Facebook pages and groups are going through some changes at the moment and there will be some operating in both old and new formats. We’ll try and keep it simple and if you notice anything out of date please leave a comment. If you’re new to Facebook, familiarise yourself with its jargon by clicking here.
Pages are the equivalent for businesses and organisations of individual profile pages, while ‘like’ is the equivalent of being someone’s friend.
When you add a status update, this appears in the newsfeed of everyone who likes the page.
The main difference from personal pages is that although you can see everyone who likes you, you can’t message all of them.
All content added to a Page by you or any other person you nominate as an administrator will be posted under the Page’s name. This helps to protect the personal identity of people updating the page, but all administrators do appear on the page so make sure they are comfortable with what they are sharing (see: privacy).
Another aspect of Pages is that you can use Facebook ‘as’ that page, for example liking and leaving comments on other pages. This is good for networking and keeping track of other pages in your area.
How to make it viral: ask people who like you to Suggest the page to their friends.
For additional functions, you can add Apps to your page and we will suggest some of these in a separate post. Switch Apps on and off in Settings.
Groups have members instead of Likes.
At the time of writing, you cannot message members but you can invite members of groups you administer to events created within the group.
An interesting new feature in groups is Docs, which are editable pages. These can be used to archive content that would otherwise disappear down the newsfeed, or for collaborative pieces of writing that a group wants to create.
You can set an address so that people can post to the group by email if they prefer (they do need to be members of Facebook to do this).
Another feature that you might want to highlight, if your members are feeling even more sociable, is Group chat.
By default, updates to the groups will appear as notifications in members’ sidebars and will also be emailed to them. The email feature can become annoying if the group becomes busy, so let members know they can turn it off in Settings.
How to make it viral: ask members to add their friends – but only if they’re likely to be interested in its content, or they’ll have friends getting annoyed with them.
Which should you choose?
There are no set rules about when to use a Page and when to use a Group. You can experiment and see what works. A Page is useful for ensuring you have a presence on Facebook, particularly as many people stay within Facebook. One suggestion is to start a page for the placename of your hyperlocal site (ie Horsham instead of Visit Horsham) in order to be more easily found. A group can often be good for initiatives where leadership, is shared such as campaigns. There’s nothing to stop you creating new spin-off pages or groups, renaming or deleting them if they don’t work well.
So let’s see some pages and groups in action!
- Three ways to use Facebook in your community - 4th September 2011
- Public and private spheres: building zones in Facebook - 1st July 2011
- Getting more attention – tagging and understanding notifications - 15th June 2011