4 Reasons Why Marketers Should Choose Facebook Pages Over Facebook Groups

By Jessica Lee Comment

cheetosLearn more about building your brand and growing your audience with our comprehensive guide to marketing on Facebook. The Facebook Marketing Bible is available at FacebookMarketingBible.com

Some of the world’s most well-known brands are launching marketing campaigns on Facebook, but many just getting started on Facebook may be wondering which is the best way to go: Facebook Pages or Facebook Groups?

While it used to be the case that either would work, these days the decision is clear. For businesses large and small, Pages (now also known as “public profiles”) are the way to go for four important reasons:

  1. Pages Allow Marketers to Publish to the Stream
  2. Pages Allow Marketers to Engage Fans with Rich Media
  3. Pages Let Marketers Analyze How Fans are Interacting with the Insights Dashboard
  4. Pages Let Marketers Increase SEO

Sorry Groups, but the future of marketing on Facebook will be through the stream.

1. Pages Allow Marketers to Publish to the Stream

With Groups, admins have a few different ways of communicating with members: sending messages to their Facebook inboxes, starting discussion topics on the Discussion Board, posting on the Wall, and uploading photos, links, events, and videos. However, none of these actions automatically make their way to the News Feed.

Compare this to Pages: admins can post status updates, links, photos, and videos to their Walls and get direct access to the News Feed – not to mention get instant feedback when fans like and comment on Wall posts. Pages are a must for organizations who want visibility in the stream.

The New York Times‘s recent video generated 128 likes and 50 comments.

nytimes_wall-post

versus

A university’s Class of 2008 Group: here’s the Group’s Wall, which doesn’t allow for photo, video, or link attachments; posts are not placed in the News Feed.

class-2008_wall

2. Pages Allow Marketers to Engage Fans with Rich Media

Not only do Pages have more powerful access to the Facebook home page, but they also have better integration with rich media. Page admins can attach links, photos, and videos to Wall posts – and more recently, application content with the Publisher coming to Facebook Pages. With this Publisher integration on Pages, Pages can be used by organizations in increasingly creative ways, as suggested by the Developer Blog:

  • Promote philanthropy, coupons, or sweepstakes. A Page admin can solicit a charitable donation, publish a coupon, or announce a sweepstakes, and the resulting post appears in the streams of its fans, driving traffic to an appropriate tab on the Page or an external site.
  • Gauge fan interest. Polling applications are a good way for a band or brand to gather information from its fans.
  • Encourage fan interaction. The many artistic applications out there can give fans the ability to create works of art directly on a Page to show their appreciation.
  • Host live events. Bands, brands, and public figures all want to interact with their fans and supporters in real time. Use the Publisher to announce a live event and drive traffic to the event.

3. Pages Let Marketers Analyze How Fans are Interacting with the Insights Dashboard

In early May, Facebook announced an upgrade to its Facebook Insights dashboard for Page admins. As we shared back then, new features to the dashboard include:

  • A new graph showing different types of fan interactions with the Page over time. Here, you see that the graph combines comments, wall posts, and likes to show relative volume of interactions.
  • A new count of active fans this week, with full age/sex/location breakdown.
  • A new count of total interactions this week, broken down by type.
  • A new post quality rating, from 1 to 5 stars.
  • Graphs for Interactions, Interactions per Post, Post Quality, Stream CTR, Posts, Page views, Media Consumption, Reviews

For all organizations, from nonprofits to big corporations, tracking how users are interacting with content is vital. Knowing numbers and seeing trends help Page admins constantly improve their Pages; by contrast, there are no such tools for Groups, leaving Groups admins guessing what they’re members are thinking.

newinsights1

4. Pages Let Marketers Increase SEO!

Increasing your organization’s rank in Google search results is another reason to choose a Page over a Group. When Facebook added Pages to users’ default public search listings, Pages such as Gap, U2, and Obama saw a dramatic increase in their Google search ranking in just one weekend – with over 112,000 new links pointing back to Gap’s Facebook Page, 188,000 to U2’s, and 3.1 million to Obama’s. This is especially true for larger organizations that get vanity URLs for their Facebook Pages. (The latest news is that vanity URLs may be given away in a land rush.)

public-search-listing-2

Conclusion: The Future of Groups?

It’s evident that Facebook Pages are evolving alongside the Facebook Platform in ways that Groups aren’t: Facebook has integrated Pages with the stream and rich media, as well as provided benefits to Page owners in the form of greater analytic tools and SEO. But that said, Groups still have their place among tight-knit communities that want to leverage the social graph in more intimate, exclusive settings. If Groups continue to be popular among users as they have been, then in time we should expect to see them evolving in ways that provide members with a more integrated user experience.

Learn more about building your brand and growing your audience with our comprehensive guide to marketing on Facebook. The Facebook Marketing Bible is available at FacebookMarketingBible.com

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