Facebook Group vs Facebook Fan Page: What’s Better?

SMS Text

Facebook allows for 2 networking tools:

  1. Creating/ joining a Facebook group;
  2. Creating/ joining a Facebook fan page.

While the major differences become evident only after you try out them first, we decided to create and promote both for Search Engine Journal:

Search Engine Journal Fanpage

Now what we have found from this experiment..

First and foremost the 2 major differences include:

  1. Unlike groups, fan pages are visible to unregistered people and are thus indexed (important for reputaion management, for example);
  2. Unlike pages, groups allow to send out “bulk invite” (you can easily invite all your friends to join the group while with pages you will be forced to drop some invites manually). Groups are thus better for viral marketing, meaning that any group member can also send bulk invites to the friends of his.

Now let’s go into some details:

Key Feature Facebook PageFacebook Group
“Ugly” URLsNoYes
Hosting a discussionYesYes
Discussion wall, and discussion forumYesYes
Extra applications addedYesNo
Messaging to all membersYes (via updates)Yes (via PMs)
Visitor statisticsYes (“Page insights”)No
Video and photo public exchangeYesYes
“Related” event creation and invitationYesNo
Promotion with social adsYes (never tried it)No

To conclude:

  • Pages are generally better for a long-term relationships with your fans, readers or customers;
  • Groups are generally better for hosting a (quick) active discussion and attracting quick attention.
Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty

Brand amd Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing,... Read Full Bio
Ann Smarty
Get the latest news from Search Engine Journal!
We value your privacy! See our policy here.
  • I’d go with Fan Pages. Groups are good as well and hey in a perfect world do as you did; make both!


  • We had set up a group page, but it seems like fan pages are the better way to go. In my experience, they tend to attract members more quickly, although it would be interesting for some folks to comment upon whether there’s more engagement with groups versus fan pages.

  • I have used both to varying degrees of success. I agree with the conclusion of the article, “Groups are generally better for hosting a (quick) active discussion and attracting quick attention.”

  • Ann,

    We have started with using groups a bit over a year ago and added a page early this year. We have one page and 4 groups created by the hotels (loki hostels), but also a few other groups created by ex-guests and workers.

    We have been using related events and mass messages from our groups which have proven to be affective at times, but also should be used in moderation, otherwise people leave the group. We have not found a good way to use the facebook page for ex-guests or for promotions.

    I have to admit that scanning facebook pages and groups, there are very little with active discussions and we haven’t found ones that seem to work well for marketing, CR or PR purposes.


  • i agree, create both, but given a choice pages stick out more than groups, tho groups have a more communal sense to them

  • darknight247

    Congrats on TechMeme front page status. Cheers!

  • As we finish our website we will be doing a similar experiment, but we should view Facebook as a major player in the any SEO Strategic Plan. It just works.

    Good Article!

  • Brooks

    I’ve found the same differences/similarities from experimenting on my own but it’s really nice to have it all laid out in a comparison like this. Thanks for the artical!

  • Hey I will try it on our new seo website. Thanks for your tip. I think we should go with both of these options first and later on see what our analysis say.

  • I don’t see the practical point in either. Another place for people to waste their time when they could be building something that matters.

  • mike ashworth

    Just wanted to let you know that Facebook now allows indexing of discussions with groups that are available globally within Facebook (no restriction or closed groups) I tipped off Allfacebook and Insidefacebook about this recently. stories are here



    In the UK I think people are more aware of groups than fan pages (they think fan pages are for huge Corporate Brands and musicians and not more local offerings). I also feel that the notification for the fan page isn’t as likely to get engagement as a message in the inbox.

    Positive for Fan Pages: In the feed settings, users can alter the amount in their feed related to certain apps such as groups. I know it sounds odd to join a group then not want to hear about stuff however it can happen. Often people join a group as a sign of allegiance with others (social glue although they many not want to participate / engage).

    Negative for groups: Once a group gets to a certain size you will be unable to message all members of it.

    Positive for groups: If you are an admin / officer, you can select certain peopel from your friend list join a group, ones who may like that topic.

    I think having both a group and fan page dilutes a Company presence on Facebook unless the group is set up to discuss a specific topic and not the Company only.

    One possible course of action, get a group out there, grow it, then when it gets a to a decent size convert it to a fan page (their is a process for this if you have a look in the Facebook FAQ)

    Mike Ashworth
    Marketing Coach and Consultant
    Brighton and Hove, Sussex, UK

  • @Mike, huge thanks for a most insightful comment!

  • Facebook has made Pages incredibly hard to drive traffic to. Changes to pages do not show up in the newsfeed, which is what helps things spread viraly on Facebook. I’ve also noticed recently, when you search for something on Facebook, pages don’t come up anymore. Facebook could sure help people promote their pages by fixing these two things and I don’t understand why they don’t, unless they want people to pay them to advertise them.

    Great post though comparing Groups and Pages.

  • Nice comparison, Ann.

    I go with Mike on this one, though. I’ve been running several groups and fan pages on Facebook, both local and international ones, and in all cases I’ve been much more successful with the groups. They tend to grow much faster and members get more engaged.

    Going with both might get your readers/consumers confused. I’d just choose one and stick with it.

  • Hjortur-
    Does group activity show up in the newsfeed?

  • Hey we need to Understand one basic fact about Facebook Pages and Facebook Groups.

    Facebook Pages are a promote a business, band, shop and so on…

    whilst Facebook groups are to promote a common interest.

    Hence the tools given are pretty different.

    On FB Pages you have more Tools like targeted Message sending (you can filter by age, sex, country, etc. whom you wanna send the message to) then the options for stats and even promotion of the page using ads. It gives a good reason for someone to come and use their ad platform.

    On the other hand, FB Groups allow you to have group structure with group officers and admins and stuff, in order to regulate and facilitate discussion.

    and the other addons like photos / videos and stuff are just part of the package to fill it up and make it look big.

  • Although Facebook Fan Pages are great, their biggest drawback is your limited ability to communicate with your Fans. The messages you send through your FB Page is delivered into your Fans’ Update Box rather than the FB Inbox.

    I found this out the hard way. My Fans were asking me when I was going to start sending updates. All along I’d been sending updates but no one seems to be aware that they have an Update box.

    So, in essence my messages weren’t getting to them. For my purposes, Groups are a lot better when it comes to communicating with your members.

    Jim Turner

  • I’ve been doing some online research on pages vs. groups and one thing that doesn’t seem to get mentioned is that groups have links to related groups, which I think is a great tool. It has the potential to pull in people with a common interest, which is highly useful when you’re trying to promote, say, a blog or product.

    I don’t see this happening with pages.

  • This seems like the $64 question. I don’t think there will ever be a definitive, but I agree with Alexander. The two pages serve two different purposes.

    Thanks for writing the post. I am glad others are having the same dilemma as me.

  • Best Advantage to Facebook Pages:

    Do you know about #PAGENAME ?

    One friend is a fan
    Become a Fan

  • Software Testing Training

    Thanks for Article……

    Good Article Writing

    Software Testing Training

    Our Software Testing Partner

  • I have a been building groups on facebook for 1 and a half years, the larges has over 11,000

    you can now only mail upto 5000.

    pages are no good because they only get updates NOT emails !!!

    the only way to contact all members with a large group is to post an event, does anyboy know wether u can invite all members to the event ????

    many thxs in advance


  • Facebook has done a nice job at making us having to choose! Thans Ann, Mike and Alexander for your very insightful posts and comments.

    I work with tourism operators and tourism organisations – Pages are more suited to operators and Groups to organisations promoting a tourism region… However, I am sure that the operators will want to have the features of the Group …. my role is to explain to them that they can’t put the carriage before the horse!



  • I think the key difference is how groups lend themselves to viral spread better than pages do. So if you haven’t got the budget to spend on Facebook advertising then starting with a group is a good plan. Once your group has stopped growing you can then transfer it to a Page as described here – http://collegewebeditor.com/blog/index.php/archives/2008/05/09/how-to-transfer-your-facebook-group-members-to-your-facebook-page/.

  • Som additional insights . Based on our experience, the major drawback of Pages is that you can not message or send event updates to your audience through their inbox. The message goes through their “update” folder which no one uses. In the article above, it notes that your can’t create events from Group pages which is not true. You can create events from Group pages and this is one of the most powerful functionalities as the event messages are sent to the user’s inbox and not to the update folder. The drawback of Groups is that it is meant for smaller organizations and does not permit custom Facebook applications. I can’t understand why Facebook would want to offer more functionalities to Groups and less functionality to Pages which are typicaly created by some of Facebook’s largest advertisers. I have been really dissapointed in the functioanlity provided to Pages vs. Groups and would highly recommend a Group set up for smaller organizations who want to grow virally on Facebook. I am hoping the functionality of Pages is soon expanded for brand advertisers as I think this is a major shot coming for large scale advertisers that want to invest in and promote their brands on Facebook.

  • Tim Hill

    I noticed that you can’t setup a group without being an actual member of facebook. with pages you can sign up as a company but with groups I believe you need to sign up as an individual?

    Anyone verify?

  • Dear Ann
    Good and useful post
    I was looking for an article talking about steps to do e-marketing on face book????

