As a web developer and social media consultant to several clients, one of the questions I am often asked by my clients is how they could use Facebook to interact effectively.
I noticed that some of them use their personal facebook page for their business or just go ahead to create groups without knowing the difference between a personal Facebook page, a Facebook Fan Page and a Facebook group.
In this article, I would be enumerating the differences between a Facebook Group and a Facebook Page:
There are basically 3 ways to be connected on Facebook to people :
1) Personal Facebook page:
- This is the most common , here individuals just create their own Facebook page to interact with friends, share photos, videos , etc
- The limit to the number of friends you can have is 5,000, once the limit is reached you cannot add any more friends.
- With an individual page, you can join other groups or pages.
- You can create a group and or page for yourself or clients thus becoming an administrator to the group or fan page.
- To open a facebook page, just go to www.facebook.com and sign up. Its pretty easy.
2) Facebook Group:
- This used for people with a common interest or idea coming together to interact with each other.
- There is no limit to the number of people that get to join the group.
- Its is easy for people to join because each member of the group can add his or her friend to the group thus making the group grow very quickly, however the administrator has to approve, this is unlike Pages where people get to like the pages immediately.
- Notifications are often sent to all members when any member makes a post which makes it very interactive.
- Some companies or organizations often mistakenly create Facebook groups instead of pages. This may not be too proper as posts from members are posted to other member’s walls instead of such messages coming exclusively from the business or organization.
- If you create the group, you get to be the administrator.
- When you create a group, you can decide whether to make it publicly available for anyone to join, require administrator approval for members to join or keep it private and by invitation only. Like with Pages, new posts by a group are included in the News Feeds of its members and members can interact and share with one another from the group.
- To create a group got to http://www.facebook.com/groups/create.php . You must have your own individual facebook page in order to create a group.
3) Facebook Fan pages used for businesses, bands, celebrities, public figures, organizations:
- This is more like an official page, and the Facebook page bears the name of the business, organization, band or celebrity and you can post messages bearing the name of the business, organization, etc.
- The page can have unlimited number of fans.
- You interact with fans by making posts on your wall or newsfeed which then shows up on your Fan’s wall or Newsfeed, and their friends get to see it and can opt to “like” your page.
- You also get to have several apps (applications) which are created to enhance Facebook page
- You get to have promotional widgets or Facebook Fanbox which can be embedded on your website.
- You can have a html webpage embedded in your Facebookpage page, thus making the page more interactive, as an example, check out this Facebook page I created for a client: https://www.facebook.com/revolutionkennel/app_190322544333196
- You are eligible to have a short username e.g. www.facebook.com/name , instead of https://www.facebook.com/pages/name/265865170130752 .
.To get your username: www.facebook.com/username/ . This username can also be used for individual facebook pages but not groups.
- Your page is indexed on the search engines just like Google and Yahoo, etc , very much the same way a website is indexed.
- You can link your twitter to your Facebook page.
- To create a Facebook Page go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. You must have an individual Facebook page to do this.
4) Instances where Organizations may want to Use Groups instead of Pages
There are some instances where organization may want to use groups instead of pages. This could be in cases where the organization wants some form of interactivity like an online forum. An example of such could be a schools’ alumni, churches , etc.
It must also be noted that in the case of pages, the information which is posted is often a form of update and is posted by the administrator of the page. When the administrator makes a post it shows up on the wall (or timeline ) of all of his or her fans page and as said before the fan’s friends get to see it and may respond to the update too. Fans can also make a post or start up a discussion on the fan’s page, but it would not show up on the wall or timeline of fans of the organization just like the admin’s own and moreover with facebook new timeline view, it may not show up on the main timeline or wall of the organization but on the side. This leads to less interactivity i.e. if you want a forum like discussion.
However in the case of groups, posts can be made by members of the group, it gets to show on the main timeline or wall of the group but not on the wall of all members instead notifications are sent to all members in the group through the notification icon.
So pages favour one person, the administrator, who makes a post or an updatetes, while groups favour interactive discussion.
As a summary, below are some comparisons I got from some websites which could also throw more light into the topic, however Facebook has made some changes since these were created, for instance the instant messaging to inboxes which was a prominent feature on groups has been removed as well as “updates” for Fan pages instead these are sent as normal newsfeed.
I hope this article was informative enough
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Samuel Oritsejimi Iyinbo has been making money online since 2003 as a website designer with over 60 clients and counting, an internet business consultant, serial entrepreneur and spiritual teacher where he disseminates spiritual messages The Roving Messenger. He founded Illumination Concepts’ E-learning Centre and Innovation Hub the Internet Business Academy Nigeria, to share his knowledge and to train people on how to make money online.