Facebook fan page versus groups: choosing the right option for business

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Marketing | Social Media | Social Media

By Catriona Pollard

With Facebook becoming an essential part of any marketing plan it can be confusing to know which applications will most suit your business and best promote your product or service to the right audience.

Should you start a basic profile for your company, as if you were an individual user, or perhaps a group or fan page is the right decision…but what is the difference?

A Facebook group is designed to bring like-minded people together to share ideas and information on a particular topic. A Facebook fan page allows businesses, celebrities or organisations to promote themselves and interact with fans. An individual profile should only be used by individuals not businesses.

Facebook Group

A group needs to be attached to an individual user and the ‘admin’ of the group can control how open the group is and approve group members. Groups can be created by anyone where as a fan page must be created by an authorised representative of your business.

Groups are usually on a smaller scale than a Facebook fan page. They are usually relatively easy to set up and it’s a good idea to use a catchy, fun group name that will entice people to join. As part of a group you can send private messages to members’ inboxes and send out a bulk invitation to all of your friends.

Facebook Fan page

Although a group may sound ideal, creating a Facebook fan page for your business is often the more effective option, the reasons are:

  1. A fan page acts similarly to an individual on Facebook, with updates being fed into a fan’s newsfeed, meaning interested parties can keep up to date with the latest information from your business.
  2. A fan page can be customised to show your company’s branding and with applications like ‘flash’ and html code, a fan page is like a website within Facebook.
  3. You can post photos; links to blogs; there is a wall for people to write on and opportunities for discussions.
  4. A fan page can be accessed by the public, via search engines like Google, which means a fan page can reach a wider audience than a Facebook group.

There are similarities between the two options, both can advertise upcoming events and members can write on the walls and post photos. The decision on which option is best for you will depend on your business and what you want to achieve with this Facebook application.

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