Difference between Facebook Groups and Facebook Fan Pages

Facebook Groups are recommended for common interests. If you are a member of an organization, you can use Facebook groups to create events where people can gather to discuss common interests, or post relevant information and allow members to respond with comments.

Facebook Fan Pages have the same interactivity as groups, but with much more room for personalization. Just as a group, a fan page has a wall and a discussion board (optional), but there is much more possible than with a group. On a fan page you can use Facebook applications, flash and html code.

The Big Differences

Send messages to members

In a group you can send a message to the group and depending on their settings on Facebook, they can receive an email in their inbox. A fan page does not allow you to send messages, but you can send members an update. Updates are seen less often than messages, since they aren’t emailed.

Google index

Fan pages are indexed in the Google search results, group pages are not.

News summary

A new message on your Fan Page wall will be seen on your ‘fans’ stream, but a post in a group will not.

Targeted news messages

A fan page enables you to speak to a section of your members. For instance, you can send a message to all people from a particular location. A group doesn’t allow you to pick and choose a demographic who the message will be sent to.

Deny members

A fan page doesn’t allow you to to deny members. Anybody who wants to become a fan can do so. A group on the other hand can be open to anyone, it can also only accept people after you invited them and you can even make your group secret.

Facebook Applications Add Interactivity

Support applications

A Fan Page supports applications, a group does not allow this.

Invite based e-mail

In a group you can invite people based on an email address. With a fan page you cannot do this.

Vanity URLs

A vanity URL is a short Facebook URL where your name is mentioned. Fan pages can create vanity URLs, groups don’t allow you to do this. Vanity URLs are a great way to have your Facebook fan page found in Google. You can also set a vanity URL for your Facebook profile http://www.facebook.com/username.

Facebook Statistics

Statistics

A fan page allows you to review in depth statistics about interactivity, demographics and other factors, but a group will not allow you to do this

Widgets / Fanbox

You can turn your fan page into a widget on your website or blog. Groups don’t give you that option.

Event inbox

If you create an event on your fan page, you can not mail that event to your members, but a group will allow you to do this. So if your organization runs lots of events that you want your users to be aware of, you’ll want to create a group, not a fan page.

Visible to non-members

Fan pages can be viewed by anyone, including people who have no profile or aren’t logged into Facebook. In other words, someone who has no Facebook profile can find your Fan page on Google and look at it. Groups will not only be invisible to Google searchers, they require the user to be logged into Facebook. Groups can also exclude certain members.

Anonymous

The name of the Fan Page creator does not appear on a Facebook Fan Page. If you set up a group, your name appears on the page.

Overview:

Function Fan Page Group
Send messages to members no yes
Google index yes no
News Overview yes no
Targeted news messages yes no
Targeted mail updates yes no
Refuse members no yes
Support applications yes no
Invite based on email no yes
Vanity URLs yes no
Statistics yes no
Widgets / fanbox yes no
Events in inbox no yes
Visible to non-logged in members? yes no
Anonymous yes no

 If your company, brand, celebrity or band aims to build a long-lasting conversation with your audience, you should choose a fan page.

A group is not recommended for commercial use, but is better suited for personal projects you don’t want to feature on your profile page and where a smaller scale interaction is expected.

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Published in: on May 25, 2010 at 6:14 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This article helps me a great deal!

  2. This is the BEST blog.

  3. Thanks for sharing. Happy new Year!

  4. Excellent post gentleman.


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