Keeping Things Close Knit – Groups or Pages?

With 800 million active users on Facebook, it’s a mass-marketers dream. But what about those who want to speak to a smaller portion of this crowd? If you’re selling a hyper niche product that will only appeal to a select group of people then the challenge that faces you on Facebook is: how do I create a close knit community?

The benefit of having a close knit community will be seen in the depth of your interaction, which will be more beneficial that the shallow but widespread approach taken by many brands and businesses. Rather than asking users to retweet your content if they agree with the message, or like the image, you’ll be asking your audience to give their input that will benefit the whole community.

If users feel like they’re part of a smaller community, they’ll feel safer and more inclined to share and interact. This can be particularly beneficial for building interaction with very specific demographics, or within a local area.

While the Facebook page has become the standard for businesses on Facebook, it’s important to understand the alternative and the benefits it can bring before taking the plunge. If you’re toying with the idea of starting a Facebook group then you need to understand the differences.

  • Users can join groups, or Like pages.
  • Groups allow you to restrict membership.
  • Groups allow you to mass message your members.
  • Groups will not have a vanity URL – so it won’t look good on your business card
  • Groups do not support Apps or external widgets
  • Groups do not provide engagement metrics

The size of your group is an important consideration, as you’ll lose the ability to mass message your group once you surpass the 5,000 members mark. So don’t set up a group just so you can message your members, as you could soon lose this this privilege, and it can be hard to move

The perks 

Groups are great for driving engagement within a specific niche interest. If your audience looks to you for information, then a group could be the way to go. New and expectant mums are one demographic who would benefit from a group; a recent study revealed that 71% of new and expectant mums wished they had one go-to source of baby and parenting information.

If you’re aiming to provide a gold mine of information to your users, then a group could be the way to go. And there’s the perk of going against the grain; since most businesses set up a fan page, you will stand out if you set up a group.