FAQ: Should my organization create a Facebook Page or Facebook Group?

Q: I’m on the leadership team of a nonprofit, and we want to use Facebook to connect with potential donors and volunteers. Should we create a Page or a Group?

A: If you’re creating the official presence of an entity on Facebook — whether an organization or a business — you should create a Page.

Here’s how Facebook describes the difference between Pages and Groups:

Like a friend’s profile, Facebook Pages enable public figures, businesses, organizations and other entities to create an authentic and public presence on Facebook. Unlike your profile, Facebook Pages are visible to everyone on the internet by default. You, and every person on Facebook, can connect with these Pages by becoming a fan and then receive their updates in your News Feed and interact with them.


Authenticity is at the core of Facebook. Just as profiles should represent real people and real names, so too should Pages for entities. Only the official representatives of a public figure, business or organization should create a Facebook Page. …

While Pages were designed to be the official profiles for entities, such as celebrities, brands or businesses, Facebook Groups are the place for small group communication and for people to share their common interests and express their opinion. Groups allow people to come together around a common cause, issue or activity to organize, express objectives, discuss issues, post photos and share related content. …

(Thanks to @broganmedia for tweeting about this explanation.)

Pages have several features that Groups don’t. They can import an RSS feed into their Notes, so any blog posts your organization’s site generates could automatically be posted on your Facebook Page; they display visit, interaction, and fan demographic stats to Page administrators; and they have more flexibility in adding apps (including fundraising apps and store apps) and displaying information.

The next question we often hear is, “What if we already have a Group and want to switch to a Page?” There’s no easy way to make the transition. But you should transition anyway, to get the benefits of Pages. The sooner you make the change, the better.

Here’s what to do: Create your new Page, add information like your logo, photos, blog feed, and other content, then send a message to all the members of your Group that you are switching to a Page and the Group will be deleted. Invite the Group members to join you at the new Page; include a link to the Page so they find it easily. Send a second reminder about the switch a week later, and after two weeks send a final notice and delete the Group.

Then, work on creating great content and inviting participation on your new Page, so fans have a reason to visit often and interact with your organization and with each other.

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5 comments

  1. Ann Schneider says:

    Hi:

    I am chaparoning my Niece’s girl scout troop on a one month long TREK. We want to create a facebook “page” so we can provide updates to the parents back home and the other girls that aren’t going on the trip. We also want to include data for future chaparones so they know in detail all that is needed to get all the correct certificates etc.

    What we don’t want is for the general public to be able to read the girls stuff. I had thought to create a “page” rather than a “group” but when I read that this facebook page can be viewed by the entire facebook community, I am worried about protecting the girls.

    What do you recommend? I thought I could create a page that we only allowed parents and girls to “see” and that we would approve their membership to the page.

    Obviously I am a brand new facebook person so I apogize for asking questions that might have obvious answers.

    Thanks

  2. Ann,

    In your situation, it makes more sense to use a group instead of a page in Facebook. With a group, you can control who has access to the content. You won’t have information on traffic to the page, but for the girls’ privacy it’s a necessary tradeoff.

    Another option is not to use Facebook at all, but instead to set up a blog on wordpress.com. You can restrict visibility to just users you choose. Anyone would need to create a WordPress.com account, which is free, and then you would grant access to them. You can permit access for up to 35 users, and then pay more if there are more with whom you want to share.

    Why use WordPress.com instead of Facebook? Facebook has changed its privacy settings several times in the past year, with the result that some people have had information they thought was private become exposed to others they didn’t intend. With a private WordPress.com blog, you would be storing and sharing your data in a more stable setting.

    On the other hand, if most of the parents and leaders of the scout troop are already on Facebook, they would likely find it more convenient to have the group located there.

    I hope I haven’t created more questions than I’ve answered. :)

  3. Jefferson says:

    Hello,

    I have created a group and a fan page for my University. I have read from other places that it is better to have the group instead of pages. Here’s a comment someone wrote named Elijah from this site http://www.searchenginejournal.com/facebook-group-vs-facebook-fan-page-whats-better/7761/:

    Groups, in terms of marketing tools, are simply far superior for viral and niche marketing. Fan Pages tend to be just that. Ask yourself: If you, say, owned a gym, do you want people to be a “fan” of your gym or do you want them to “join.”

    Therefore, is it okay to have a fan page and a group page?

  4. Alison says:

    Hi!

    I work at a nonprofit organization and manage our Facebook page (Girls Hope of Pittsburgh). As an admin, I am able to “share” and “promote” wall posts, pictures and events posted by Girls Hope. I cannot seem to find the right setting adjustment to allow people who “like” our organization on Facebook to “share” the wall posts on their own wall.

    I think it’d be a great way to get the word out about our organization and several people have asked me why they can’t share our facebook announcements. Can you tell me how I can do this?

    Thanks a million!

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