One common question we often get asked here at Social Media AOK is “can I turn my Facebook Page into a Group?”
The short answer? No.
Pages are Pages and Groups are Groups; there is no way to convert a Page into a Group and vice versa. The key thing to remember is that both functions on Facebook serve different purposes for users.
Let’s break it down.
Pages are public, and they’re mostly used by brands, companies, and celebrities alike. Fans follow Pages because they want to stay up-to-date with the latest news, events and promotions. For example, if a retail store is about to stock a new, highly anticipated product, fans know that they’ll find out about it on Facebook first.
“Facebook Pages enable public figures, businesses, organisations and other entities to create an authentic and public presence on Facebook. Unlike your profile, Facebook Pages are visible to everyone on the internet by default. You, and every person on Facebook, can connect with these Pages by becoming a fan and then receive their updates in your News Feed and interact with them.
Authenticity is at the core of Facebook. Just as profiles should represent real people and real names, so too should Pages for entities. Only the official representatives of a public figure, business or organisation should create a Facebook Page.”
(source: Facebook Tips)
I am a big fan of the game, The Sims. I follow their Page because I want to know when they’ve released new expansion packs, when they’ve got exclusive sales, and whenever they’ve updated the game.
Benefits of having a Facebook Page:
- Pages are perfect if you have a brand or a company and you want to update your fans about information that may be of interest to them.
- Facebook Advertising is linked to business Pages. You cannot run any advertising campaigns from a Group.
- Fans can comment on posts; permitting for direct engagement between businesses and their audience
- Fans can also send you private messages if they have specific queries or issues, so service is personalised to them.
- Your audience can also leave reviews and feedback, which may encourage potential customers in the future.
Groups, on the other hand, are different in that they focus on building a tight knit community, and are designed purely for conversations around one topic of interest.
They are safe spaces where members can have in-depth discussions amongst each other and share their experiences regarding the common interest.
Most Groups often abhor the idea of ‘selling’ or ‘promoting’ your business/items and will usually delete any posts that contain any self-promotion. (Naturally, the exception to this is if the Group is specifically a buy/swap/sell Group.)
If we follow on with The Sims example I used earlier, we can see below that there are many Groups devoted to different areas of the game.
Facebook Groups can be public, closed, or secret.
A Public Group is visible to anyone who searches for them and can join with no barriers.
A Closed Group can be found on Facebook, but none of the posts can be viewed until you’ve been accepted as a member. There are two ways to join a closed Group, either via sending a request to join or be invited by an existing member.
A Secret Group is entirely hidden, and therefore, cannot be searched on Facebook. Access is only possible if a member of the Group invites you to join. (source: an introduction to Facebook’s secret groups)
Benefits of having a Facebook Group:
- Groups are a fantastic way of seeing how your audience is engaging with your product.
- Their discussions can help you identify any critical issues they may be experiencing and will give insight as to what solutions they’ve developed.
- You can also discover what improvements they’d like to have.
So do I need both a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group?
It depends on what type of business you have and how your followers interact. Sometimes, a Page would be sufficient for engaging directly with your followers; in other circumstances, a Facebook Group might work better.
For example: a celebrity chef could have a fan Page for promotions, sharing news, new recipes and showcasing little sneak peeks of their day.
Then, they could also create a Group for some of their more daring and avid fans who have successfully tried out their recipes and want to share their achievements. Meanwhile, fans who have failed a recipe attempt could share their experiences in the Group and ask for help from other fellow members.
If you’re still a bit unsure and want some help – please get in touch! We like to start with coffee, and we can help demystify the many facets that Facebook offers.