When you’re scrolling through Facebook, you’re getting content from a variety of different sources on Facebook. Some of it, obviously, is coming from the people you are friends with. Other content comes from Facebook Groups or Facebook Pages. If you’re trying to reach an audience, which one should you use? What are the benefits of a Facebook Group versus a Facebook Page? It depends on what you’re trying to do with your audience. Let’s dive in.
Facebook Groups were originally created so you could connect with people from your graduation class so you could plan your ten year reunion, but they have started to serve a different purpose. Podcasts primarily have started using Facebook Groups as a way to create a sense of community between listeners.
Groups allow anyone to post and for members of the group to interact with each other and sometime also, in the case of the podcasts, be able to interact with the hosts. As the community grows, so does the content that is shared. The podcast My Brother, My Brother, and Me boasts a group of over 40,000 members and the community is constantly growing. There is fan art, episode discussions, event announcements, and meet-ups that are organized.
Groups also allow you to moderate posts that are submitted, so you can keep harmful or irrelevant things from being in the group before they even go out. You can also set it up so that members have to be approved before they join the group, which cuts down on bots and spam accounts.
Facebook Groups are great at creating a sense of community, but aren’t necessarily the best at disseminating information especially if there’s a lot of other posts flooding the group. If you’re a business, a Facebook Group is used best in conjunction with a Facebook Page, not instead of one. Examples of where a Facebook Group would be best used is a podcast, an entertainment entity, an alumni group, current students talking with one another, clubs and organizations, and major specific groups.
We’ve told you how your business NEEDS to be on Facebook and it absolutely does. Having a Facebook Page has become a rite of passage of sorts for a business. If you don’t have one, at least to some of your customer base, you don’t exist. A Facebook Page is the most efficient way to get information out to your audience and customers. It’s a great place to share updates, events, and new offers.
The disadvantage with a Facebook Page is that sometimes it can feel a tad cold. If you’re not focused on replying to comments, then it can just feel like a stream of information without any regard to your audience’s feelings on it. Without the right management of a page, it can feel like the business is more interested in selling than cultivating a relationship with their audience. The other thing that you lose is being easily able to aggregate content and posts from your audience. If that’s not something you’re concerned about, then a Facebook Page is the way to go. A good example of a Facebook page is the Polygon Facebook Page. They post articles, go live with video, and have specific content for Facebook TV.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
So. What should you do? In a perfect world, a Facebook group and a Facebook page could go hand in hand. A Facebook page would handle more of the business, information distribution with some audience reaction and a Facebook group would be a place for your audience or fans to create content of their own and foster a community. If you’re only going to do one, then pick the one that best fits your goals. If you’re a podcast or an entertainment entity trying to build rabid devotion to your show? Use a Facebook Group. Are you an alumni organization trying to keep everyone engaged, despite having moved away? Use a Facebook Group. Are you a business or a university trying to get out information in an efficient matter? Use a Facebook Page. It truly is dependent on your goals.
One of the reasons people like Facebook Groups so much is that it gives them the opportunity to interact with the “stars” of the group, such as hosts of podcast or famous friends of hosts. Your dean is the star of your university so you can use them as an effective way to engage with your university. If your dean is willing to spend a little bit of time engaging with students, having a Facebook Group may be a great idea. To learn more, read our whitepaper on how to make your dean more digital.