(This post is part of our Unconventional Guide to Harnessing the Power of Facebook Groups for Business. If you want to get your hands on all the chapters, click here!)
You’ve committed to taking your business to the next level and know that Facebook can help you do that, but now you’re wondering…
“When it comes to a Facebook Page vs Facebook Group…which one should I choose for my business?”
Straight up – I hmm’d and haww’d for months before committing to start our first group so trust me when I say we know exactly how you feel.
When we first fired up the Screw we were all for Facebook Pages. Groups existed, but they were pretty new, rarely talked about and clearly no one had tapped into their potential yet.
Facebook Pages gave us a free platform to expand our reach by allowing us to brand our page, engage with followers and eventually advertise.
And then the organic page reach tanked and we started looking other opportunities and found groups!
So what is the difference between a Facebook Page vs Facebook Group?
Facebook Page vs Facebook Group for Business
Just like everything there are clear advantages and disadvantages to just about any marketing strategy you choose to roll with in your business.
And Facebook marketing is no different.
So to help make this decision easier for you, I'm breaking down the pros and cons for each.
Facebook Page Benefits
Facebook Pages are essentially personal profiles for your business.
Much like your personal profile, Facebook Pages allow you to brand your header image, profile picture and highlight aspects of your business with your About section, photos and video tabs, plus one sweet little clickable Call to Action button.
The sidebar of your Page gives you links to Posts, Photos, Videos, Events, Offers, Community and more. All of which you pimp out with your awesome branding to tempt and entice new followers and customers.
Simply put, it is the interactive calling card for your business.
Facebook Page Disadvantages
Real talk time:
Social media is not free anymore.
I mean, think of how many “Sponsored” posts or “Paid Partnerships” you see plastered everywhere.
Simply put, organic reach just isn’t what it used to be.
And Facebook Pages are no different.
In January 2018 Facebook announced yet another algorithm change that would further deprioritize organic reach of Pages. This means that even if you play their engagement game you can experience lower reach, and potentially higher ad costs.
How high, you ask?
In the last business quarter (Q4) of 2017 alone, Facebook’s ad rates rose 37%.
Let me break that down for you a little more…
There are several different types of ads you can create with Facebook, but CPM is one of the most common. CPM refers to “Cost per Mille” or “Cost per Thousand Impressions.”
In Q3, the average CPM was $9.06. By Q4 they had jumped up to $12.45. From Q1 to Q4 the price hike was astronomical — a whopping 110% increase.
What’s that you hear?
The wallets of business owners softly crying all around the world.
Now if numbers ain’t yo thang, the biggest takeaway here is that you basically have to “pay to play” when it comes to Facebook Pages.
If, however, you find numbers sexy, you’ll love this Facebook Ad breakdown by Adstage. It’s legit and definitely worth a read if you’re new to Pages and wondering if paying for ads is in your budget.
Just make sure you’re actually ready to start running ads before you spend a dime.
This post should help you figure that out.
Facebook Group Benefits
Facebook Groups were a massive game changer for our business!
When we started our first free group, we never imagined it could grow to over 44k followers. Along the way we obviously discovered some pretty incredible Facebook Group benefits.
For starters, Facebook is all about engagement driven posts and community interaction. (Hellllooooo, did you see their new mission statement?)
Facebook ranks you on levels of engagement and interaction and groups offer you a safe haven for facilitating 2-way communication that allows you to build rapport with your audience.
Facebook groups offer several functions to let you foster these relationships, such as the “Join Questions” you can set up.
Join questions were rolled out in May 2017 and give admins the power to ask 3 questions before allowing someone into their Closed group.
Now, we love these questions because it gives us the opportunity to do a little quick and easy market research.
Not sure what to ask potential members?
Some of the Qs we’ve used are:
- Do you agree to the rules? (a must for any group, IMO)
- Scale of 1 to 10 how interested are you in learning more about Screw U? (a bunch of our members inside Screw U have come from this one Q alone!)
- What value can you bring to this group?
- What is the biggest obstacle in your business right now?
That last one gave us huuuuuge insight into what our members were struggling with and allowed us to spot a trend (lack of traffic and online visibility) and create an entirely unique offer around it (a.k.a our Free Traffic Workshop and 90 Day Traffic Plan).
Then once inside the group, admins can strategically pin posts so they live at the top of your group’s feed—a dead-simple way to draw attention to key posts you want to get more eyeballs on.
And we use this function like caaaa-RAZY!
We pin everything from our latest FB live videos and podcast episodes to our hottest freebies, workshops, meetups, events and paid programs.
Another benefit of Groups?
Their Facebook groups search function!
Ever read a post that you love and then can’t find it in the sea of other posts when you go back looking for it?
Yeah, we hate that too!
With Facebook groups you can use the little search bar to type in a few key phrases and it will highlight any and all relevant posts—a function that just doesn’t exist on Facebook Pages.
Last, but definitely not least (because straight up I could talk your ear off about FB groups!), we are totally digging the Group Insights function.
Not too long ago Facebook introduced member insights for group owners.
Since this only used to be available to Pages, it’s definitely increased the value of running a group for your business as insights act as a crystal ball that gives you a big ol’ window into your members’ behaviour.
You can find out everything from who is contributing the most posts and comments in your group to which days are the most interactive and what time of day people are most engaged in your group.
All of which are incredibly useful when you want to market effectively in your group.
Insights have played a massive role in our latest marketing strategy, but more on that in Chapter 5!
(I know, I know. I’m such a tease!)
The Disadvantages of Facebook Groups
Like anything online, groups can attract spammers which can get old real fast.
As you may know, we closed the doors to our first Screw the Nine to Five Group (of over 44,000 members) because it became an echo chamber of complaints, spammers and people trying to pitch their own businesses.
And since this was never the original intention of our group, it felt as though the group had lost its charm and felt tiresome trying to moderate everything properly.
So we made the decision to archive the group and start from scratch to build a newer, better community with quality members and high leverage content and posts.
If you’re in there you can watch our strategies rolling out in real-time as we’re always trying new things to improve the experience for our members.
Now it’s pretty clear that our allegiance lies with groups (in case you couldn’t tell *wink*), but there are pros and cons to both Facebook Pages and groups.
And if I’m being honest, identifying your intention for your page or group straight out of the gate is going to be key in its success, as well as knowing how you plan to grow and moderate it without losing your mind.
We’ll be touching on this further down this post, but for now let’s talk about how to get your group set up which I’m breakin’ down in Chapter 3!
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