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Pages vs. groups: Getting more from Facebook

Posted by on September 10th, 2009
Posted in Blog, Social Media   

A recent article in Wall Street Journal highlights the benefits of setting up a page for your nonprofit organization instead of a group.

The article notes that many organizations make the mistake of creating a group instead of a page, the result being that you have less control over your content and fewer ways of connecting with your constituents.

Confused? Let us give you some definitions:

  • A group is a place where multiple users can share comments, photos and videos with on another. It is a place on Facebook for people with common interests.
  • A page is the official Facebook homepage for your organization. It is the place where the organization speaks to its community. When you become a Fan on Facebook, you’re really joining a page.

There’s a reason, of course, that nonprofits make the mistake of creating a group instead of a page: Facebook can be confusing. While basic operations on the site are easy, it takes some trial and error to figure out how to do things right.

So we’ll put the path right here. http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php

The greatest benefit of creating a Facebook page is that when you publish to your page, the status updates appear on the pages of all of your fans. Have a thousand people who say they’re a fan? You now have a way to talk to them daily.

Here are a few organizations that do a great job using Facebook pages:

The best way to learn how to use social media is to follow others and learn through experimentation. So if you don’t have a page yet for your organization, today is the day to set one up.


Zach Hochstadt is a Mission Minded Founding Partner and runs Mission Minded’s Denver office, leading the company’s creative teams in the areas of message development, writing, graphic design, and web design and development.

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3 responses to “Pages vs. groups: Getting more from Facebook”

  1. We have over 6,000 fans at the Roots of Change fanpage, mostly through advertising on Facebook so we are believers. However, our experience is that members of a group have higher percent response rate when there is a call to action – like filling out a survey. It’s pretty clear that’s a result of the fact that a message to group members shows up in the Inbox on Facebook, while a message to Fans shows up as a “update” which in our experience has very little impact. Even when the fan message is combined with a fan page posting, the response rate from group members is higher.

    So fan pages seem better for communication, but groups seem to be better for action.