Many nonprofit early adopters of Facebook set up groups as their organizational hubs because that was the only option. Later, Facebook Pages were introduced and many nonprofits have set these up as their institutional hubs. There has been some discussion in nonprofit forums, blogs, and listservs about the pros and cons of Facebook Pages versus Groups for nonprofits. So I tweeted Mari Smith who told me she had something in the works. Well, she just posted something and it rocks.
I also searched around for some additional advice on Facebook Pages and I've summarized the key points below:
Why have a Facebook Page?
Mari Smith suggests these key reasons:
- More people can find out about your organization because your Page gets indexed and is search able inside and outside of Facebook.
- Because the number of Fans you can have is unlimited (whereas the Friend limit is 5,000 on an individual profile).
- Activity on your Page helps increase “viral visibility” on Facebook.
- You can establish your brand even further.
Although many users have joined brand pages advocating various messages, the average Facebook user doesn’t want content pushed to them, particularly contests or other promotional programs that don’t speak to their overall enthusiasm for a brand. These types of promotions can be supported on the Facebook Fan Page, but should not be the primary focus and should be housed in other digital arenas.
Successful communities on Facebook offer an attitude of openness, transparency and enthusiasm - not a technology platform for advertising.
As the chart above details, people who join Facebook Pages fall into three different profiles.
Mari Smith's post goes on to give you the step-by-steps for setting up a Facebook Page as well as some tips for success. And she made the screencast below - great for visual learners.
So, if you set up a Facebook group before there were Facebook pages and you are hoping to use Facebook for external marketing goals - then consider converting your group into a Facebook Page. The Facebook Page FAQ tells how Facebook can convert your group into a Page for you.
However, as Mari Smith notes, for optimal outreach you need both a group and a page. I'm hoping she will write a post that says why.
- Tim Davies - Facebook Pages vs Facebook Groups Pros/Cons
- Social Media Today, Best Practices for Facebook Pages
- Jeremiah Owyang - Testing Facebook Pages
- Jesse Stay - Ten Things You Didn't Know About Facebook
- Jesse Stay - What You Get From Facebook Pages Series
- App/Gap Blog - Should your business with Friends with Facebook? (analysis of using Facebook groups)
- Jenny Ambrozek, Ten Tips for Getting Business Value Out of Groups
- Heather Mansfield, Facebook Best Practices - Interview
- Shara Karasic, Setting Up A Facebook Page
- Facebook FAQ on Pages
If your nonprofit has a Facebook Page, what have you learned about what works? What doesn't work?