  • @Emily Befriend people who are interested in your business and if they don’t pick up the Fan Page off your Social Map, then just ask them to join. When they join, their friends will see it and join themselves … hence a viral process.

  • Great help, thank you!

    Tim Owen
    “The Mastermind and Implementation Coach”

  • Hi Ann,

    I set up a Page & Group for Plurk…

    The Plurk Group is at 105 Members
    while the Plurk Page is @ 6,278 Fans!

    I was wondering why almost NOONE responded to my admin updates… now I know! No direct messages to Fans… I wonder why not?

    The last Wall post for *”Plurkers” Group was @ 5:00pm on November 2nd, 2008

    The *”Plurk” Page was @ 5:57am on February 28th, 2009

    * the actual names used for the group/page

    So based on these results it seems like Pages are the way to go(obviously this needs to be tested with other topics/niches, would love to see some stats)…

    Thanks &
    God Bless,

  • One note:

    You can promote a group or a page (or anything online for that matter) with Facebook social ads.

  • Great help – for helpless people
    Thanks & Skål

  • Taylor

    I’m quite frustrated with Facebook pages. After working hard to build up a solid fan base before starting to send out updates, I found out the hard way that no one actually gets them!!! The updates go into an impossible to find update folder and no alerts are sent. Thus, we’ve built up this big group and have no way to send them messages!

  • Julia

    I’ve heard that Facebook is going to be phasing out groups– Is this really true? I really like the fact that you can message all the members of a Group, whereas you can only do updates on Pages. What’s a good alternative if Groups go away?

  • Reading some above comments, i’m wondering if myspace is better than facebook which seems to be not found properly by google. I’d prefer that folks can leave a message without having to join/ create facebook profile.

  • This was very helpful a great post and some really good comments as well i learned something new thankyou. I hope FB doesnt phaze out group o have a couple that are getting quite big now. im sure they wont do that though am sure they will do something else but I am just wondering if its worth just creating a page now anyway for my group or if i should convert my group to a page but after reading these comments im not sure now!!

  • JorgeFitz

    Thank you all for an excellent, insightful discussion!

  • wendy wanda

    recently facebook changed some things about pages. does that change the discussion here at all? I’m still not sure whether i should have a page or group for my organization.

  • So do page notifications go to the same hard to find folder?

  • I have learned from your post, thanks a lot!

  • Steph

    Is it better to post to the discussion board or the wall when using a facebook group. We were told that when information is posted it is “pushed” to the entire group via e-mail. Is there any truth in this and if so how does it work? We want to get some a community dialogue started. Does anyone know if this push of information is possible with group discussion or wall posts?

  • This was awesome. Thanks so much !

  • How do I see a list of all pages I have become fan of in facebook?

  • working well for me so far- thanks for the tips – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zeduction-Photography/70445568485

  • Thanks for the great info (post and comments) … for those who have a page … do you have a profile attached to it to? Is a group attached to a personal profile or can it be attached to a page? Thanks! *SmiLes* Suzanne

  • Binh

    Thanks, this totally answers my question. The chart was especially helpful

  • Thanks Ann. I was very confused about Face Book pages and groups and was not sure which one is better for me. Your post and some really good comments helped me alot as i am now using Face Book with good results.

  • Hi Ann. Nice Post. But for me there is plenty of other things you can do to produce great results than wasting time on Face Book as not many people able to produce great results. Anyways great tips for Face Book users.

  • Great topic Ann. As an SEO Expert my self i have been able to produce some success with my groups and pages on Face Book. Both are useful depending upon what you are promoting.

  • Ann, thanks for providing the forum to explore the possibilities of pages vs. groups.

  • I came across a link to this post on twitter, but now I see it’s a few months old. With the speed at which facebook evolves, I can’t help but wonder if it’s still relevant? I know many groups have migrated over to fan pages since groups are increasingly harder to find on the site…

  • I have a facebook fan page created and just need to customise it.

  • good article, need more 2 grow… what about bing.com

  • This was a very good discussion on the difference between using FB pages and groups. I do agree that each serves two difference purposes. As an owner of an Internet Marketing firm, I know that it all depends upon what your overall strategic purpose is to using Social Media. Once you get this figured out then you can decide whether to use a FB fan page or group for build brand awareness and gaining followers.

    @Gossip Crunch We build fan pages. Let me know if you are interested.



  • Great comparison, thanks!

    Groups do have events while Pages do not; you might want to correct this…

  • I’m still getting my head around the groups when I discovered fans, so this article helps a little to clarify the effects of both

  • Markus

    What about creating a profile instead of a fan page or a group? Instead of getting fans you would be getting friends. The updates go straight to the uptade inbox, but I think (I might be wrong) that there are no limitations in mailing your friends. Plus you could create “events” and invite them to attend as a way to promote whatever you are promoting.

    So what about a Profile vs. Fan Page vs. Group comparison?


  • The comments are great, but it seems I am a year behind the times.

    Jackson Stoneworks launched a national campaign to “Help Stop Cancer with Granite” to increase awareness of the work done by the American Cancer Society and raise funds by matching $10 donations with our granite vanity top customers at all of the Lowe’s Home Improvement stores nationwide. All of our customers were invited to become Jackson Stoneworks Fans to promote awareness of this campaign but it seems we could be more effective with a “Help Stop Cancer with Granite” Group. If interested, you can go to http://www.jacksonstoneworks.com/relayforlife to learn more and make recommendations of how you believe we could be more effective .

  • Thanks for the info.
    One correction though,
    You can create related events with Facebook group easily.

  • Another consideration is GROUPS only can send messages to their members IF THEY ARE 5,000 OR LESS , pages are unlimited

  • Very helpful, thank you. Now can someone tell me something basic? On my FB home page I can’t even FIND my fan page OR my group. Where the hell are they?! I have a postgraduate degree and I can’t find them… is it just me, or is FB seriously badly designed, and getting worse all the time? So counterintuitive. I have a group already, but it doesn’t seem to work well for me, so I’ve just added a fan page, and we’ll see. I’m sorry to ask another dumb question, but why aren’t these two options bound into one option that does everything? A setup in which I need to maintain my user profile, fan page AND group seems extremely clunky.

  • Lindsay,

    I agree as I try to figure out where my fan pages or groups are myself. The trick is you have to click on the INFO tab (right next to the WALL tab) and you will see your fan or group pages on the bottom. Another thing is that it will not show all…only like 4 at a time randomly.

    This was a great discussion about facebook and fan pages and it seems like everyone’s squared in the middle. So I’m back to square ONE. Which is really better, fan pages or groups.

    In my experience alone, the Group pages have been more viral and had more members join. But I wanted to make sure that I’m getting the same results as everyone out there.

  • Josh

    For pages you manage and edit:

  • Going to give it a test to see if groups are better then Pages today and for the next 3 months during our peek season. Great article!

  • This article really helps thanks a mil…

    • Don’t know when this was originally posted, but in the table of “Details” above I think there is a discrepancy. Near the bottom it states:
      “Related” event creation and invitation
      (Page)Yes (Group)No

      Well, in my Group there is that capability. On the top where you select Wall/Info…etc if you click on + then you put the tab for Events up and then create Group Related Events.

      • Tim

        I noticed that too. She has it backwards. You can’t sned message all your friends from a page, but you can do it with a Group. I don’t like fan pages, unless you are a huge star they don’t allow you do do anything expect use the wall.

    • Mike

      Hey guys I’m trying to figure out how to message all the fans on my fan page at one time with one mass message, can anyone walk me through how to do that function?

    • Mike

      Actually better yet, I’ve heard that there is a way to set up your fan page whereas you can make it send an automated preset message to a person each time he/she becomes a fan of your page. Is this true? Does anyone know how to do this?

  • For a great tutorial that shows you how to add a Facebook Fan Box to your website check out my latest blog post here


    This new application makes it easy for People to become a fan without even leaving your website

    • Ian, thanks so much for posting your link. Our non-profit is just establishing our own 501C3, and I was trying to figure out if I should set us up as a Cause or do a Fan page. Whichever I choose, it was nice to find out from you how to link to it from our website. I am still not sure if Group and Cause are the same or different. I do get the feel I should join Cause once we have our own 501C3 and not using our umbrella.

  • I have already created (or rather my friend help me created it) a Group for Jumpsac Baby Slings.
    Now, if I also have a Fan page for it, wouldn’t it confuse my fans/group members who joined the group?
    Hmm, also I checked on the Facebook FAQ page, Facebook doesn’t help you move/convert from Group to Fan page. You’re gonna have to message everyone in your group about this manually yourself.
    (Or is there a workaround?)
    And back to the Group vs Fan page (vs Profile, now?), would you recommend doing everything?
    Seems confusing and too much don’t you think?
    And also, how often do you recommend to update fans/members with news / info, as to not choke people with infos (which will make them ignore sooner or later.. and this whole thing won’t work anymore..)
    A little new to this, so.. I appreciate any help!

    • Rick

      I have the same challenge as you posted a few months ago. I set up a group page for my business but really want to set up a fan page. How did you do the conversion? Manually tell all your group members to switch over? Thanks.

      • Currently, there is no way to convert one to the other. You’ll just have to setup the Page & then message all you Group members to become Fans of your new Page.

