well. So when you comment, anything you post could come back and bite you.

Now, what about the content? According to Facebook, pages are designed to create an authentic place for fans (yeah, I know that terminology is toast but it’s understandable) to interact and get information from businesses, organizations, and public figures. There’s no limit to how many “fans” page can have compared to a personal profile that maxes out at 5,000.

Groups are meant to be forums surrounding a particular subject matter. That could be a TV show, tin toys from the 50’s, a group of people from the same industry, a political cause, etc. It is designed to be a place where opinions are expressed, and thoughts are shared.

Now that you’re thinking, “Huh? They sound the same to me.” Trust me, they’re not. Here are some characteristics that will help clarify the differences:

Posts show up in a fan’s timeline, thus making pages more “passive”
The owner of the page has stats available to them, including demographics, location, and activity. Don’t worry; this data is grouped, not individual
Ability to run Facebook ads
Can be set so that fans can post or not post; it’s up to the owner how they want to run it
Posts by fans are only seen on the page’s wall not in timelines

Can be open, closed or secret
        Open: All posts and who is in the group is public information; all is visible to anyone
        Closed: Posts are not visible, but who the members can be seen by non-members
        Secret: Not searchable, posts and members are only visible to members.  Invisible.
The owner or an admin of a group can pull you in and make you a member. No doubt you’ve been unwillingly added to a group or two and thought, “What the heck IS this?”
Members receive notifications whenever there’s a post. You CAN shut them off.
When you are hanging out in a group, there’s a green square on the bottom right of your profile pic; this lets other members of the group know you are there.
Groups allow messaging and real time chats
Groups tend to be smaller in numbers compared to pages, making it more likely to meet and interact with others.

It’s easy to leave a group or a page:
Leave a page: Click unlike at the bottom right of the page
Leave a group: Upper right, click on the flower (or is that a snowflake?) for the pull down menu and select “leave group”. No doubt you’ve already discovered this after being pulled into countless groups that you want no part of! Obviously, this writer has been a victim of that.

Just scraping the surface here, but this gives you the basic information you need to know if you’re debating whether to start a page or a group.  Just remember that both require a lot of “upkeep” though as truly interested people tend to join or like, more will participate and help carry the load for you. Note: For pages, this is only if you allow fans to post.
In a nutshell, groups allow more options and flexibility, while pages are more visible via fan’s timelines and can be advertised.

Oh, speaking of Facebook, I have two pages there:
ModlandUSA (MODern Marketing 4 U: The one that’s associated with this blog)
Groovy Reflections (peace, love, grooviness, and 60’s/70’s music and pop culture)


Shannon Grissom said...

Great info!

Dime Store Novel said...

Interesting article....I never even knew about FB groups.

information for you said...

i think groups are great and pages are not as powerful.

Facebook Apps | Facebook Application Developers