Posting content on your Facebook page for your business, but you don’t have a group? STOP and read this for a bit of clarity. The difference between Facebook pages and groups is MASSIVE, not just in terms of reach, but also engagement.
If you want to build an authentic community around your brand, then you need to focus your time on groups rather than your page…
…so what’s the difference?
A Page is a bit like your profile or shop front. People can choose to ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ your Page; if they ‘Like’ it, it shows up on their own profile and newsfeed, but if they just ‘Follow’, they see updates from that Page without it appearing as one of their likes on their profile. (You still with me?)
However, if someone ‘Likes’ your Page, that’s no guarantee that they’ll see content from it, especially if they also like a lot of other Pages. We’ve all done it, liked a page because we know the person or someone has posted their link on a random group, that’s a big no, no too, but more about that later..
When people like a Page, they also follow it by default, which will show a random number of your updates in their newsfeed (depending on engagement), but they don’t see everything. One of the key factors about a Page is that it’s public. People can search for it and see content posted to that Page without liking or following it themselves, and if users interact with posts, it can show in their friend’s newsfeeds as well.
This means Pages are great for showcasing your content and is a front-facing window to the Facebook world (if our good friend Mr Algorithms is feeling kind).
Facebook allows you to view your analytics and publishing tools for Pages, including being able to see when your audience is most active, post engagements, scheduling, and a host of advertising tools.
HOWEVER, you can’t see details of individuals who are following your Pages, OR interact with them outside of your posts.
By contrast, Facebook Groups are more of an intimate affair, (which is key in creating the know, like, and trust factor) and where you can really start to build your community of loyal fans.
Groups can be affiliated with Pages, so that a Group is displayed on the Page and clearly associated – this can be a great way of building a more engaged community from a Page and directing people where they need to head next.
Think of it as a shop window you walk past, you see a pair of shoes you like the look of (the FB page), so you walk into the shop (the group) and start having a conversation with the shop owner, who you end up chatting to and forming a connection with – so you buy them, hey presto!
This is the important bit… Posts in Groups are prioritised in individual’s newsfeeds, and even more so if they interact in the group – the more engagement, the more they see the posts. There are a variety of different privacy methods available, from public – meaning anyone can join, to completely private Groups which don’t show up in search.
There are also options where people can request to join – a function that’s useful to keep spammers out, and where I always advise you have questions listed before people enter…you want to make sure you don’t let any old tom dick and harry in, they need to be YOUR people.
Unlike pages, admins of Groups have virtually no access to any analytics tools, BUT can see names and public profiles of people who have joined, which in my opinion is more valuable as that’s how you can create authentic connections.
So, what is best for me?
As a general rule, your page is a great shop front. People can see straight away what you do and what you’re about and can choose whether they’re interested in more.
Groups, on the other hand, encourage a much more intimate level of conversation and connection, and if you are wanting to build an authentic community around your brand then groups are a big plus if doing this.
As an example, Glamour UK has seen huge success with Facebook Groups. Glamour’s main page is liked by over 3 million people, where it posts daily about the latest beauty news and trends. However, they also have a group, ‘The Glamour Beauty Club’, which is clearly linked to the main Page and has over 12,000 members.
“We’ve got almost 12k members now [on the Group], and 90% engagement daily,” said Editor in Chief Deborah Joseph, talking to the Media Voices Podcast. “So, we’ve got 90% of the people on there are talking about beauty all day long. It’s been a huge success.”
12,000 members may pale in comparison to the 3.3 million ‘likes’ on the Page, but these Group members should be seen as the brand’s superfans’; a loyal inner-circle of people who are willing to have conversations with the admin every single day.
In summary, if you can keep your page updated (nobody likes to stumble across an out-of-date FB page), remember to think of it as your shop window. Tell people what you do and how they can work with you, and if you have a group make it super clear who it’s for and why they should join.
If you want to build a community of Superfans, show up as the expert, build that know, like, and trust factor…then go ALL IN on the groups!
Want a little help along the way? I offer a Power Hour for those looking to create a continual stream of potential new customers, without spending a fortune on marketing and advertising & just need some advice on how to get started. You can check it out on my ‘Grow Your Own’ page here!