What’s The Difference Between
Facebook Groups, Pages and Profiles?
This is a question I see a lot in entrepreneurs Facebook groups, especially from those who are new to online marketing. It can be confusing and if you start looking at fellow business owners and copy what they are doing, it’s easy to break Facebooks Terms Of Service (TOS) and you don’t want to do that!
So let’s break it down and look at what each section is for and how to use it.
Your Facebook Profile
To do anything on Facebook you need a Facebook Profile. This is your own personal page, this is the one where you connect with friends and family, share your cat pictures and photos of what you ate for lunch.
It is against Facebooks TOS to do any kind of business from your personal profile. I doubt sharing the occasional post about your business is going to get you in trouble (don’t quote me on that!) but running your business from your personal profile can and will get it shut down. Yes, people do it, it doesn’t make it right!
Some people drink drive, doesn’t make it OK for you to do the same, right?
Another big no-no is to have more than one profile.
Now I get it, you don’t want to mix business with your personal life, the thing is, Facebook knows that and supplies you with the tools to be able to keep them separate. Making good use of the lists feature is a good start (follow the tutorial here) and using the privacy function so that you are only posting family and friends related stuff to your family and friends and not to the world.
When you hang out in Facebook groups you do so as yourself, as your profile. That said, Facebook is rolling out the ability for pages rather than profiles being used in groups, from what I have seen so far, it is up to the group owner to decide if they will allow Pages into their groups.
If you are running a business you really should have your business links set up properly on your profile, I have lost count of the times where people have lost my business because they don’t have a link to their page or website on their profile. Yes, this is allowed and Facebook provides you with places to plug it in.
Go to the Edit Profile and the About/Contact and Basic Info to plug in your links.
Why Do I Need A Facebook Page?
Your page is like your shop front, this is where your fans can find you, ask you questions and learn about what is new in your business.
This is also where you run ads from, well the account ads manager. You need to have a personal profile to set up a Page and ads account. Due to the increase in dodgy dealings going on, Facebook is cracking down security wise and checking that fake profiles are not running Pages and accounts. If you are running an honest business this is not something to be concerned about.
There are a variety of Page types, you will want to choose the one that fits closest with your business. You can sell from your Page or you can use it as a fan Page. Your Page is always open to the public so you should consider what you post on there, personal rants about the current political situation could cost you business or you may feel that you only want to deal with people with the same political views, in which case, carry on.
There is a lot of talk about how organic reach just isn’t possible anymore and I used to be in that camp until I met Rachel. She is a rock star when it comes to Facebook marketing and is a HUGE fan of organic marketing, she has an uncanny knack of understanding the algorithm and how to play it.
I started using her “FB Banned Words List” and noticed my reach increase straightway, you can download a copy of it HERE. The other cheatsheet that I recommend that you grab is her Viral Titles which you can use not just for Facebook but it’s really handy for writing blog posts or Pinterest image titles too!
With your Page, you don’t want all and sundry liking it, you only want your ideal customers. It’s much better to have a small Page with 90% ideal customers rather than a huge Page with 1% of your ICA on there. For this reason, buying likes and joining like swap groups is a really bad idea. If Facebook is only showing your post to 10% of your fans, you want that 10% to be your ideal customers, not to people like your aunt Ethel who has no real interest or understanding of what you do!
You want to be posting on your page daily, depending on your niche and the size of your page that can be anything for twice a day to 8 times a day! Using your analytics will help you figure out which is the best time to post and which types of post your fans like best.
There is a debate on whether the Facebook native scheduler is better than a scheduling app, I personally haven’t seen much of a difference in reach but I also tend to mix it up. If you are not sure, go with the Facebook one.
Facebook Groups are they better than a Page?
Where your Page is like the shop front, your group is your community all hanging out together. There are many reasons for having a group, some are Local Community, Buy and Sell, Support, Learning…
There are 3 levels of privacy settings for a group.
OPEN – basically a free for all, you don’t need to be a member to see what is happening inside the group. I have yet to find an open group that works well, they often become a big spam fest.
CLOSED – probably the most popular. The group can be found in a search or by sharing the group link (this is my Moms That Rock Group). With a closed group, only members can see each other’s posts.
SECRET – This type of group can’t be found with a search or by sharing the link which makes it quite difficult to add new members. If you want to use a secret group it is best to start with a closed group then when all your members are added change it to secret.
You can change the privacy of the group until you hit 5000 members.
With groups there tends to be a better community spirit, people feel a bit safer and are more open, conversations take place. It is a great way to connect at a deeper level with your ideal customers and to find out exactly what they need and for others to connect with each other. I also find hanging out in groups is a great way to network and get know as the expert in your field.
If someone likes what you have to say they will often click through to your profile to find out more about you. This is why it is SUPER IMPORTANT to have your Page and website links on your profile.
Is a group better than a page? I think really you should have both, use your page to find the right people then funnel them into your group to build that like, know and trust factor.
Pros and Cons of running Facebook Groups
Running a group is hard work but the benefit of having your ideal clients telling you exactly what they need and how you can help them outweighs the work, I feel.
Some tips with running a group:
Use the questions when a new person applies to join the group to make sure they are a good fit. My advice is, make the questions easy to answer, one or two words each for each question.
- A question to identify if they are your target market
- How did they find your group (valuable market research)
- Offer them your freebie, if asking for an email make sure you are GDPR compliant.
Ask a trusted friend or relative to be an admin too, just in case your account gets closed down, hacked for some reason or occasionally FB removes you as an admin and you can’t get back in, it is handy to have a backup, just in case.
You are going to get spammers. So make sure your rules about promotion are super clear along with anything else you feel strongly about. I took the hard line on this (and since then have little trouble) I have a zero tolerance policy for spam, they get deleted and booted from the group without notice. I only had to boot a couple out and the spamming stopped. Now when it does happen it’s a new member trying it on. My community is also shit hot with reporting spammy posts <– I love them, they are super protective of our space.
Group owners/admin have quite a lot of control over the group settings so take your time checking them out and deciding how you want your group to run. If you are in a group that you love, ask the owner about it and pay close attention to how they have it set up.
Some groups run on themed days using # to signify the day, this can make it easier to check the spam and it can help get the conversation going. I’m in groups that use this really well and groups that don’t have themed days that work equally well.
You might find when your group grows to 5K or more that you will need to bring on a couple of moderators to help out, the bigger the group, the harder to control! I prefer to have a smaller group of ideal customers than a big group that is not. I also have a good clean out every few months too.
If you run a course or program it is quite popular to have a free group, such as my Moms That Rock group and a paid group, I actually have a number of paid groups for my different offerings!
Don’t Do This!
This is one thing I see people complain about ALL THE TIME. Don’t just add people to your group. The invite function is a bit misleading as it automatically adds people to the group. The best way around this is to message a few select people and invite them to join, share the link with them. This way the choice is theirs.
This turned out to be quite a monster of a post!
I hope it clears things up, I know it can get confusing when you haven’t used Facebook much before or you have gone from being an everyday user to a business owner!
The Links, In Case You Missed Them:
- Rachels FB Banned Words List
- Rachels 100+ Viral Titles Cheatsheet
- My Moms That Rock Facebook Group
- How To Set Up And Use FB Lists Tutorial
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