        Set a date when the Group will go away to give all Group members plenty of time to get the message and react.

        When that date arrives, if the Group members haven’t voluntarily “Left the Group” then you can delete them. Don’t delete yourself as Group owner.

        When all the members are gone/deleted, then you can “leave the Group”. Assuming you want to have it deleted.

        What I did was eliminate all members of the Group, then made it private so anyone wanting to join would have to come through me. If and when anyone asked about the Group I’ll tell them about the Page and direct them there.

  • I experienced both fan page and group as admin.. i think fan page offers more flexibility and better interactive with the fans..

    updates on groups wont send notification to the group members whereas fan page does.. that’s the most important point why I think fan page is better.. =)

    • That’s a great point – I’ve always been frustrated that groups don’t notify in a news feed or elsewhere – I even want that from some of my groups…

  • I have a Fan page and I have to say I’m very pleased with it right now. I will probably try groups tow anyway..

  • Elle

    Fan Pages provide customization and expanded viral potential. Outside of the messaging limitations (messages from Pages don’t go into your Inbox), Pages have one big drawback for some of the organizations I work with – Events.

    While you can create related events with a Page, you cannot actually host an event. This means you have to manually enter guests into the RSVP for any related event you create and these must be from YOUR friends list. There is no way to invite all of your Fans with a click. Groups allow you to host an event and automatically invite all of your Group members. Waiting for FB to add that functionality to Pages.

    • Jesse

      Can’t you message everyone in your ‘fan list’? and if so, why couldn’t you just create the event and then message all your fans with a url link to the event page?? that seems like it would be just about as effective if not more. Especially considering the fact that invites tend to be ignored or at least not noticed more than messages do..

      • Craig

        I thought this was a good suggestion, as I want to create events for my Page and alert all my fans to it. However, when you message everyone in your fan list, that message goes into their Inbox, in the Updates section, which I didn’t even know existed until today. Most people probably never see messages that end up there, which means fans don’t know you’ve sent them a message about an Event. I’m having trouble getting around this limitation of Pages.

    • Alex

      How do you send a message from a fan page, as an admin, to all members?

    • kingali

      Problem with group events they can not invite or message groups with more than 5000 ppl. :(. Any solution for this?

  • Thanks for this brief overview on Pages over Groups…
    I have a few groups and pages and I’m trying to see which work better for what type of communication, and your “To conclude” is really helpfull to make general distinct between those two…

  • I saw a post on another SEO blog to the effect of using Friendfeed on your Notes makes the Company Facebook Page searchable.

    Regrettably, I failed to save the post… so this is more a question than a statement… got any ideas on making a company facebook page more Google Visible?

    For the most part a social media tool is useful ONLY to the extent that Google notices, they have little intrinsic value on their own merits

  • For me, I think that Groups are much okay. I’m not saying that Fan Page is not good, it’s just that I fing Groups to be more better for me.

    Thanks for this post.

  • Ernie

    So let’s say I already have a regular page established for my Web site, but now I’ve also started a fan page for the same site using the same email registration. If I deactivate the original account, will my fan page also go away?

  • belal

    i was wandering how to reach a fan page i joined. i dont think i can find them anywhere, ive tryed looking through my groups but no.

    • Unfortunately you will have to do a search in FB to find the fan page. I don’t understand why this is, but it is more of an inconvienience than anything else.
      If it were a group you could find it as the group you joined, but not with a fan page. Go figure, and when you figure it out, please post.

  • Mark

    This really helped… thank you!

  • I think there were a few things missing here, though this was a great introduction to the differences. One key element missing in the analysis is group contact. Fan Pages allow messages to be sent to the group and they show up as a tiny link or “Update” in the upper right-hand corner of your Facebook Home Page. Group Pages allow admin to send a message to your Facebook Inbox.

    Also, a regular rule of marketing is (typically) make joining or buying as easy as possible. But this rule is negated in the case of Facebook Group vs. Page. Here’s why: When a Fan Page is suggested to a Facebook user, all he or she must do is click a confirm button, of two buttons. The word confirm carries less weight, implies less, does not imply membership. For Groups the user must click a “Join” button, which is one of three, and the word “Join” implies, somehow, active participation. So, if someone joined the a Group as opposed to becoming a Fan it implies that they are willing to take some sort of action for the group, tell a friend, spread the word.

    Lastly, I’d like to correct some tiny errors in the article.
    1. You can promote you Group with social advertisements.
    2. You can create events and invite everyone in a Group to go.
    3. And, the Ugly URLs? Well, if you are relying on Facebook to be the image of a business for your web presence then that is your first problem. Facebook Groups and Fan pages should be for Facebook users and one should not assume they can spread much farther beyond those virtual borders.

    So, to close, both Groups and Pages are grand, Facebook is grand, but Groups, in terms of marketing tools, are simply far superior for viral and niche marketing. Fan Pages tend to be just that. Ask yourself: If you, say, owned a gym, do you want people to be a “fan” of your gym or do you want them to “join.”

    • Anna

      I appreciate your comments Elijah. As I perused my way down the comments on this topic, I vascillated back and forth. I made a group page for my university honor society. It is my first, and thus, very simple. I want to add elements that will make the page aesthetically pleasing, and informative, maybe a little humorous. My concern for the better page surfaced after I began to research possible elements, and procedures. I began to consider that maybe a fan page would be better suited for my plan. I realize, after reading your post, that the group page is just what I need.

      I’d also like to say that your professional eloquence is appreciated, and admired.

    • Jorge Paredes

      I liked the last part.. so true..

    • Matt

      I have a fan page and am thinking that is a good idea to change to a group page although I dont want to loose the fans or the content. Is it possible to change to a group without loosing these or can they be swapped in some way!! ????

  • I started with facebook Group and successfully added almost 100 members but later in realize It’s getting wasted and I tried Facebook fan pages..It’s much better then Group..
    Another Facebook Application which I will suggest if networkedblog application.. This is must have for any blogger who are using facebook for promotion..

  • You misspelled “reputation”.

    Facebook and other similar platforms like Twitter were developed for collaboration and sharing. I don’t understand why people continually try to turn these services into another form of push based media (i.e. TV and radio) instead of trying to leverage them for what they are really good for, being responsive to your customers. Why not focus your social media efforts around trying to help people with your existing products and services instead of foisting scads of unsolicited information upon them?

    I agree with some of the previous commenters; focus your SEO efforts on your main site and not on your Facebook presence. If you are worried about people finding you on Facebook, link to your Facebook presence from your main site.

  • Thanks for the overview. I know a lot of people are wondering about this.

    I just wish that the “sharing” tools used to directly link web pages you are visiting, including FB’s own “Share on Facebook” widget, would let you post directly to the Fan page instead of just into your profile page. I’d like to post biz related posts to our Fan page and not on my more personal profile page.

  • STeve

    For the organization of a High School Reunion which is the best. The primary reason is to do bulk messaging to classmates. More like a email group. I would also like to have the ability to have multiple admins.

  • Anne

    Hi, I am currently handling our company’s online initiatives and have decided to use Facebook as a tool to maximize our campaigns. I started with an ordinary profile and named it after our business then created a fan page. The thing is, people are asking me why they have to be a friend and be a fan at the same time. I have more than a thousand friends now in my ordinary profile and less than 500 on my fan page. Should I delete my ordinary page and have everybody become our fan instead?

    I realized I should have created a fan page instead, but now that I have made my mistake, what should I do to correct this? Thanks!

    • Craig

      Have you solved your problem? I’m in a similar predicament right now. We have a regular Profile with about 1000 friends, but I’m trying to decide whether we should start a Page or a Group instead of, or in addition to, the regular profile. The other problem is, I don’t think you can delete a Profile and leave the associated Page open. I would have to either keep both, which I think is confusing, or start from scratch with a new Page. Thoughts?

  • John

    Anne, I know exactly what you’re up against, although I formed a Group not a Fan page. So, anyone know how to merge Friends and/or Members of a Fan Page or Group into an Ordinary Page or vice versa?

    Also, regarding usability, has anyone any insights on posting to both a Group & Ordinary Page wall without having to do it 2x?

    Lastly, is there a reason why a post in a Group doesn’t allow for photos and videos to be uploaded, as they do on Ordinary Pages? Is it me?

    Great discussion. Thanks all.

  • Thank you for the great article.

    It’s one of the most direct and to the point articles on facebook pages and groups I found this morning.

    For what it’s worth, I have set up BOTH, for different projects I was working on. If you understand what which one can and can not do, it really does make a HUGE DIFFERENCE.


    Mr. Twenty Twenty
    That guy who really did change his name to the number of perfect vision, because YOU living YOUR VISION MATTERS!

  • Question–If you join a facebook group, does that mean that all of the members of the group are your facebook “friends”– able to access your home page and photos? I’d like to join the group, but do not know all of the members.
    Please respond via my e-mail–


  • Great article – Thank you!

    I had a FB group for ChicagoVeg – Community for Chicago area Vegetarians, Vegans, Raw Foodists & their friends for a year an have over 400 members. However, I am thinking to create a fan page anyway as a simple URL, ease to add, statistics are invaluable to me.

