We were asked by Lorna from Garrendenny Lane Interiors:
“Wondering about the effectiveness of forming a group on Facebook – how do I invite people -is it friends or fans or both? “
Facebook groups are a good way to create a bit of a buzz around your industry. A business should always have a ‘Page’ first but a group is a good way to add value to your brand. They can be a great place for people with a similar interest to share information. For example, it might be worth Lorna starting a group about interior design in Ireland, that way she could keep on top of the current sentiment attached to her industry, share information, start discussions on particular trends all whilst gathering a group of people together who would have an interest in her brand and what she has to offer.
Mashable published a great article on the difference between Groups and Pages recently.
There a couple of things you should consider when you are setting up a group:
- They have a very short shelf life – group pages do not update members news feeds the way that Pages and Profiles do so it can be easy for people to forget about them.
- They are connected to your personal profile. Members of the group will know it is you that is administering the group, unlike a page which appears as an entity on it’s own.
The advantages are:
- You can message members directly. From a business page it is only possible to send ‘updates’ which often remain unread in a fan’s inbox. From a page you can send a message which appears in the inbox the way a personal message does. Be aware not to overload your group members with messages though, use this feature sparingly to avoid people leaving your group.
- If your business already has a page and you are running a new initiative it can be a way to gather together those with a specific interest in it, rather than overloading your fans news feeds with the same message. For example, Spiderworking.com just launched it’s Work The Web Workshops. Imagining that a number of the poeple interested in the workshops would already be fans of Spiderworking.com we decided against setting up a business page. Spiderworking.com’s page will be promoting Work The Web and clogging up fans news feeds with the same recurring message could result in loosing them. For this reason we set up a group. It also means that we will be able to message directly those interested in the workshops.
- People may be more inclined to join a group because they know that a group cannot pollute their news feed.
Inviting people to join a group
You can invite your ‘friends’ directly to join your new group. You cannot invite ‘fans’ of your business page directly but can post details of the group on your wall and ask them to join.
If you have a social media question that you would like answered no matter how large or small leave a comment on this post or tweet us @spiderworking.
Thanks a million for making that crystal clear Amanda – I just think to think of a name and focus for my group now 🙂