Q: Should I start a Facebook Business Page or a Facebook Group for my small business?
Before I answer, let’s break down the difference between the two and the pros and cons of each. First up, Facebook Business Pages
What is a Facebook Business Page?
A Facebook Business Page is a fancy business version of your personal Facebook account. Biz pages were created just for businesses to grow and connect with their targeted audiences on Facebook.
Facebook business pages are ideal for small businesses because they allow you to advertise your products and services, communicate with customers and fans, as well as promote important messages.
These pages are public, and anyone on the internet can see and interact with them.
Facebook Business Page Pros:
- Insights and Analytics: Business pages give you access to page insights to track your reach, view engagement, and plan out your strategy.
- Advertising: Facebook’s advertising platform is one of the best on the web. You can stalk people with your product (you know how when you visit a website and then BAM! You see the Facebook ad? It’s not a conspiracy… It’s called re-targeting 🙂
- You can also upload your email list to Facebook and market to them as well. Imagine sending your list an email about a new product, and for the next few days, they see that same product advertised in their news feed? Kind of cool, right?
- Brand Awareness: Unlike a personal page, you can create updates and comment as your business or brand, not as yourself, which is great if you are building brand awareness.
Facebook Business Page Cons:
- Pay to Play: Even though with a business page you may look all profesh, and you can “stalk” your customers, business pages have become a pay to play platform.
- With all the new Facebook Page algorithms, unless you have a budget, very few people will see your updates.
- Hard to Find: Once your customer likes your page, unless it shows up in their newsfeed again, they have to search for it or dig deep into their profile to find it again.
Now, Facebook Groups
What is a Facebook Group?
Facebook groups are a place where people of common interest can come together and communicate.
For businesses, Facebook groups are a great way to communicate with your current customers and brand ambassadors.
Facebook Group Pros:
- Expert Status: When you create a Facebook group you are are the respected leader of that group, and your members are looking to you for suggestions, help, conversation, and next steps.
- Privacy Controls: Unlike Facebook Business Pages, you can make your group private or by invitation only. This allows you to control who can join your group.
- Increased Engagement: With groups, you don’t have to worry about people not seeing your updates. Group members automatically receive notifications when anyone posts in the group.
- Search Power: Facebook groups allow you and members to search through files and posts, making finding past convos and resources that much easier to find.
- Easy Access: When someone joins a Facebook group, the link is placed on the sidebar of their Facebook newsfeed for easy access, unlike biz pages.
Facebook Group Cons:
- It’s time-consuming: You think managing social media is time-consuming? Try a Facebook Group. To keep the group active and beneficial to your brand, it’s a lot of work. You’ll need to keep an eye on the group at all times, create and enforce rules, and interact with the members. Many businesses have even hired group moderators to help.
- No analytics: There are no insights, apps, or analytics incorporated in Facebook groups, so there is no way to track your successes or failures. The only metrics available are the number of people who have joined your group, and the number of people who have seen group posts.
Final answer, Which is better?
A: Like everything else in life, it depends on your situation and future goals:
If your primary purpose is to build and nurture a community of loyal customers and brand lovers, then a Facebook Group is the best option.
This is a no-brainer if you are in a niche community. Let’s say your business focus is designing fashionable coffee mugs. You can start a coffee lovers group and promote your products and services there.
If your main goal is brand awareness, promoting products and services, and building your list, then a Facebook Business Page is the way to go.
If you have the time or resources to do both, then do both. Being able to communicate with loyal customers effectively, is a powerful tool.