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Facebook for Business

Promoting your Business on Facebook: Business Pages VS Groups

Are you using a facebook business page to promote your business or are your facebook marketing efforts limited to a group page? I have noticed quite a few entrepreneurs and small businesses are still utilizing groups pages as their sole means of communication with their customers/clients on Facebook.

Yes group pages may seem easier to set up, maybe all your business colleagues are still using them or maybe you have just grown accustomed to them, hence hesitant to try something new; especially when you may be unsure of any additional benefits to switching.

This post outlines some of the major reasons why its time to make the transition to a Facebook business page.

1. Custom (Vanity) URLs

In the online world (domain) visibility – the ease with which potential customers find your product/service/resource – is vital to your survival.

Once the page has accrued 25 or more likers/ fans, facebook allows a company to have a vanity url. Prior to this initiative a company would have a nondescript url similar.  Now vanity urls allow addressess such as this http://www.facebook.com/pixldinc , which serves as a great promotional tool and can be added to your business cards, email and other online signatures or can be placed on your flyers and other promotional materials.

Branded Urls are not available to groups. No matter the size of your following you’re stuck with a lengthy difficult to remember url such as Firefox:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/group.php?gid=2204248099&ref=ts

2. Search Engine Love

Business pages are indexed by Google and included in online searches. Daily status updates to your page also counts as content updates. These add to the value of your SEO objectives and promote the online visibility of your company.

Group pages, however, are not indexed. They can only be viewed via Facebook searches and are not accessible in an online search once logged out of Facebook.

3. Widgets

Facebook makes it super easy to promote your Business page with widgets. These widgets including badges and boxes can be placed on your website, blog and other online properties.

They are visible to everyone, not only your fans and allows for interaction with your Business page, via ‘liking’ the page or its content.

4. Social Ads

In addition to traditional marketing efforts Social ads are a very economical method to grow your facebook Business page’s fan/member base. It allows for very targeted marketing; differentiating by location, demographics, education and even likes & interests.

Pricing is flexible, making it ideal for small business budgets and it is simple to setup by clicking the prompt to create an Ad on various locations of your Business page.

This option is unavailable to Group Pages at this time.

5. Newsfeed

Who has time or the inclination to check numerous group pages for updates, especially when the option is now neatly hidden within your profile options. I honestly don’t. Plus, messages can easily be ignored or deleted in receivers’ inboxes.

With Business pages, however, members are non-intrusively kept abreast with news and updates. Page updates are posted to fans’ newsfeeds, and are visible not only to the page fans but, potentially, also to the fans’ networks.

Group page updates are not made available to the Newsfeed.

6. Photo Albums

Business pages allows for grouping of photos into different albums and allows for the creation of an unlimited number of albums. Photos can therefore be sorted by theme etc.

The album functionality is, however, not available on groups and photos can only be added to the group gallery with the most recent being placed at the start of the gallery.

7. Insights

Facebook has recently updated its Fan page analytics. The insights provide data on fan activity including: Daily and monthly fan activity, the source of your fans, where your fans are joining your page whether via your blog or website or other external sources. Other insights include demographics and media consumption.

Access to this data is invaluable for your Business page as it assists in tweaking page content in order to better connect with your fans.This feature is not available on the group pages.

8. Custom Applications

We are visual creatures by nature and it is therefore more likely to convert page visitors into fans with a visually captivating Business page.

Using FBML, the facebook-specific design code, and other resources Business pages can be customized to reflect the Brand, hold additional information and host custom applications including blog, twitter and flickr feeds.

Group pages are unable to be customized effectively, hence less of a business tool.

From the above, it is quite evident that Business pages are a better option to market your business on Facebook. Have you made the transition to Fan/ Business pages as yet? In what other ways do Business pages trump group pages in your experience?

Owner of digital marketing firm PixlD Inc. Passionate foodie and Social media enthusiast currently living in sunny Barbados who is always looking to connect.

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{ 29 comments… add one }

  • peter July 23, 2011, 11:21 pm

    Great post and interesting comments. I think it’s important to remember that marketing approach on FB is very different to SEM. SEM people are looking for solutions; on FB we’re looking for groups with similar likes/ interests – not looking for solutions.
    peter recently posted..Facebook for businessMy Profile

  • Biodun November 1, 2010, 5:08 am

    One of the great advantage of fan pages are visible to unregistered people and are will be indexed, pages are generally better for a long-term relationships with your fans, and readers.
    Biodun recently posted..Google Violates Privacy with Steet View Wi-fi data collectionMy Profile

  • Kharim August 16, 2010, 11:38 am

    I think the facebook page is way better that a facebook group.
    Kharim recently posted..Does Speed Really Matter?My Profile

  • Rommel August 6, 2010, 8:03 pm

    Facebook is really effective in marketing your business and it can also help in your SEO. Now pages from Facebook are also being indexed in Google. Very nice article. Thanks for sharing.
    Rommel recently posted..8 Reasons Why Your Website Could FailMy Profile

  • Colleen August 5, 2010, 5:26 pm

    We posted the Facebook widget on our blog a month ago and have picked up several hundred likes. We are excited about it as we never really knew so many folks were reading our blog. We do not receive hardly any comments, but we do have a certain amount of traffic. So, I guess folks are finding some usefulness in our blogging about local stuff, eh!
    Colleen recently posted..Movies in the Park by Smoovies in Richland WashingtonMy Profile

