A huge question I often hear when it comes to Facebook and brands is should you build a Facebook Group Page or a Fan Page?
It is a good question and the answer depends mostly on what your plans are for your site. I’ve broken down the pros and cons of both a fan page versus a group page below.
Facebook Fan Page
Facebook Fan Pages are a great option for brands – including e-commerce sites – that plan on posting information at least once a week.
Facebook Fan Page Pro’s:
- Looks polished; closely resembles an individual profile page
- Can include videos, photos, links, events, etc.
- Can be fed into “fans’” update stream similar to an individual profile update
- Can be given a customized url similar to an individual profile
- Hides the name and address of the page creator
- Offers options to add applications such as a Twitter feed
- Includes a “wall” similar to individual profiles that people can post comments on
- Can be paired with a Facebook Fan Page Widget on your site
Facebook Fan Page Con’s:
- More difficult to manage conversations between fans
- Conversations are on display for the public to see
- Unable to convert Facebook Groups to Fan Pages if you’ve already got a Group page set up
- Until you have an adequate number of fans, you’ll be posting a lot
- A dismal Fan Page linked to your site can hurt your inbound links in SEO
Facebook Group Page
Facebook Group pages are easy to create and slightly more personal than a Fan Page. Because it is not a constantly fed profile-like page, posts do not need to be as often.
Facebook Group Pro’s
- Can be more intimate; people see who created the group
- Still allows for pictures, photos, videos, events, etc. to be posted
- Allows for emails to be sent to all group members
- Pre-dates Fan Pages; more familiarity among early adopters of Facebook
Facebook Group Con’s
- Visitors must visit your group page for updates
- Does not allow applications to be added to the group page
- Offers visibility
- Will automatically post related groups to your group page whether you want them or not
- Cannot be linked to your site via widget(s)
The Verdict? Consider a Facebook Fan Page if you want to keep your “fans” up to date on the goings on of your site. Consider a Group if you have a niche within your site that people might want to create conversations about.