    Regarding some one comment above regarding a necessity to search FB to find Fan Page you belong to… Do you have a list of fan pages (as well as groups) on your profile?

    • @Chicago: Your Facebook Page is incomparably more powerful than a group. The fact that FB allows Pages the same access to a user’s newsfeed as their friends is ENORMOUS. Every time you write a status update, post photos, or share a link…all your fans get it in their newsfeed. By becoming a fan, they have given your page permission to do this…and unless you over-expose them to your Page (twice a day updates?), they won’t hide you.

      A group is relatively useless. All your activity on your group stays there, and your group members can’t know what’s happening unless they come to your group. And since they have so much incoming stuff in their newsfeed from Friends and Pages, they would rather Like/Comment that and not come to your group. 🙂

      • Craig

        If you create an Event with a Page, how do fans find out about it? I know there is a “Message all fans” link where I could paste the url of the Event and send everyone a message, but that message gets lost in the Updates section of the Inbox, which no one looks at.

  • Jason

    I have created a facebook fan page for my church. I can’t get the fanpage to come up in a search. Why is this? People won’t be able to find it if they can’t search for it.

    • CG

      Put the name of your fan page in the search bar at the top, press search. If it doesn’t come up, click on “Pages” under “All Results.” See if it comes up.

  • I think facebook fan pages indexing takes some time just.

  • Ross

    One problem with a FB group is that you can no longer mail the group after it reaches 5000 members.

    Is there any limit / ceiling before you can’t send updates to Fans from a Fan Page?

    • @Ross: No limits on updates to your fans. Not yet. But the best part is that all your activity goes to your fans newsfeed, which is a powerful way to stay in touch and grow virally.

      • Moon

        Since they changed the home page about 2 weeks ago, and how we see the news feed /live feed, we no longer see the fan page “updates” in that box along with the friend requests etc…

        I just sent an update from one the pages I manage and it’s nowhere to be found…

        do you know where they go?


      • Craig

        @Moon: The updates now go into the Updates section of the Inbox, which no one looks at. I can’t figure out how to get around this.

  • Nice clarification! I can’t help but wonder why Facebook doesn’t layout the details like Ann did…

  • Ann, great post on the difference between pages and groups. Love the chart! There is often a fair amount of confusion as to the business reasons for each. Some brand managers highly value the ability to send messages directly to members (groups only) and others highly value the ability to appear in their fan’s streams (pages only). Facebook is trying very hard to convince businesses that Pages make the most sense. I recently wrote a post on dissecting a fb fan page (with diagrams) > http://bit.ly/mNJdm

  • brendan

    thanks for the info.

    here’s a general question for anyone that might read this.

    I have a page for my band. I am the admin. When I create an event on my page, and I want to send a message out to everyone that I invited (a reminder that the event is coming up), regardless of whether they are “attending” or not…it won’t let me do this. Why?

    When I create an event on my personal account, there’s a link that says “email list of guests” or something like that, which allows you to send an email out to everyone invited. This is really frustrating.



    • @Brendan: Take a deep breath and let go of the frustration. 🙂

      Facebook Pages have this limitation. But you don’t need it. The Pages are structured to build community, are more permission-oriented and are extremely viral.

      What you can do:

      1. You can post your event page as a ‘link’ and write a status update to remind people.

      2. You can also share photos which relate to your event…pre-concert rehearsal photo-shoot maybe?

      3. Or ask your fans to create a poster or slogan for your event and the best 5 answers win a free ticket?


      I’m sure you can come up with a lot of stuff like this to engage your fans and get them to come to your event!

      • Brendan

        Thanks for the response, but my frustration still remains over the fact that if I create an event through my profile, I have the option to send an email to all invited. If I create an event through my band page, I can’t. It makes no sense.

        I am aware of your suggestions. It still doesn’t help communicating with people that are invited to an event through my page, that are not a fan.

        thanks anyway

    • Hey Brandon,

      I can completely relate to your frustration, took us a while to figure out what works and what doesn’t on facebook.

      I think the main problem is to realize that a facebook page is just like a webpage, just having it there wont get you interactions, booking, etc. In the same way you had to get your band (or brand) fans/users to know that they need to check your webpage for new content you have to do the same with the facebook page.

      The great thing about a facebook page is that when you get it going and people are interacting it can spread much better then activity on any normal website.

      As for your specific question about events, we use a few ways of promoting them:
      1. as mentioned before through posting a link on the page wall.
      2. when you look at an event you created you should have a link on the right saying something similar to “Update Fans of Loki Hostels” (replace loki hostel with your brand name), and that will send a message to all fans, or selected fans by demographic/location criteria.
      3. ask some of your dedicated fans to share the event, that will show up on their wall, and from there in the streams of all their friends.
      4. from an article today on allfacbook.com, seems that if you update the event time, a notification will show up on all people attending the event, so that can be used as reminders, original article – http://www.allfacebook.com/2009/09/10-less-known-facebook-features/ (we havent tried this yet)

      for all other frustrated people, I think we have to remember that this is all relatively new and changing constantly, with new options added all the time. I think the potential is great, but as with nearly everything it requires a lot of work, and at the moment a lot of experimenting in trying to figure out what is the best way to do things.

      • Brendan

        thank you for your response.

        the root of my frustration is over one thing only.

        when I make an event through my profile, as the administrator, there is a link below “edit event” that says “send message to guests”.

        this option isn’t there when I create an event as the administrator through my band page. This is stupid. If I invite 300 people to the event I created on my band page, and I want to remind people that the show is coming up…remind people that haven’t responded to the invitation…I can’t.

        that’s all I’m frustrated over.

  • Here’s my question…Why would a FB fan page NOT be accessible to unregistered users? I have a FB page with the URL I wanted, its published and I have about 50 fans. Still if I put in the URL, I get the FB homepage and not my fan page? Am I missing something? TNX!

    • Not sure why as our page is accessible to people who are not even loggedin to Facebook, try going to this page after logging out of facebook – http://www.facebook.com/loki.hostels

      The only difference is that our photo contest box would not show the photos unless you are logged in to facebook.

      Only thing I can think of is that your page is not “published” which you can easily change in the setting page.

  • DM

    The fan page system is really frustrating and glitchy.

    Some menu options are just dead-ends or redundant.

    And most importantly, FB sulks if you set up a Fan page without a personal profile attached, which for us is impossible – unless we just invent someone.
    We wanted an institutional presence on FB and this is what it is supposed so offer. So near yet so far.
    But I cannot believe the developers would want the accounts to function as they do at present.

  • Brent

    I find that the information tab contents vary with the type of Fan Page you create. Is there any way to broaden the contents? For example, I would like the e-mail address and fax number in the information tab.

    • Thanks for the article, very helpful for a total newb to social network marketing.

      For Brent, i’ve read you can broaden the default contents with facebook apps specifically made for facebook pages. I havn’t searched for them, just read this somewhere. About the username, I read it previously was 100 users, now is only 25, i’m sure someone will confirm this.

      Regarding the debate of group vs. pages, it just seems logical to create both as they can be used in different ways and both are beneficial. Am i wrong? Anyways, I will create both, unless someone gives me a reason why you shouldn’t do this.

      • Craig

        Did you create both? How did it go? The downside I can imagine is that it is confusing/annoying for people to have to be connected to you twice to get everything you want them to get.

  • Brent

    Is there any way to post an event without an RSVP? I frequently post annoucements, and I think the commitment of an RSVP discourages attendance.

  • Brent

    How long to I have to wait (or how many fans do I have to have) before I can choose an username for my fan page?

  • Thanks a lot for the article! You saved me a lot of precious time deciding what direction to go 🙂

  • This article really helps thanks

  • clara

    I think the problem with “fan” pages is the resistance you meet when asking people to “become a fan” of the product you are offering.
    I decided on a group to promote theatre production company because I thought it was a huge ask to make people “become a fan” of us, when they don’t even know whether we’re any good. There’s something very aggressive about it.

    I know that I’ve rejected a fan request from the same friend three times when she asked I “become a fan” of her self published book. I simply didn’t want to broadcast myself “a fan” of something I’d never read (and which could well be mediocre). Friends of mine also feel strongly about this. To be “a fan” is to be utterly passionate about something. A “fanatic”. Unless Facebook changes the wording of page requests to not declare page members as “fans”, I’ll always ignore them.

  • Robyn

    I’m trying to create a ‘fan’ page for my non-profit club but it comes across as looking like a business (eg. Company overview, mission, products). Is there any other category I can use so it will look more like a ‘group’ page layout?

  • Brandon

    i’ve got the same problem as Scott…Oddly, our FB fan page is NOT accessible to unregistered users.

    We have a FB page with the URL we want, its published, and I have about 60 fans.

    Still if I put in the URL and am not logged in, I get the FB login homepage and not our fan page. I can’t figure this one out!!

    • Julie

      Hi Brandon,
      You can not see any facebook pages without being logged in. Someone has to be a member of facebook to see any pages 🙂

      • Brandon

        Hi Julie,

        Thanks for your reply but I’m not sure that is correct. For example, log out of your Facebook account, then go to the Facebook page below. You’ll notice you don’t have to be logged in to view their page.



  • francesca

    how can i put my groups above the pages im fans of in my info section? they have changed ever since i hid my groups. someone help me please!!!?