  • marissa August 5, 2010, 4:08 pm

    That is a great list of the benefits of page over group. I have never studied facebook but this gives me a good insight to what should I use if I build a facebook page to my business.
    marissa recently posted..KotimikroMy Profile

  • Sachin August 5, 2010, 4:33 am

    I agreed with this Awesome Post Facebook as marketing platform boost my online sales generate tremendous traffic to my website. Also Improve my search engine ranking in my niche keywords. ;)
    Sachin recently posted..Search Engine Optimization SEO My Profile

  • Wayne August 4, 2010, 10:28 pm

    Facebook Marketing has been an essential part of marketing my blog. When I first started, nearly 50% of the traffic came from just Facebook. Now I have traffic from tons of other sources but Facebook still remains an important part of the big picture.
    Wayne recently posted..Facebook Marketing 101My Profile

  • Melinda August 3, 2010, 11:59 pm

    I rarely go check on my groups’ updates. I think FB does a good job of making it a royal pain to get to them don’t they? I can’t even get to groups on my iPhone..that I know about, but I can get the to the pages.

    I love that the page updates are in with the regular feed. That alone makes groups seem to be a waste of time unless you are a huge brand like Coke. Page is the way to go.
    Melinda recently posted..How irrational shopping decisions cause clutterMy Profile

    • Deidre Brathwaite August 6, 2010, 7:59 am

      Same here Melinda I am not sure why it is so tedious to check the group pages now but all in all I think it still works for associations etc. However all companies and brands should be claiming their Fan page real estate.
      Deidre Brathwaite recently posted..August Wallpaper and Desktop CalendarMy Profile

  • Laura Davis August 3, 2010, 12:32 pm

    It’s definitely the best idea to personalize your pages as much as possible. Facebook offers a lot of features which most users do not take advantage of… By utilizing them, you can get much more out of your Facebook page.
    Laura Davis recently posted..Wall Street Reform is Finally Here- But Why Should We CareMy Profile

  • Hieu Martin August 3, 2010, 12:31 pm

    I use Facebook fan page and like button , twitter (tweetme) i thought that my readers can express their love if they find my article useful.
    Hieu Martin recently posted..Best 5 Broken Link Checker WebsitesMy Profile

  • Lyan August 3, 2010, 10:41 am

    If you are new to the business world, it’s not easy to promote your product and to encourage people to value it. Well, Facebook is a good way to reach out with your clients. A lot of people are connected to Facebook ( more than 500 million subscribers and it’s still increasing) so you can easily communicate to them and talk about business. =)

  • Tinh August 3, 2010, 9:10 am

    I use Facebook fan page and now like button with a simple mind that my readers can express their love if they find my article useful. I will think about others too. Thanks
    Tinh recently posted..Top 5 Premium Blogger Templates of 2010 for FREEMy Profile

  • Chris August 3, 2010, 5:53 am

    Now a days social medias like facebook & twitter getting more popularity. it will help to increase the brand value of the product. Recently I have seen a page of Toyota prius. This shows the current trend many big companies are focusing on social media activities.

  • Tia August 3, 2010, 1:10 am

    Hey Diedre – This is a really great breakdown of groups vs. pages! I had no idea that groups lacked some of the benefits of pages (such as no vanity URLs or indexed content). Now when people ask I’ll be sure to reference this link. I had been assuming that there really was not much of a difference.

    Thanks again,
    Tia
    Tia recently posted..Tucson Friday Movie Night – Out in TheatersMy Profile

  • Sandeep August 2, 2010, 9:22 pm

    Great insights..I’ve been using facebook groups. Never thought of business pages.. thanks for sharing such an useful info.
    Sandeep recently posted..Web Analytics Tools for Tracking Visitors to Your BlogMy Profile

  • Dev - Technshare.com August 2, 2010, 7:20 pm

    Hey Deidre,

    Great Post. Some great tips to promote a business on facebook.
    Thanks for sharing this great Post. Really Great Post.

    ~Dev
    Dev – Technshare.com recently posted..Find Out How You Can Reap Millions In Internet Revenues [Part 3]My Profile

  • Murlu August 2, 2010, 7:18 pm

    What was the current number, 500 million FB users now? If a business isn’t jumping all over this I don’t know what they’re thinking.

    While I was designing the website for my friends business he was active with Facebook – before the website launched the business already had 300 followers. Not only did they help promote the site when it came out but they came over and checked it out, gave feedback and testimonials :)

    Even during the early stages it can be great.

    For those businesses that are already established, your customer base is already a decent size. Next newsletter leave a link back to the Facebook group, hold a contest or promotion, get everyone on board!
    Murlu recently posted..Blog and Income Report: July 2010My Profile

  • MandyJune August 2, 2010, 7:16 pm

    All in all, I’d have to agree that Facebook business pages are better than groups. I don’t know why but when I think of Facebook groups I think of very unprofessional and random things like “I like pizza!” group as opposed to a company that creates a unique Facebook and updates/manages their personal business account to better serve their clients.
    MandyJune recently posted..The Path to a Golden Credit Score InfographicMy Profile

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