There is much confusion expressed by clients and friends of Connection Group who are just immersing themselves in social media. Since Facebook Groups and Facebook Pages look so similar, and indeed have many similar features, some companies have created a Facebook Group instead of a Facebook Page which would serve their goals better. The two essentially serve different purposes on Facebook and it is important to know the features of each before jumping in.
The purpose of a Group is to encourage interaction of members.
They are typically built around a particular topic or cause. Members can brainstorm ideas, group chat, post new information, photos, videos and links, etc. Whenever a new entry is made by a member the entire group is notified via email (unless a group member has specified to opt out of emails) and it will be added under the notifications tab. This is one of the best features of the Group option. Another is the ability to restrict access and create an invite only group. This keeps the correspondence in the group directed to group members online – not posted to the public News feed. Keep in mind however messages are restricted once a group reaches 5000 members.
Create a Page when you want to build an official company, public entity or brand page.
The Facebook Pages or company fan pages are tools for companies and public figures to connect with their customers and followers. Customers on Facebook can ‘like’ and then interact with a brand by posting Page updates that are fed to your News feed. By liking the page users will then receive the Facebook company fan page posts directly into their News feed which will also then be viewable by that users friend. Facebook Pages have stronger SEO capabilities and the biggest is their ability to include applications. For instance the static FBMI application that allows people to create graphics, custom tabs and code that essentially simulates a website within their company page. Facebook Pages also provide administrators with post insights which are essentially tracking devices to count hits, etc. Official Pages can not be restricted or hidden like the invite only group mentioned above, there is no option to make them private. The whole idea with the business Pages is to increase publicity and draw interested friends. Page administrators can also access a widget that can be posted on their corporate website to promote their fan pages, this is another feature groups do not have currently.
When creating your Facebook custom business page it is wise to get a vanity URL for the page name. Please see my previous blog entry for details.
I tend to use the features of the Facebook business fan pages and use them even with my non-profit businesses and groups. I don’t implement any member restrictions and I have other tools to mass message and send event notices outside of Facebook. The ability to utilize applications and Page Insights out weight using the Group choice for me.
If you have other questions please let me know, I am happy to help. Facebook covers this information very thoroughly also. Otherwise, if you are ready to create a fan page go to facebook.com/pages/create.php.