  • Thanks for this. I’ve created both a page and a group, but haven’t promoted either yet. Still trying to figure out the best way to get people to the group page because that seems to be the best long term solution for a business.

  • Socialization, Gigya and a Blog. Making API calls from your site to the Oauth of any network is simplified by understanding that some blog owners and developers can do a lot of things, well some anyway – that normal internet users are not used to. All of our sites integrate with Facebook, Twitter, mySpace, google, aol and Yahoo via the interfaces using technology you may be more familiar with, like Facebook connect. We drive people to the pages and causes more effectively because it’s an open two way street between the page and the site. I’m glad this post pointed out the differences between a page and a group, even as a developer sometimes I wonder exactly whats right and I appreciate this research. By luck, I’ve been developing “pages” because about 6 weeks ago I read about them being able to update your twitter status, which is no big deal, but I though Facebook put that out to allure more business to have pages. Rightly so. Thanks for the info.

  • Pages and Causes.

    Oh, I guess a little shameless promotion wouldn’t hurt. We develop Causes too, one of which has the Beneficiary, “Wounded Warriors” – Causes can be businesses if they have a human interest and don’t charge for services. Our Cause is “Respect The Vet” – an Agency which seeks out Senior and Disabled Vets who may Qualify for up to almost 2000 dollars monthly, tax free for those needing “Aid and Attendance”, whether at home, in assisted living or a nursing care situation. You can look these up on Facebook. Tell your parents, friends and US Military Veterans you might know. It’s important.

  • The exact answer I was looking for. Thanks for clarifying the difference.

  • Yogi

    Facebook has updated their Groups to look more like Page (and Profiles, too, for that matter). It even sends posts to members’ News Feeds now.

    • Kim

      When did this change occur? I’m not seeing it with my group. The latest announcement I posted on our group wall was on Nov. 5, and I’m pretty sure it was not posted to members’ news feeds (at least it didn’t show up on mine).

      This is the primary reason for me considering changing from a group to a fan page, but if group posts will show up in members’ news feeds I may not need to. it would be ideal if you could do status updates on a group page.

    • George


      How do you get this to happen. Still can’t figure out how to get updates on group posted on News Feed. Thanks! G

  • Thank you for the freat article. I was just thinking about which one to make and this article really helped. Thanks!

  • Missy

    Is it possible to sync Twitter with a Facebook Group? If so, how?

  • Nice post. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think with fan pages you can send out html e-mails while with groups you can only send text e-mails. That makes fan pages better for business 🙂

  • Great information. Now i know which direction to go. Much greetings!

  • Krista

    Thanks for the clear and concise information between the two- just what I was looking for.

  • Skai

    I know alot of people want to have a main website and a FB presence but for one of my businesses ( a tour) all I had was a group page I solicited 15 participants…totalling $1000 each.. So a main website is not neccessary for all things… There are sooo many people on FB it makes sense to work them.. peace

  • There are a number of critical differences which the table above misses:

    1. You can create a private/close group so you can control membership. Not so with Fan pages.
    2. For some reason you are cannot create photo sharing albums in groups. You can share pictures but not organize them in albums.
    3. The photos shared in groups are only viewable by group members which can be very useful.
    4. Admin’s wall posts in groups are not posted on all members wall like posting on Fan pages. This needs to be fixed. They are only posted on admin’s friends.

  • kostas

    hi, i have a page in fb..and i have a good question about that….is it possible to send messages to all my fans?!!! how can i inform them about the contents of the page? i would like to send them even once a week to tell them to invite more people to the page…but i can see no way of doing this!!! can anyone hep me plaese?!!!!!

  • Kostas, have you tried “Send an Update to Fans” ?? Sure looks to me to be a method of messaging all/part of your fan list.

  • I had many people asking about the comparison between the two, although I could usually explain it it always seemed more complicated an answer than actually needed. This post made it much easier to explain, thanks much.

  • Svein Ove

    I have a company and have created a group. The problem is that the posts I put on the group wall doesnt appear on the groupmembers newsfeedwall. Any solution og that? If I had a page the posts will show on the fans newsfeed…

  • We’ve experimented extensively with our fan pages versus groups.

    At this point we’re getting a better response from our groups.

    In particular, getting a message notification into an email inbox is a huge advantage of groups.

  • This is a very timely post. Now at least we know the difference between the two. I think there’s no one better, as long as it fits your needs, it’s good.

  • morin

    Hi there.. how do you message to all members in Fan PAGE? Please advise.


  • Ann, good head-to-head comparison. Though I must point out you can certainly promote groups with SocialAds – I’ve done it multiple times.

  • Infiniti

    Hi, I was wondering if you know how I can send a message to the fans as oppose to an update.. The reason is updates dont notify the user of a new message/update.. however in a group page you can send a message to everyone and when they log on to Facebook their inbox is highlighted. I think this is a big disadvantage to having a fan page as there is no notification of a new update.


  • Can someone please just say it already….The FB UI sucks!!! Why should this be so difficult that there are almost 150 posts trying to figure out and explain the differences between Pages and Groups? If anyone from FB is reading this, please, please, please, get with it. For a site that has gazillions or members/visitors, I would think that you guys MIGHT have an interest in making this site a little more user friendly. Then again, I think FB may be keeping it tricky, clunky and hard to navigate so that people are forced to spend more time on the site, which is one of their primary site statistics – time on site. A little help here???

    • alex

      I totally agree, and I have said so on my profile and groups.

      I wonder if it’s perhaps my demographic; a 50 yo using a medium that seems to be for a much younger demographic.

      However, I’m admin for my theatre company’s website and looking seriously at our facebook presence. At the moment it has a group, and I’m seriously considering a fan page. I am seeking to engage my members in some discussion of this topic of a facebook presence for the company.

      This article helped greatly to help me understand the distincition – but I agree with Dave – it’s really facebook’s responsibility to help us admins understand the distinction and make it user friendly and less clunky. But maybe Generation Xers and Yers like it the way it is!

      After perusal of the article and the posts, I’m staying with groups – for now.

    • Ditto. We agree 100%. FB has the resources to make changes.

  • Alianna

    thanks for all the good info. I think a con facebook groups is that only admins can post stuff to the wall. This way their personal profile pic comes up. is there a way to do it so that the actual group picture will come up or do you have to make a “profile” like its a “person” to be able to do this?


  • Im curious to know if there are options for automatic monitoring of a Facebook fan, group, or personal page.
    Is the only option – manual review or approval of comments? Or is there something we can setup as the owner of the fan page – that can act automatically in some form? Like a keyword list (curse words and more) that causes that comment to be rejected or sent to someone for approval.
    If not now, do you see something like this available in the future?
    Thank you for your consideration.

  • marco panichi

    Groups don’t allow to create PHOTO ALBUM!

    Ugly! 🙁

  • Erica

    Hi, I’m wondering if it’s possible to put a quiz (made by QuizMonster or other application) on a Facebook fan page or group page?

    So far I’ve had no luck.

  • The table says “Messaging to all members” is possible with a fan page. I can’t find any way of doing that on my fan page, so if anybody knows: please post a detailed procedure!
    What’s the point of having fans if you can’t reach them? I see myself forced to switch to a group page just because of this…

    • Go to “Edit page” and look in the right-hand panel – you’ll see there “Send an update to all fans”

      • Hi Ann, thanks for your quick reply. I’d like to refer to Infinity’s post above:
        “Hi, I was wondering if you know how I can send a message to the fans as oppose to an update.. The reason is updates dont notify the user of a new message/update..”

        Why doesn’t Facebook allow us to simply send a message as on a group page? I think I agree with most of what people say here, it would think that a site as popular as facebook would make things easy, but no.

      • Large Allen

        An update is the same as a message, the best I can tell. Follow Ann’s directions and you’ll see a page for inputting your own “update” or “message.”

      • Great! Thank you Ann.

      • Ann, thanks for the quick, concise, and helpful info!

      • Steve Mertz

        Yes, you can send an update, but it is very easily overlooked, as it ends up in a separate part of your facebook in-box. How can you send out a message that shows up on other peoples’ news feed or live feed?

    • Sadly, you create an “update” on the left side of your fan page. It doesn’t send a private msg as I would’ve hoped, it sends an update. So your fans won’t even read it unless they read their Updates in their inbox.

      • Sundari

        So, just to recap — if you’ve create a “page” with fans, there is no way to send a message to all of your fans and have them receive a notification in their inbox?!? I agree that no one checks their updates on FB. My only cue to go into my FB inbox at all is when I receive a notification in my regular email.

        This is so disappointing, because one of my primary reasons for creating a page was to have the ability to send a bulk email to my fans when there necessary (something that is critical for them to see, and a wall post won’t reach everyone).

        Also, it seems that with “groups,” when the moderator writes something on the group’s wall, it doesn’t appear in the member’s news feed. So, that’s also unhelpful. That’s part of why I initially chose to create a page instead of a group, never imagining that a page wouldn’t allow me to email my members.

        Does ANYONE have the ability to get in touch with FB and tell them the “update” feature is just junk — allow page owners to email their fans!

    • Jacki

      I have not been able to find the “message to all members” in the facebook fan page either. I am not going to switch back to a group because I like the other features but i do wish it had that particular feature on fanpage.

