Maximizing Leverage from Facebook: Page or Group-or Both?
User bulletin boards, forums and chat rooms existed long before Facebook was invented, but Facebook was the first social networking platform to enable legitimate business branding, interaction and marketing to users. As business use expanded, businesses have been vacillating between creating a Facebook page or a Facebook group—two different animals in the same zoo. Each has benefits and drawbacks, but who says a business cannot use both well and effectively?
Facebook pages allow the greater leeway in spontaneous interaction and unlimited growth of a business’ friend base. Your business posts are visible on friends’ walls, which expands your reader base by presenting your message to their friends. Facebook pages allow direct-to-consumer marketing and profile enhancement.
Every business with an Internet presence should have a business-oriented Facebook page that is focused on customer interaction.
Facebook groups have a maximum capacity of 5000 ‘friends.’ Thousands of others can like or dislike entries, but they have no interactive rights and privileges. This restriction does limit what a business can do with a Facebook group, but it can still be a valuable tool.
With a Facebook group, a business can conduct customer surveys, professional discussions and gain invaluable market insights whose data can formulate or fine tune current or future marketing efforts.
Test panels can discuss their opinions on a new product or service. Others who read can still agree or disagree via those like and dislike buttons, which present additional layers of feedback.
Professional discussions among employees can collaborate on projects from anywhere in the world. You can keep those discussions and conferences public or private, just as you can manage Facebook page privacy parameters.
Singular Restrictions with Multiple Variations
While a business can have one Facebook page and one Facebook group site that promotes that business name, you can create a separate, completely private, to friends only, for business discussions. You can create additional groups for individual intents, so long as you adjust the name of the page or group.
For instance, your business is named XYZ Innovations, Inc. You create an XYZ Facebook page. You also create a Facebook group entitled XYZ Customer Focus Group. You have now accounted for one business Facebook page and one Facebook group. However, you still want more options.
You can create another page for Innovations by XYZ and one group for Innovations by XYZ Group. You have doubled your options.
Just keep the groups to their intent: Discuss only what is listed in individual posts, “agenda” items, if you will, for that group discussion.
If you use Facebook groups for this purpose, do not use them for product announcements and sales pitches. You can develop that on your original and primary XYZ Innovations, Inc., Facebook page.
If you opt not to create separate groups for your business, use the Facebook page option to create lists and tailor your Wall posts to particular list occupants or to the general public.
If you have a test panel discussion that runs its cycle, you can certainly mention it on your main business page. That keeps your customer friends informed and invites them to continue to interact.
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