Lets face it...there are a lot of people spending a lot of time on there! And best of all its FREE. But it can be a little confusing as to how to best set up a business on Facebook.
There are 2 main options for hosting your business presence on Facebook ~ a Fan Page or a Group. In some ways a group and fan page are similar, but there are some distinctive differences to be aware of.
Fan pages are used to promote people, celebrities, groups of people, businesses & more. They are created to increase promotion, attract supporters, and generally increase awareness & online presence and of course interaction with customers and potential customers. The 'Marketing' of the person or group being promoted through a Fan page happens in a variety of ways.
1. When a person 'likes' a fan page, that connection is posted on their wall and then shown in the Home Page feed for others to see. Then friends of that person click on the page just connected with...and so the number of followers grows.
2. You do not need to be a Facebook user to view a Fan Page. A person may follow a link from somewhere eg. a website and look you up on Facebook from anywhere in the world.
3. These pages are not private pages...so anyone can access the information on a particular page even if they haven't 'liked' it as such. (If you aren't sure what all this 'liking' is its Facebook's new way of 'becoming a fan' of a page. Where a person once became a 'fan' they now become a 'liker').
4. Its easy to post a link to a fan page across other Facebook pages...putting the pages name in front of different groups of people.
A page is easier to manage and has less limitations & more options to customise & increase functionality than a group. A page is run by 'admins' who can be changed when required, and allows those who've been added as an admin to make changes and post on the wall of the page & generally manage the page and its happenings.
As the name implies, a Group is more designed for socialisation and interaction between Members who have been brought together for a purpose. A group is run by 'Administrators' who can change information, photos etc and accept Members.
There are a number of options with a group, including making it a Private Closed group where Members can discuss sensitive and confidential information. People would need to request to join these kinds of groups.
There are a few benefits of creating a group for your business. One benefit is that you can send an email to group members. This is especially handy if you are offering free training, specials, events etc.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Be careful how much information you send. You don't want to SPAM someone's mailbox so much that they remove themselves from your group. None of us like spam, so make sure what you have to say is important. I would recommend no more than 2 messages a week, so make them count!
Facebook Advertising & Promotion.
When it comes to paid advertising on Facebook, you cannot advertise a Group. You will need to refer people to an outside BLOG or website and send them back to your Facebook group from there. A Fan page though can easily be linked to Facebook advertising. Many times people will need to be invited to join a group (though some people will just join if they like what they see).
Make an informed Decision.
Before making a decision for your business on whether to create a Fan page or Group its important to review what you're objectives are for the page...what you want to achieve. A lot more can be done with a Fan Page in regards to adding functionality, where as a Group may be the answer if you don't need any of that, and its just a means to bring people together for one purpose.
One of the best ways to help determine the differences between a Fan Page and Group, is to actually go check some out. See how they work, how they look and how they function..and make an informed decision from there.
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Nicole Jones ~ Leader in Online Marketing, Mentor in Online Business.