Facebook has become one of the most valuable tools at any business owner’s disposal for gaining publicity and maintaining contact with current customers or clients. In the past couple of years, Facebook has taken over the internet. Unlike it’s primary competitor, MySpace.com, Facebook attracts people of all ages, whereas MySpace is more targeted to younger users.
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Companies and businesses are quickly realizing the potential Facebook has for boosting business. Facebook isn’t limited to only allowing individuals to create pages. Businesses can also create Facebook fan pages or Facebook group pages to increase popularity for their service.
When a business signs up with Facebook, they have to decide whether to create a group page or a fan page. For someone new to Facebook, understanding the difference between the two can be a bit confusing.
Group pages are not indexed by Google, so if you create a group page on Facebook, it’s not going to show up in a search. This is fine for individuals who might appreciate privacy, but it’s an unattractive feature for businesses looking for publicity. Groups allow for discussion hosting, photo and video exchange, and mass messaging to all members through private messaging. However, you can’t see visitor statistics, create and invite users to events, or host various applications. Groups also give the user the option to allow who gets to join the group. Groups are the better choice for an individual who wants to set up a group related to their school, family, church, or something else personal to them and their acquaintances.
There’s a lot more flexibility with Facebook fan pages. Businesses who create a Facebook fan page will have the advantage of being indexed by Google, and thus will show up in a search. Fan pages can do all the things Group pages can do and more. Fan pages allow for discussion hosting, event creation and invitation, application hosting, photo and video exchange, mass messaging to all fans through updates, shows visitor statistics, and allows promotion through social ads. Facebook normally has a cap of 5,000 people who can be added as friends, but with a fan page you can exceed that amount. If someone “becomes a fan” of the fan page, they will be notified every time there is an update, sale, or promotion regarding the business. Fan pages make it possible for businesses to reach thousands of users. Fans of the fan page can also suggest the page to all their friends, which gives the business another way to reach people.
The bottom line is that businesses are better off creating fan pages. Group pages are limited in what they can offer, and are a much better choice for individuals to use for personal reasons. If a business is looking to reach more people, a fan page is the best way to do that.