  • Barry

    If I decline a request to become a fan of my friend how will he know i have declined?

  • Amer

    I have one question 🙂

    How i can do, that post that I post on my page, shows on home page of my fans.

    Sorry for my bad english.

  • Well, since you’re asking questions…. Is there a way for a company to invite new members to join their fan page through Facebook?

    If not, what other options have you seen?



    • The only way I know of a page inviting new members is to advertise on FB. It can get expensive depending on what you’re selling or what you want to accomplish.

    • If you have 25 or more fans you can now set a user name for you fan page. You can also create a widget for your website(s) encouraging people to fan your page, as shown on my website. We use the user name in all our signature links in outgoing e-mails.

  • Fayy

    Helloo, I have just made a group, and if I type in where it says ‘Write Something’ And say if I put in ‘INVITE YOUR FRIENDS (:’ and then click share, but then if I go back onto my home and then it was the I have wrot it on the wall not me as the ‘leader’ of the group, so what do I need to do?

  • How can a page become a fan of someone else’s page? Every time I try it, my personal profile becomes the fan.
    Thanks, Terry

    • At this time you can’t however you can add the page to your pages favorites by clicking the link below pages pic.

  • krevis

    I would like to use facebook to post family related information, mainly pictures and updates. A number of people (roughly 40 family members) will use the page. ckingout pics, adding their own pics, adding comments and sharing personal information with the family. Which would be best? The page or the group?


    • Mike

      A group would be much better than a fan page for sharing pics with family. You can even make it private. If you want more power; a Ning network might be even better than a fb group. It is also free and there are more features. The big plus is you can have several slide shows on your Ning page ..plus you can broadcast to all members as you can with fb groups ..and make it private if you wish. Non Admins can invite in a closed network at Ning, fb groups can’t. Go to Ning.com to check it out

      • I was going to comment to the table posted above the two big differences I found between facebook fan pages and groups:

        1) Fan pages are always public, and anyone can join, whereas groups can be set private, or even secret (by invitation only).

        2) Fan pages can host multiple photo albums, whereas groups store all photos in one large clump.

        I agree with you that a Ning site offers more flexibility and features for family photo sharing. But do we really want to force our friends to create yet another login account somewhere else just to interact with us?

        Having to log into a site for access is also viewed badly from a business perspective.

        I’m sure Zuckerberg and crew researched these options and deliberately implemented limitations for some reason that suits them.

      • Anton

        Instead of Ning, try Geni (www.geni.com) – it is a full family tree website, with all the associated benefits like updates, birthdays, photo alerts etc. etc. – plus you get to build a tree …

  • MP

    Just wanted to know how do u change your group view from a wall page view to a normal group view

  • Hi all, What we recommend our clients is to create a business fb profile and to create the fan page within this profile this way both fan page and business profile look similar. I’d suggest to create your business profile and use this to become fan of someone else’s page as facebook doesn’t let you transfer fan pages yet,hopefully they would do it soon. Hope it helps

    • Zap

      This is poor advice. Profiles are designed to represent people. Pages are designed to represent organizations. Organizations that try to shoehorn themselves into personal profiles look like clueless amateurs. This is also against Facebook’s terms of service (they make this very clear as you are setting up a profile) and they regularly shut down such profiles.

      • If may not be right, but lots of places are doing it. Including my competition! That way they can advertise without paying for it.

      • Jennifer

        I agree that it looks amateurish to do it, even if a lot of other companies are…

      • Yeah, it may look amateurish , but while my page struggles to get a few hundred fans they get 1000’s of friends. No matter how it looks, it’s the ease and expense of marketing. I tried out the FB ads and I started picking up lots of fans, but every DAY I had to increase my cost! It wasn’t worth it. I do better with my web site and Google.

      • Evi

        If I’m not mistaken, you also run the risk of your “business” profile being deleted as it is technically against Facebook’s rules. This happened to a friend of mine who created a profile for her brand. Not sure if she was reported or what.

    • Rick

      I just set up a business page with fb, I do not have a personal account. I did this because fb rules that you can not have more than on account and I choose not to mix business and personal info. You mention setting up a business profile and use this to become a fan of somones else’s page. My question is How can a page become a fan of someone else’s page. I seen this posted in a lot of places with no answers.

      • To have your page (A) become a fan of another page (B), visit the page (B) you want to add and under the profile picture is a link that says add to my page’s favourites. This will “fan” the page (B) on your page (A).

  • Gareth

    how can i post something as the group name? i have made a group and i want to know how to comment on wall post on the group as the group name also how do i make a post that appears on the live feed?

  • Steve Morey

    what is the average turnover rate for facebook fanpages… What is the average growth rate for numbers of fans? What is the average attrition rate for lost fans…

    If a fan page gains over 200 fans per month, but has also lost 11% or about 30 per month is that good, bad, or average?

  • Hi –
    I am trying to send an update to my fans – and for some reason it is not going through. I go to edit – send update to fans – write it up, send it out…it never arrives. What am I missing? THANKS for anyone with any wisdom on this one!

    • Craig

      I was just experimenting with this a few minutes ago. Your update is probably in the Inbox (at the top of your facebook page), under Updates (one of the options on the left side after you are in you Inbox). The updates go there, but they don’t notify you in any way that they exist, which seems super unhelpful to me.

  • Gep

    Same question as Gareth. I’d like to be able to post a group update so it looks like the group generates it and not me. In other words, can the group post to its members walls?

  • Svein Ove

    Same question here. I dont think its possible, any ideas?

  • Jennifer

    I would like to know if there is a way to have a group and let fan pages connect to it…for instance I am creating a networking group and think it would be good if the members could connect their pages to it, is this possible?

  • oooh, so many good questions, fewer answers.

    I’m getting that one’s posts on their own fan page will appear on the walls of their fans, but posts on a group page will not. I’ve joined groups myself because I’m interested and I just looked at a few and see new posts/ things I had not had any indication of.

    I guess I get e-mails from groups at times. But they can otherwise post without anyone really knowing it’s gone up ?

  • “Go to “Edit page” and look in the right-hand panel – you’ll see there “Send an update to all fans”

    Thank you so much for the above tip, Ann!


    • tm

      Lez ~ Where do you find the Edit page you are talking about? I can find the edit settings but it doesn’t have the ‘Send update to all fans’. Is this only for fan pages or can groups use it too?


  • One thing that I find that I don’t like about either of these pages is that you have a link to your personal page. I would like to know if there is a way to separate them so that my fan page is what people see first? Is there another way to create a business facebook page that I am not aware of. I feel facebook doesn’t fill all my business needs. I am fairly new to looking into facebook for business reasons, are you able to suggest a more appropriate way to reach potential customers?

    • I have the same question. From my new business page if I create an invite I have to sift through over 100 of my personal friends who I don’t want to bother with my business stuff. I don’t want any link back to my personal profile at all – I’m so scared of doing activity from one (personal) and it appearing from the other (business) or visa versa.

      Can I disconnect my business page from my personal profile?

  • Carx

    If both options have their pros and cons, wont it be better to have two of them on like the one ms. Ann did creating both a group and a fan page for Search Engine Journal.

    We can then have them link to each other for updates.

    I will probably do that with my current page.


  • How do I create friendly “url” for a fan page or group page?

    Great article and site I will be sure to include it in my links!
    Thanks, Leigh

    • I too would like to know how to create a friendly url for a fan page

      Did I miss the reply? Can’t find it

  • Thank you for this article as I was debating whether to do a fan page or group page for something I am working on. I like how you broke down the pros and cons of each. Much appreciated.

  • Kim Bayha

    Any chance that FB will ever allow Fan pages to send personal messages? I know you can send updates to all members, but nothing alerts them to this update, so it is ineffective. I want to send a message to all members and have it appear as a numbered message that they see and click on. Our organization works with youth who often have hundreds of friends, so their newsfeeds are cumbersome and they miss our posts! If I could message them all, it would be seen quicker! I really wish FB would add this feature to fan pages.

    • How to promote a website or blog on multiple groups for eg. I am writing a blog on Windows 7, Microsoft. I want to find all groups on Windows 7 in Facebook and become a member and message all its members. Is it possible.

  • I just started a group on fb. It’s for an alumni association. I have an excel spreadsheet with 1000 names on it (and only about 300 have email addresses). I don’t want to send an invite to the 300 who I have emails for, because many of them don’t have fb accounts. What I do want to do is check to see which of 1000 names have fb accounts and then invite only those people to join the group (not be “friends” with me, just invites to join the group I manage) that have pre-existing fb accounts. Do you know a way to do this?

    • LargeAllen

      I had a group for my class, then I changed to a page. I wish I’d stayed with the group, but one facit of pages I still like. Anyway, under you scenario, I’d simply email those with email addresses in groups as large as my ISP would allow.
      I’ve tried sending messages to multiple people on Facebook, which you have to do individually unless these people are members of a group or fans of a page. BUT, FACEBOOK doesn’t like you doing that either. Once you send something to 6-8 folks FB is tracking you and can/will shut you down for sending unwanted messages to everyone.

      • jasmin

        how did you change it from a group to a fan page? I want to do the same, but keep all members of the group

      • LargeAllen

        You can’t just change one to the other. If you have a Group & want a Page, then just create the Page.

