Marketing with Facebook

Facebook Groups and Fan Pages

Marketing with Facebook has proven to be very successful for many people. Who can forget Rage Against the Machine’s Christmas number one? and all by the power of the Facebook group.

But all of this stuff can be confusing. What is the difference between a ‘group’ and a ‘page’? Which is best? How do you set one up? How do you get people to join? Once people have joined – what to do with it then? This extra section of 25 Things aims to answer all these questions and more to help you on your merry way to Facebook world domination!

What is a Facebook Page?

Like a personal profile, Facebook Pages enable public figures, businesses, organizations etc to create an authentic and public presence on Facebook. Unlike your profile, Facebook Pages are visible to everyone on the internet by default. You, and every person on Facebook, can connect with these Pages by becoming a fan and then receive their updates in your News Feed and interact with them.

Authenticity is at the core of Facebook. Just as profiles should represent real people and real names, so too should Pages for entities. Only the official representatives of a public figure, business or organization should create a Facebook Page.

What is Facebook Group?

While Pages were designed to be the official profiles for entities, such as celebrities, brands or businesses, Facebook Groups are the place for people to share their common interests and express their opinion. Groups allow people to come together around a common cause, issue or activity to organize, express objectives, discuss issues, post photos and share related content.

When you create a group, you can decide whether to make it publicly available for anyone to join, require administrator approval for members to join or keep it private and by invitation only. Like with Pages, new posts by a group are included in the News Feeds of its members and members can interact and share with one another from the group.

Groups range widely, from serious issues such as support groups or political campaigns to more lighthearted issues such as the love of a TV programme. Basically anyone can create your own group on Facebook around the common interest and invite their friends to join it.

So, they sound quite similar to me… what are the practical differences?

In many ways pages and groups are very similar If using them as intended by Facebook, a page would be “*** library” and a group would be “Fans of *** library”. Either would be appropriate and indeed there is no reason you couldn’t do both!

However, if you’d rather choose one or the other here is a handy summary of the key features

How to create a Facebook group

So, you’ve decided which one is for you and you want to set one up, Don’t feel threatened, its easy peasy. First of all make sure you have a facebook account. If you don’t already – get signed up!

Want to set up a group?

Watch this short video tutorial to get you on your merry way:

What about a Fan Page?

Start off here:

Now what do I do with this page/group??

  1. Be there for your people! If you can, have a couple of other admins to help you. If your members/fans think nobody is there they will stop interacting with you and your membership will fail to grow…
  2. Post topics that make your members what to respond. Ask them questions, run competitions, respond to their feedback, reply to their comments – keep people interested.
  3. Keep an eye on the wall and delete outright spam and give the responsible member one warning. Block them if they continue. Nobody wants to look at a group/page that appears to be selling medical aids…
  4. Include a clear description of what your group/page is about and keep it interesting. Sell your group/page!
  5. Avoid sending numerous promotional messages/updates to members of your group/page. Too many and people will leave.
  6. Post relevant and valuable information & resources. Whether it’s Educational, Inspirational, Motivational or just something Humorous, make sure you post useful and interesting information so they keep coming back and telling their friends.

You built it – why didn’t they come?!

  1. Have you got a killer name? Be imaginitive and people are more likely to join, especially if its a group. “I ❤ Lindly Library” is probably going to be more popular than just “Lindly Library”
  2. Have you got an interesting logo? A logo that looks fun or interesting will pull in the more visual people.
  3. Tell your friends to tell their friends! The more people interacting with the site the more people that are likely to see it and join.
  4. Launch in style! A new facebook group/page is something to celebrate! Offer all new joiners in the first week something to reward them for their support. Afterall – they have been with your from the start!
  5. Advertise Advertise Advertise! The more people know about it the more people can join! Old fashioned advertsing still works a treat, as well as leaving your link on other relevant sites.
  6. Mutual Promotion… Are any of the businesses in your local community willing to help in exchange for you bigging them up? Maybe a local coffee shop will let you offer your group members a half price latte in exchange for you telling your members about them? Could you let them offer their group members a free DVD lend in exchange for publicising your group?

Do you have any ideas, hints or tips about Facebook marketing that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below…

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