As the world’s most popular social network, Facebook is an excellent place to engage with your business’s target audience. Nearly 2.8 billion people are on the platform, which offers many ways to post and interact with multiple types of content.
If you’ve spent any time on the platform, you’ve seen content on business profiles, aka pages, and in Facebook groups. But which option is better for your business?
- Groups are best for community engagement, while Pages are ideal for official content and ads.
- Groups can be used for exclusive content and VIP experiences.
- Pages are better for discoverability and SEO.
Here’s what you can achieve with these functionalities, and the pros and cons of each.
A Facebook Page Lets You Create An Official Brand Presence
Facebook initially created Pages because too many companies were creating profiles to promote themselves. Mark Zuckerberg has said that Facebook is ultimately for friends and family, so it’s important that profiles represent real people.
A page works differently than a profile in several ways:
- Rather than limiting content to “friends,” a Page’s posts can be viewed by any Facebook user.
- You get “Insights” (analytics) into your audience, which are crucial to your marketing strategy.
- You can “boost” posts to show them to a wider audience and effectively turn them into ads.
It also has the following features of profiles:
- People can follow your page to get your posts in their News Feed.
- You can accept direct messages from users.
- You can host events, including virtual ones on Facebook itself.
- You can interact with profiles and other pages.
In short, a Facebook Page is essentially a digital marketing channel with dynamic content rather than static pages. It’s an excellent way to build your brand. You can post videos, photos, links, and other content to highlight your products and services, ask your followers questions, and provide value to your audience.
A Facebook Group Is A Place to Gather
While a Facebook Page is more of a “one stop shop” for your brand, Facebook Groups are usually more “niche.” Many businesses will create a group for a specific topic or industry that suits their brand. For example, a graphic design firm may create a special group for graphic designers.
Facebook Groups are ultimately more about community engagement. Users are accustomed to seeing a company post their own content on their Page. But in a Group, they expect to be able to contribute to the discussion. (You can allow “visitor posts” on your page, but those posts often aren’t shown to other followers unless they visit the page itself.)
By contrast, any member of a Facebook Group will see posts from that group in their feed. And of course, they can always head directly to the group to make their own posts or discover more content.
A Facebook Page Is Great For Discoverability and Accountability
Because groups tend to surround a niche topic, they may not come up when people search for your industry or even your company name. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. People can discover your page if you host a group through it.
But it’s still important to show up in search results as a business. A Facebook Page allows you to be recommended to users. Plus, people can check out reviews on your page, send you messages, and scope you out before they decide to purchase from you.
In fact, most consumers expect a business to have a Facebook page, especially if they’re offering a service. Even if you don’t post much, it’s often a good idea to have an official page with key updates and the ability to DM you. (Tip: Set up automated replies through Facebook Messenger.)
A Facebook Group Gives You Special Ways To Engage With Customers
One important difference between Facebook Pages and Facebook Groups is that the latter can be hidden from search results. Why would you want to do this, you may wonder?
Many brands are now offering online courses or coaching through Facebook Groups. They sell memberships to the groups, where participants can access exclusive content. Obviously, you wouldn’t want this content to be publicly available on a Facebook Page.
Even if your group is not secret, you can make it private so that only people you approve can join, post, and comment in the group. This creates a “VIP experience” that can be very enticing for your audience!
Overall, a Facebook Group is a place to provide value: the topical discussions, support, and exciting content that can drive your audience toward your business.
Wrapping Up: How To Choose
You should use a Facebook Page if you want:
- a dedicated Facebook channel that provides an “official” brand presence for your company
- to show up in search results as a business (especially local search)
- to provide customer service through Facebook
- to run ads on Facebook
You should use a Facebook Group if you want:
- a place to connect like minded people with your brand
- to offer exclusive content or a VIP membership space
- to use Facebook for content marketing and organic growth rather than ads and promoted posts
Of course, you can always do both! Many brands do. Whichever you choose, be sure to stay active on the platform for the best results. At the end of the day, it is indeed a social network.