Facebook is working hard to become the go-to business marketing resource for business. Facebook provides tons of tools to help businesses of all sizes reach their target market. Two of the tools most widely used are Facebook pages and groups. I’ve received quite a few questions from business owners inquiring as to which of these tools are best for their business and my answer is always the same. It depends on your needs. Let’s take a look at what each feature offers.
A Facebook page is an account for public figures, businesses, organizations and other entities. Pages are available to everyone on Facebook by default. This means that anyone with a Facebook account can view and like a page.
This is contrary to a personal account that can be marked private. Facebook aims to reduce inauthentic pages, by offering a verification service. By submitting specific documentation to the Facebook team, proving you are an authorized representative of your company, the page will be verified with a small grey checkmark (see the image to the right). In addition, if you find a page on Facebook that is pretending to be your company, you can submit a request to have the page removed.
Pages gain followers by action of the follower. This means the page must be liked in order for someone to view the content. Content shared will show on the page and in the followers content feeds. Individuals who liked a page can unfollow the page without un-liking the page. Unfollowing the page will stop updates from showing in their personal feed.
Facebook pages offer detailed information about the public figure, business, association, etc. Details can include mailing address, phone number, background, product and service listing, website links, etc. Pages come with use of Facebook Messenger. This allows page followers to engage directly with the organization. It also provides for two-way communication. Pages can send messages to followers en mass with the use of third party tools.
Additional features of a Facebook page include, analytics, the ability to run ads, mailing list sign-up form, additional information tabs, ability for followers to make appointments, showcase of images and videos, and a blog.
Pages should be used as a promotional platform to showcase your company’s personality. Provide useful information, resources, links, video and images to followers. Facebook pages should be a part of your marketing strategy with the goal of increasing influence and expanding reach.
Facebook pages are best used by:
- Authors and Artists
- Library System
- School Systems
- Food Trucks
Facebook groups can be created for any size business, public figure, association, etc., but cannot be verified. Groups limit the amount of information that can be posted in common areas about a company. However, similar to a page, content can be posted to the group that talks about the company. In order to view group content, members must be added to the group or can request to join the group.
Groups are used to engage with all members, not simply highlight a company like a Facebook page. Facebook groups should be used to work with a smaller sub-set of your customer or member base. Groups are also great tools to conduct user analysis or customer research.
Group members expect to be able to engage with each other. Groups should be used to build a community around your brand. Avoid discussion topics that are too heavy on the sales side. Keep your engagement with group members light and entertaining. Provide content that is useful and offers members a real benefit.
Facebook groups are best used by:
- Support Groups
- Local Organization or Associations
- Individual Schools
- Individual Library Branches
As I stated before, the feature you choose should be based on the needs and objectives of your company. You can create multiple pages and groups. However, be careful not to get too granular. You don’t want your pages and groups to compete against each other.
If you need some assistance figuring out which option is best for your company, contact me and I can help you navigate the Facebook waters.