I have always emphasized the importance of Facebook presence for a Blog or any brand. Being one of the largest social networking community, if you use Facebook properly for your marketing effort, you might not need to be dependent on search engines for traffic and sales. Facebook offers many ways to promote your brand on FB and two most important are:
Facebook Pages and Facebook groups.
Both have their advantages as well as disadvantages. Here you will get to know whether you should create a ‘page’ or a ‘group’ for your blog.
Now, you could be either one of those Bloggers, who follow the year age trend and just create a Page to inform your Blog readers about latest updates and use it to connect with them. Though one major issue or I would say, the problem with Facebook pages is, it’s more like one to many communication. When any of your fans need a query to be resolved, his messages never get so much impact, and you miss out the biggest opportunity of giving a community-like feeling.
Let me track back to Blog community feature here: You can create a community around your blog only when, your readers can interact with each other and not with just you.
When it comes to a Facebook page, it can be defined as a platform where it is: ‘you’ and your ‘fans’. While a Facebook group is a platform which enables a ‘discussion’ between people who share the same interests. With a ‘page’ you can provide your fans with updates, and it’s not meant for your fans to interact with each other. If you want your fans to interact with one another and discuss the things they are interested in, then creating a ‘Group’ if for you because it will provide you and your fans with a ‘discussion environment.’
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Difference Between Facebook Pages and Facebook groups:
Let’s look at some of the differences between Fb Pages & Fb groups:
A ‘Page’ is meant for representing a particular brand or a person. A ‘Group’ provides an environment where a group of people can interact with each other. A page is must have for every Blog and brand whereas a Facebook group is an additional option to take your Fb marketing efforts to next level. Officially, Facebook offers many features which are “Page” only options. Like you can use Fb advertising to get more fans or use sponsored stories to make your content reachable to more audience.
Similarly, Facebook groups offer some unique features like “Seen by”, which will let you know how many people and who all have seen your posts on the group.
The ‘Page’ can be made public or admin-only. The ‘Group’ can be made public, or closed in which it’s visible but a request needs to be made, or a secret in which it can’t be found by search or other means.
Facebook pages lack the feature of instant chatting using Fb chat, where as a Facebook group members can interact using Chat feature. Which is very useful if you give an alternative way for your members to shout and communicate with each others.
Viewing other fans or members
Other people can’t be viewed on a ‘Page’. Members can be viewed in a ‘Group’.
Other than the above-mentioned points, anyone can search, find and then join a ‘Page’ unless it’s set to admin-only. The admin of a page can ban or delete a person. In a ‘Group’, an existing member can add another member. However, this can lead to the group getting out of control. The admin can delete or ban a member of the group. Like Pages, Facebook Groups offer role like a moderator, which helps admin to add more people to manage groups effectively.
Groups won’t provide you with tabs or applications. This means that you won’t be able to have a competition, a contact page or even a welcome page, etc. Having a group provides you with a ‘shared documents’ option.
The posts made in a ‘Group’ don’t go to the newsfeed, and a ‘notification’ tells about the post. This is beneficial in the sense that the members won’t miss out on a post.
However, if a lot of members are posting, then it can become annoying, and people turn off the notification option. This leads to people not coming back and seeing if something new has been posted. This is where a strict moderation rule comes into the picture.
Another thing which is common about both Pages and groups is Branding. Both have adopted new Facebook timeline cover picture, which will help you to showcase your brand.
Guideline for creating FB group for your Blogs:
I have been running a Facebook group with the name Bloggers lounge for long, and it has been a great initiative for young bloggers to interact and communicate with others.
However, one limitation which I have found using a generic name and not your brand name is keeping the group focused when thousands of people join the group. Over the time, when group members increase, it makes it hard for admins to control and being a completely open community, you can’t impose certain rules, banning defamers to keep the group spam free and clean. Here are few things which you would like to consider when creating a Fb group for your Blog:
- Keep your group Closed. (Don’t keep it public or private)
- Members could be added after admin approval; this will reduce the spam addition.
- Add 1-2 moderators whom you can trust and are active on Facebook. This will help to reduce the spam.
- Use your exact brand name to create a group, and this will ensure brand visibility and give a more professional touch to the group. You can do so by going to edit and select the name.
- Keep posting by members open; this will help them to post their queries.
In the nutshell, the Facebook page is a must have for any brand and officially Facebook promote pages for using as marketing purpose. Having a group for your brand or blog will help your readers to create a discussion forum without spending a dime. Moreover, since Facebook is for real people, spam on Facebook groups will be less compared to any question and answers forum or discussion forum you are creating. I have created a discussion group for Shouters on Facebook, to discuss on various Blogging related topic and you can Join newly created ShoutMeLoud Facebook group here.
Do let me know how many of you have created a Group and a Page for your Blog and how you are using it for your Facebook Marketing effort?
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