Facebook Pages are Better than Groups

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!

10 thoughts on “Facebook Pages are Better than Groups

  1. Pingback: Posts about Web 2.0 as of January 11, 2009 | The Lessnau Lounge

  2. Hi Adriel,
    First of all, thank you for the kind words on Dublin Townhall. This article is what I have been suspecting about the limitations of the Around Dublin FaceBook Group. Now, I do think FaceBook Groups are useful in providing free advertising to friends of members about one’s work; however, it’s hard to elicit active participation once people join. The comedy duo Frangela provides a perfect example that strongly supports your idea. Instead of creating a FaceBook Group, they simply created a FaceBook page. They have over 2,000 friends, and the comedy duo keeps us all very engaged with what they’re up to.


  3. Well thought-out theory. You’re a genius Adriel. I’m going to go get me a Facebook page!

    There are too many social-networking opportunities these days. I really appreciate you staying on top of all this.

  4. Adirel,

    Very good points….I’m in a small Tahoe-area writer’s group <10 members and we talked last night about creating a FB group so we can have a handy way to communicate with one another. Sounded like a good idea, but it’s not the sort of thing where we’re trying to attract numbers or new members, but more a private tool for ourselves. Maybe there is something more appropriate that you know about. It’s probably alright, but just thought I’d get your 2 cents.


  5. Hi Bruce,
    The one advantage a Facebook Group page has over a Facebook Fan page is that the adminstrator has a lot more control over the membership. As an administrator, you can kick members out if you choose to, but you don’t have that option with the Fan page. You also can’t really keep the Fan page a private, while you can with the Group. Based on what you have shared, I think you already have the right solution for your writer’s group.


  6. Hi Jimmy,

    Thanks for your response and feedback….Your point about administration is important (not that I expect lots of people wanting to join though we’d be happy to have interested writers…though, having the option to go private or eject unruly members seems important). It also keeps the “private” aspect of the group, especially if we start sending our writing to each other as a group send. Thanks!


  7. Pretty open to causes. I just don’t like e-mails that don’t really pertain to me from spamming group administrators.

  8. Pingback: Top Eight Posts: Me, Nicknames, Chris and Facebook « Adriel Hampton

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