Group or Page - where should you be allocating your Facebook resources?

Facebook group or Facebook page? Which is best for your brand? Like all things, it comes down to your individual business goals, but we've got to say, we're loving what's happening in groups right now. Read on for an explanation of why you still need both, and how to make the most of your Facebook group:

First of all, what's the difference between a page and a group? A Facebook page is a front-facing profile that allows you to interact with customers, post updates, share links and more. A group can either be private or public, and according to Facebook, "allow people to come together around a common cause, issue or activity". In this way, we see groups (as they apply to brands) as being relevant when you want to help facilitate advocates of your brand to find one another, share the love, and be rewarded for being dedicated to your brand. In addition, Facebook has recently announced that they will be "prioritising posts by friends, family and groups, while curbing the reach of unpaid content shared by businesses and publishers."

All the more reason to give groups a try!

We recently advised client YCL Jewels to create a Facebook group to connect with super fans - those that follow along with each collection release and who want to know more from behind the brand. While the Facebook page is a place to share links, upcoming collections and media hits, the Facebook group is perfect for sharing live chats with the founder where super fans can ask questions, provide feedback on what they loved or hated about recent releases, be offered exclusive discounts or get access to collections before the rest of the world. 

There are a number of keys to a great group:

1. Don't share the same content as you would on your page. There is literally nothing worse than a group admin who's phoning it in by posting their latest blog posts and nothing else. A group is a community who are united by a common interest, so engage with them! Ask questions, share behind the scenes insights, encourage members of the group to communicate with each other. The ultimate goal is for your group to become self moderating, without requiring considerable extra content creation from you. Before you start your group, put together a content plan that outlines what you'll be posting, so you're not scrambling at the last minute.

2. You're going to have to lead the conversation, especially at the beginning. Groups can take a while to get cranking, as most people prefer to lurk than engage. You will eventually reach critical mass, but in the meantime, ask lots of questions, encourage users to respond to each other, and perhaps even ask some of your most engaged customers to act as advocates within the group to encourage more engagement.

3. It will take time. You'll need to plan content, be present, engage. 

4. Think about what's really interesting to your community - a group is less about you and more about them.

Now, while we're loving groups, that doesn't mean you can do away with your Facebook page. As mentioned above, pages are front facing, which means they can be seen by anyone who views your page. Followers can also share content from a page, and pages give you access to analytics which allows you to better target your marketing activity.

From an advertising perspective, page advertising is a known entity on Facebook. You can create advertising through ads manager easily, and can specifically target relevant potential customers. Facebook is in the process of rolling out advertising for groups, and paid subscriptions for groups, but it's more of an unknown entity at this point. Watch this space - it's yet to be seen how people will respond to ads in groups, which may feel more intrusive than ads in the news feed.

So, which option do you go for? We'd honestly recommend having both, but using them for different purposes.

Want to learn more about Facebook groups or talk to us about creating one for you? Get in touch today.

Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

Claire Deane