        Then notify all your Group members of the new Page. Urge them to become Fans of the Page. Belittle them. Threaten them. Whatever it takes to get them to become Fans of your new Page.

        When they have all jumped over, what I did was remove all who had forgotten to leave the Group. DO NOT REMOVE YOURSELF !!! Then make the Group “private.” Then post to the Group’s wall that it is no longer an active Group. I left it that way for about a month or 2. Then after pointing a few folks trying to join the group to the Page, I left the group. Facebook immediately removes the group because there are no members.

  • LG

    I have a fan page with 2,000+ fans. I am unclear as to why some ‘fans’ tell me they see my posts on their newsfeed while others don’t. I regularly post links to my wall. I notice that on my personal home page, I see posts from each and every page of which I’m a fan. Is there a setting some people turn off so that they can’t see fan page updates?

  • Tayven

    How do I start a fan page?

  • Ryan

    I recently started a Facebook group that is about to pass the 5000 member mark.I understand that groups this large lose the ability to message ALL members, however, can you still message members? How many at a time?
    Anyone know?

    • Once you hit 5,000 you complely lose the ability to mass message any member. This means you can’t send a mass message to any group members, not just the members after 5,000.

      Your best approach is to keep the group under 5,000 members.

      You can close the group to new members and require all new members be approved by you.

      The most valuable feature of a group is the ability to mass message so you should protect it at all costs.

      You can still reach members by posting on the group wall. Your post will not be sent as an email to member’s email inbox but it will appear in their newsfeed (or so FB says). I just tested it on one of my groups but didn’t receive anything in my newsfeed.

      • This is what I was looking for. Its so sad that I have 6000 members and couldnt send message to all member.

        Is there any way to display group member box like a fan box in my website??


  • Bob

    How do you find the URL for a Page (and also for a Group) to put the link on a website, or an e-mail signature?

  • Hi,

    I’ve started a CaseCrown fan page after making a CaseCrown profile. I didn’t create the fan page via personal profile due to being unable to change the fan page’s responsibility to someone else.

    For any fan page, do you know if its possible to share responsibility or give the fan page to another person? I’m planning to make a PMI OC chapter facebook page for fun but second thought what I should do with either adding it from my personal profile vs. making a new PMI OC chapter fb profile.

    Thanks for the information. By the way, awesome chart.

    Diana W.

  • Hi, I have a personal Facebook account and then started a Fan Page for my business. I am trying to promote stores that carry my line of hats. But when I try to post something to the Fan Page my personal profile picture shows up and not my business profile image. I tried to make my fan page not have anything to do with my personal page but that did not work.

  • A repeating question about custom URLs for a page, just follow this link – http://www.facebook.com/username/ to choose a nicer URL for your profile and your pages.

  • Kim


    I have developed a group page for my students at the college where I teach. It is very successful. However, I now have around 700 photos on it and I can’t figure out how to put them into albums relating to the different places they were taken. It takes an age to go through them all!!

    Any ideas?


    • Hi Kim,
      Sadly, you can’t organize photos on a facebook group page. Lots of people have petitioned them to add this feature, but it still is not available. That is one of the benefits to a fan page over a group page. With a fan page, you can organize your photos in albums just like you can on an individual page. Don’t know why facebook decided not to do this for group pages too?

      • Hi, Billy. I must be missing something. I have a fan page, and would like to put our fans’ 750+ photos into categories (albums) by subject. I see how to create a new album, but not how to access my fans’ photos to move them from the general “Fan Photos” album into the more specific albums. Can you help me?

      • Debra Ottway

        Were the photos on your group page uploaded by your friends? I would like to start a group/page but the friends of the group NEED to upload their own photos, not via me. Can this be done?

  • Vic Wukovits

    How can I post an update through my business fan page from my normal account?

    For example, I saw a post from someone that has a business fan page as such:

    “Bob Bradley via BradleyCorp: My post goes here”

    Bob Bradley is the individuals account, and clicking that takes you to his page. BradleyCorp is the business fan page, and clicking that takes you there.

    Any pointers in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

    • I have the same question: I would like my fan page updates to post to my personal profile and news feed. This way my facebook Fan Page will gain greater exposure amongst ‘friends’ that have not become ‘fans’ yet. Similarly to the previous example, my friend who is an attorney was able to do this as such:

      “John Smith via John Smith Law: Post goes here”

      This update appears in the news feed of all ‘friends’ of his profile page. Clicking on the hyperlinked ‘John Smith Law’ takes you to his business fan page, therefore providing greater exposure for his business regardless if his friends have become fans.

      I’ve scoured the settings of my own fan page but can’t seem to find any way to do this. Facebook had me select what type of fan page I was creating during setup; I wonder if this has anything to do with this feature??

  • Nice topic.

    Conclusion: Concentrate on FaceBook Fan Page.

  • Both are useful depending on your purpose. But if you’re a company i’d go for Facebook Page.

  • craig

    Can you upgrade a group page to a fan page so i can link it to twitter? it seems u cant link group pages externally.

  • Thank you Ann: and you have Facebook page?

  • Tom

    I run an alumni group on FB; the school has no official alumni organization. Am I allowed to start a fan pages account for this alumni group that is not official?

  • I started a fan page at the university where I used to work. My position was eliminated and need to disconnect from them. I am still an admin since it’s tied to my account. I want to start a fan page for my business. Is there a way to transfer the university fan page off of my account?

  • Nice.. So it’s better fan page ya..?? Thank You Ann.

  • Jenn

    Quick question. I need to make a club page that I can add friends to but facebook will not allow me to put Revolution RPM as the first and last name. Is there any way around this? I saw it on BIGFISH ARIZONA’s page but I have no idea how they did it. Im actually trying to mirror their page. Anyone got some ideas? Anything will help… Thanks!

  • I want to start a group page for a share trading group, but not sure if I need a group page or a page, it will have about 25 members, we also would like to past affiliate links there as well so as members can buy products that others have recommended, any thoughts on what is the best thing to do. I also am a bit confused how to actually start the group page as I dont want it connected to my profile, how do I start the group away from my profile, and how do I leave it open for anyone to join as it doesnt need to be closed. hope to hear from someone

  • James

    The bottom line is very clear. Pages work for celebrities. But there is no real use for them. Groups are the only functional entity on Facebook. They enclose fans / friends / buyers in a space, and allow one to share information with all of them in an efficient, simple manner. Pages have no business functionality as far as I can tell.

  • James,
    I think you are missing the potential in applications on your facebook page, which you cannot have in on a group.

    For example we use applications for receiving hostel reservations on our page, do competition amongst guests, guests adding their own stories and photos in format different from what is supplied by Facebbok, etc.

    So while it might require a bit more effort there are so many applications out there you can use that I think it is worth it, as it will allow you to have a much more interesting interaction with your customers, providers, business partners.

  • Even for a simple purpose where you’re not worried about apps, there are uses for both pages and groups. Within any realm, businesses, clubs, whatever, there are applications for pages and groups.

    Groups are better for organizing, with less of a focus on communications.
    Becoming a member of a group signifies an active interest in being part of whatever is being “grouped” — participating in discussions, posting stuff, potentially showing up to IRL events. Groups also have better events options and the critical ability to push messages and invitations into their inbox where even infrequent Facebookers will see it.

    Pages are better for publishing, with less of a focus on participation.
    People who wouldn’t ever want to actively participate in your club or organization might be interested in what you have to say. With a page you can publish information in such a way that all of your fans can see it through sharing links, posting pictures, writing notes, or just updating your status.

    The point about having both is excellent. A given company might have a group for the purpose of fostering communications between and gatherings of its active “user group” and a fan page that would be of interest to employees, customers, partners, stockholders, etc.

  • Amit

    How can I send invitations to join my page to those people in my mailing list who have not joined facebook as yet??

  • jay

    I made a fan site and it’s linked to my personal site….I cant seem to get any notifications from fans and when I share it goes to my personal site. The personal site seems to have more control. Is there a way to spit or is there a way to fix this problem. thanks

  • viLi

    Is it possible somehow to post and write on your own Facebook Fan Page from your Personal Profile?

  • Why can’t a group page be linked to twitter? I would love for my updates to my group to appear on my twitter page as well. Very frustrating.

  • Interesting, I was quite lost between these 2 promotion concepts… now it’s time to build my fan page (instead of a group..)

  • Ben

    Can you post notes on a fan page? I haven’t figured it out for a group page yet.

  • Now that most websites have automatic facebook links on their websites. how can i get the post to go directly to my business page instead of my personal page.

  • Hi Ann,
    I’m having trouble linking my fan page to my cause page, is this even possible to do? Also, when I post photos and updates to both pages my personal profile shows up and the person who posted it, is there a way make it so it looks as if my organization posted it not my personal profile?

  • JcQ

    Is it possible to comment or ‘like’ something on my fan wall however have it displayed as my own personal account, rather than a comment from the fan page? Yes these accounts are inter-linked

  • Angela

    I’m an admin of a Fan Page.

    We created an event on the Fan Page and want to invite all our fans. Is there any way to do this? Whenever I try to invite people, I can only choose from my personal friends (not the Fan Page’s fans).

