Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Facebook Page VS Facebook Group

Greetings my fellow gods and goddesses of the social media world. Today's adventure is in exploring the lands of Facebook Pages and Facebook Groups. These are 2 different lands and as such they are unique as to why you want to travel there.

So let's visit the Land of Facebook Pages first. There are many reasons you may want to consider having a "page" for your business. However before doing so you need to first envision what you plan to post on your page, what you page is really about, because you need to create content that is engaging, fresh and relate-able. You need to give people a reason to follow your page and "like" it. 

Having said that here are some things you can do with a "page":
1. Educate your followers as to your business
2. Drive traffic to your website
3. Have your blog post directly to your page 
4. Post information from articles related to your business.
5. Pages can be found on search engines.
6. Have specials, contests etc just for your fans 

Growing your page is the challenge and it can be slow but chances are those who are following you, for the most part are doing so because they find your content valuable. The more your business name is known the easier it is to grow your page.

Here are some things to consider:
1. I Have seen people using their facebook page name and going to other pages and liking posts...this can be effective in getting others to see your page but it you do this be sure to only "like" posts that you truly like otherwise it decreases your credibility. The posts you like should relate to your business, be somebody known to you or something you want to share on your own page.
2. Facebook now allows you to share content of others onto your page. This is also an effective way to grow your page as it can add to your content.
3. If you have a blog, do a newsletter and/or a website you can add a "like" button so that those who find you there can also become a "fan"
4. Good content that others see as valuable is the most important key factor here. It gives people a reason to follow you and share your content.
5. Avoid posting "like my page" on your your personal profile as it does not inform people as to why they should like your page and will get ignored. It does not give you creditability nor will you be seen as a resource. 

So now let us venture forth into the Land of Facebook Groups. This land can be very effective for interactions and communications. Facebook perhaps had a stroke of genius here however if you do not understand how these groups work, you just may annoy your social networking friends.

Lets us explore the upside to using a group to add to your social networking. The idea behind a group is to have others join in and belong as a place for people to network around a common theme. This theme should relate to your business but not be about your business. You do not want to name your group the same as your business.

People join such groups in commonality with your theme, your purpose so to speak. They have a common interest with each other. So when you invite people to join keep that in mind.

Groups are a great way to start and have conversations. so many times I see people using groups to promote their business but do not engage others in a conversation. So if you are starting a group remember it is about conversations and discourage your members from posts that strictly promote a business. I have seem many groups you from the start let their members know this is not allowed. So you want to make the purpose of the group to be clear.

Groups are a great way to get known to others. If you have a group or belong to a group(s) remember it is about you and not your business. It is about engaging others in a conversation. Once you are known then people will want to learn more about you and will want to follow your page, blog, do business with you etc.

There is a downside to groups however. Facebook will let you know when someone has posted in a group you belong to. They will send you an email each time unless you change your settings. 

Here is what facebook says to change this setting -  

To change your notification settings for a group, go to the group and click "Edit Settings" at the top right of the page. You have the option to be notified whenever a member posts, when a member posts or comments, when a friend posts. If you do not want to receive automatic notifications for the group, you can choose to receive them only about posts to which you are subscribed. 

If you are starting a group try not invite every single friend you have. Facebook allows you to invite people and your friends do not have to give their consent if you are starting an open group. You want to consider only inviting those who have a interest in the theme of your group. If you are not sure then ask them first if they are interested by sending them a message.

I have seen people post in groups like very 2-3 minutes..really?? You must bear in mind that these posts can be seen as annoying and you will loose creditability.  Posting too much is just as if not more harmful than not posting enough. Post when you have something to say that will engage others in a conversation. Talk to your fellow members and not at them.

The positives of creating and or joining groups far out weigh the negatives as long as you are considerate and always remember it is about conversations and interactions. If you have been invited to a group be open to the experience and use it to get to know others.

Speaking of conversations, this conversation will be continued but if you have any thoughts please feel free to share them. So until our next adventure enjoy your social networking experience, have fun and remember to be open to the experience.

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