Not sure whether to start with a Facebook Page or Group? We’ll cover the pro’s and con’s of each in this short guide. Or, if you already have a Page but want to know why you’d want to start a Group, you’ll find that here too.
Nick O’Neill compared the features of the new groups to pages on AllFacebook back in July of 2010. Now that Facebook marketing has evolved (with Facebook’s one constant, which is changing features) and thousands of companies have taken their first marketing steps, what has everyone learned?
Here’s the executive summary:
- Pages are good for analytics, affordable fans; better for mass marketing.
- Groups are notify members like crazy and it’s less work to maintain the conversation.
Generally speaking, companies should start with a Page, and then as you begin to understand your audience better, you’ll be able to identify a target subgroup or interest for a Group. Some companies can use employee groups right away:
- A group for the board of directors
- A working group for one department
- An inter-departmental group working on one specific project
Facebook Page and Group Pros and Cons
Getting Page Fans vs Group Members
If you use advertising to do this, it’s generally cheaper to get fans than group members. You can get 80-90% of ad clickers to click the like button that creates the fan connection, but only about 33% of clickers on group-membership ads will request to join the group. So group members are two to three times more expensive, all other factors being equal. Still, you probably have a pretty focused audience target for members, and you may only want 100-500 of them, so building a group can cost just a few hundred dollars. If you’re building a page fan base and need thousands of fans, the total cost is going to be in the thousands.
Keeping The Conversation Going
Getting a fan only gives you the opportunity to keep them interested. If they don’t respond to your posts, your brand becomes invisible because of EdgeRank. Groups notify all members of every post and comment, so it becomes a perpetual motion machine. Fans on pages don’t see other fans’ posts on your page, just their comments on your posts. A fan page moderator has to keep posting to keep the conversation going, but groups better leverage member posts and comments to keep the community alive.
Optimizing for Better Results
To get better results, you need analytics. The 5 step process I created for optimizing anything is based on the scientific method, and you need to quantify the results of your tests to see what worked and what didn’t. That means you need analytics to measure the effects of your marketing tests. Facebook Pages has analytics. Groups does not. You can always go manual in your review of the data, but Pages will save you some time. But if you have both a Page and a Group, you can use your Facebook page test results and apply them to your Group posts.