Longtime Facebook users will remember a time when Groups were the only way to organize people with similar interests on Facebook. As time has passed, the Groups system has become more or less obsolete with the creation of the Facebook Pages system.
However, with recent updates made to Groups, it is worth revisiting the differences between Pages and Groups, and which you should use when promoting your business on Facebook.
Facebook Pages vs Facebook Groups
Facebook has suggested that both Pages and Groups are a viable way to organize people with similar interests, with the following differences:
- Pages are the best way to broadcast messages to your fans if you are a business, organization, public figure or other entity.
- Groups are best for fostering member-to-member collaboration for short term projects or engagements, such as study groups, clubs, etc.
There are other differences between the two, however.
- Facebook Pages allow you to target advertising to your page using the Facebook Advertising platform. Groups do not.
- Facebook Pages allow for a greater level of customization, including the addition of applications and HTML/FBML content.
- Facebook Pages also provide options for connecting content on Facebook back to your own web site through the use of Facebook Connect (Fan Box, Live Stream Box).
- Facebook Groups show the names of the administrators of a Group Page publicly, Pages do not. If privacy is a consideration, Pages might be a better choice.
- Facebook Groups do not offer the useful Page Insights feature which lets you display usage analytics and demographic information on your fans.
Given the limitations of Groups it is hard to imagine a scenario where a business would opt for creating a Facebook Group instead of a Facebook Page. Business owners or marketers should choose a Facebook Page if they are creating a presence for themselves on Facebook.