Do you want to start a Facebook group to rally folks to your cause, organization, content or personal brand? Don’t do it.
Let me tell you why Facebook Pages are better than Groups, with an eye to Web 2.0 newbies.
Many organizations and individuals are jumping on the social media bandwagon by moving content to Facebook.com. There are many compelling reasons to do this. I’d also concur with many smart people that serious thought and discussion needs to happen first for any serious effort. The first thing you may thing of doing is creating a group, which is very easy to do and at first seems like a great idea. Heck, I’ve done it – with moderate success, even.
But Facebook groups are ineffective for most serious purposes. There might be 150 million active Facebook users, and you might even get a bunch of them to sign up for your group. But that’s about all you’ll get, because to know that new content has been added, they’ll have to visit the group.
“Isn’t that what I want?” you ask. “A bunch of people visiting my group?” Problem is, most active Facebook users are members of lots of groups, and they are playing games, they are talking to friends and they are exchanging e-mails. Unless it is imperative – and believe me, it’s not – they will not visit your group regularly. They will probably even forget they are a member at some point.
“But,” you say, “I’ll just send a Facebook e-mail to all my group members each time I have new content!” And then people will leave your group. Because people hate Facebook spam.
What you should do, if you’re making a well-advised jump to Facebook with your content, is create a page. Once someone joins your page, you have the same basic functions of a group, but every time you update content, Facebook pushes a notification to your members. Sure they might try to turn the notification off, but they probably won’t – notifications are a lot less intrusive than e-mails, and Facebookers get tons of them all the time. They may not visit your page even with that notice, but I bet they’ll remember they’re bought-in to your cause, organization or personal brand. And that is what you want.
If you think I’m dead wrong, let me know in the comments. I’m also interested in hearing from folks who know a lot more about this than I do. Feel free to offer links to your services, too, because my advise to anyone with a budget thinking about doing this is to get a good consultant to help you get off the ground. Have fun flying 2.0!