    How is an update about the event different from an invite to the event?

    Thank you!!!

  • stephanie

    Is it possible to write a post from my fan page wall and have my fans see it on their home page? I have put up several posts but it seems it only shows up on the fan page– not on my fans home pages. Very frustrating. What are the exact instructions to ensure my fans receive it on their home page feed???

  • Rose

    No one has answered Alice, Jay and Kim (same question put in different terms), perhaps because no one has the answer.

    Question: When subscribing to an automatic FB feed, how can I get the post to go directly to my business page instead of my personal page (and/or business group instead of personal page)?

    Thanks, and great blog.

  • Katie Stull

    I have had a personal fb page for a while. Recently I started a fan page for my business. I get to the fan page by logging into my personal account and putting my business name in the search box. I am trying to post a youtube video on my fan page, but it shows up under my personal account. Is there a way to seperate these two pages without loosing what I have done?

  • When I type http://www.facebook.com/Tazkirah it will goto my profile page.

    How can I setup as when I type http://www.facebook.com/Tazkirah , it can go to my fan page ->

    Can anyone help me ?

  • Some answers I think…
    I have both a Facebook “Group” and “Fan Page.” I use the group to email all members. That works great! To invite people to join your group…you can click on “Invite” on the left side menu of your group and either invite people on your “personal” Facebook page to join OR type-in email addresses of non-Facebook people to join. Hope that answers that question for you guys.

    To post a message from your group on the “wall” instead of the post coming from your “personal” account…I go to my “Group” page…then write the post…and then hit “Home” to see if it shows up. It should show up as follows:

    Personal name>Business Group name> Title of post

    So, for me it says:
    Debbie Weinstein>Baby Chick Designs> etc…

    It still says your personal name…but includes the business name as well.

    FYI…I’ve really use my “Group” more than my Fanpage b/c I can send emails to all my members…the bad thing is that you have to have 1,000 members to get a nice, short link name.

    Hope this helps!

  • @Shah – Your username is setup to your personal profile. You need to assign it to your Fan Page instead. To do this you have to first change your personal profile username (you can only do this once so pick your new personal name carefully) to something else. This will free up the username Tazkirah. Then goto facebook.com/username and assign your fanpage the username Tazkirah. Assuming your fan page has 25 fans you’ll see that option. I just had this exact issue – I just did a write-up if you need more info http://www.iphone4idiots.com

    Good Luck

  • I heard that Facebook status updates of public pages are to be included in real time results on Google which could make fan pages more favorable for some users. Additionally, who said it had to be either or – fan pages or groups, why not both?

  • I’ve seen many debates around this FB group vs. Fan page. And I might say this article brings quite good arguments for both.

  • Hi,
    thanks for great, explanatory article – especially the comparison table/graphic!

    Please help – how do I find out what pages I’ve become a Fan of on FB?


    • LargeAllen

      Click on Home (upper right). Click on Ads & Pages (in the column on the left). This should give you a list of Pages of which you are a Fan.

  • noxid25

    Can you please tell me once you have a fan page, how do you add links to it? I have tried, but it always goes to my personal facebook page.

    • Katie

      I had the same problem. Here’s what I did. Start at your Fan page, find what you want to post say a youtube video. Click on the facebook share icon, when the comment box comes up make your comment and then cut and paste the link up at the top of the page. I have done this with many things (newspaper articles, videos…) and they all have worked. Hope this helps

  • MP

    You say:
    “fan pages are visible to unregistered people”
    I tried it and the link presented the FB login page and not the fan page itself.
    What link should I use?

  • JcQ

    MP – Fan pages are visible to anyone logged in to facebook, regardless of whether they are a fan or not. Try again. If it’s your own fan page perhaops get a friend to try under their login. Should be easy.

    • MP

      The friend in question has no FAcebook account, so no Login is possible. That friend cannot see the page !

  • Mitzi Roberts

    Okay, so can we change our group over from a “Group” page to a “Fan” page? If so, how do we go about doing this? Or do we have to reinvent the wheel?

    • Facebook used to have an option to convert from a Group to a Page, but they no longer perform this service. You will have to create a new Page and migrating the members, as others have experienced, causes many users to go away.

  • I have come to the conclusion that one should have both (actually 3 including my personal page where it all started) for his/her business as both offer features that are essential in promoting your business like Ann mentioned in the chart above.
    Which I can’t understand why Facebook did it this way!!!…Anyone knows why?!?!
    My Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Franky-Fashion/345177300635
    My Group Page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=app_2373072738&ref=ts&gid=361324385609#!/group.php?v=wall&ref=ts&gid=361324385609

  • Thanks for this post I always wanted to know which one would be better for us to use. Thank you for sharing.

  • barbfreestone

    Will google analytics work on a Group Page?

  • abc

    is it possible to automatically update fb page from one's website? thanks 🙂

    • blufin

      yes it is, just go into search and it describes how to add the RSS feed into your notes area direct from your blog or news page, it`scans over every couple of hours, i find it easier to just use the update badge on the website & click twice, instant update

  • Dan

    This is a very hard page to read. Text bleeds over to the grey area.

  • blufin

    I have read nearly all of these posts & also struggled with the interaction of business 7 social media………………..bang, there lies the problem, 1 is for business & 1 is social networking, trying to update fans is nearly impossible if you create a fan page based around a product that you sell as an entity, updates from web site will connect to YOUR profile. I have found the best way is to seperate them & wear different hats. 1 personal account & 1 business account, anyone can join facebook, so is an alias really frowned upon, create a new user being your company, link your web page to it. Log off & log back in as YOU, join the group or fan page your company profile has created & your friends will follow. I found it the ONLY way to inform & interact with fans & retain your own individuality, would you invite every prospective customer/fan to your house & automatically accept them as a friend ? Fans have been known to do unthinkable things to their heroes in real life, FB is now real life !

  • Hi, I have facebook account. This post is useful for me. Thank you for sharing it.

  • I think people are more aware of groups than fan pages (they think fan pages are for huge Corporate Brands and musicians and not more local offerings). I also feel that the notification for the fan page isn't as likely to get engagement as a message in the inbox.


  • casnowak

    We have an organization of say 2,000 people. Of the 2,000 there are 500 that have a business. I want to create something where all of the 2,000 can be members and would have to be approved. Of the 500 they would be tied to this group but be separated somehow.. maybe in a subgroup. The objective would be that all 2000 would be able to search through all the businesses to find a service, product etc. The business people would stand out in the 'group' with some designation (or be in a subgroup type of group,) so Business could be found quickly.. What would be the best social media tool to use.. Facebook, linkedin or something else??? Thanks for your response.

    • Ineke

      Try to start a SECRET Facebook group for your members. Only the members of your Business are related then to it and only they can see eachothers posts and who are the other members in that Facebook group. Even the name of your Secret Facebook group is not traceble by other people.
      The good thing is that you have created with that Secret Facebook group an internal platform amongst eachother. One post and everybody of your group has access to this post.
      One complication:
      if you introduce somebody to the group he/she should be your Facebook friend already.
      Every member can introduce his/her Facebook friends to the group as well. The manager of the group should control if the newcomers fit to the group. The manager of the group can always delete somebody from the group. Every member can always decide to leave the group, but – my experience – those people who left already cannot come back anymore to that Facebook group …

  • Pozal

    I recently created a facebook group page and a facebook fan page and I have to admit that the fan page work better since it attracts more people while both of them are designed for the same purpose. One thing I'd like to highlight is that people nowadays don't really take their time to interact within a group although they are members while it is more likely for people to spread information on a fan page.

  • Dominic

    hi there
    this is a great thread, thanks for all the helpful info on it.
    just wonder if someone can help me with a query….

    i have set up a page. i now want to post messages on other fan pages (organisations that we're involved with) – but when i do it posts it from me as an individual – whereas what i want is for it to come from the page name with our logo on.

    any one know how i can do this?

    thanks so much
    Dominic 🙂

    • Marg

      Hi Dominic
      I havae the same problem did you get an answer?

      • Tiamari

        There is a tiny link close to the top of the page where you can change it 🙂 (If I understand the question correctly)

  • Wow, this is new to me. I would never think facebook can be used this way. It's really great that this powerful social network can be used for so many different things.

  • Thanks for this post. I had been debating whether to create a group or a page, and this has been really helpful.


  • yorkshirewebdesign

    Thanks for a helpful article. Ted

  • Hi
    I am enjoying more success with groups than pages because ultimately we are giving all the efforts to promote our brand and to stay connected with our potential customers and i think groups are more powerful than facebook pages.

  • although there are a bazillion people on facebook that join many groups and fan pages i find that most just join the group but there is little contribution. I think the only good thing is that they will see your latest information in the news feed but thats about it.

  • Good Article

  • Why not join / setup both. Cover your SEO from both sides….;)

  • Frustrated

    Is there any way to set up my group so that I, as the group's administrator, will receive a notification when someone posts something there including links, a wall comment, etc.? Right now I'm stuck searching the whole page for something new.

    • Andre

      Yes, as a group “creator”, you will be notified of ANY input related to your group (Likes, comments, wall input…)

      • Ugh!

        I am not receiving any updates from the page I created?

  • bfoote

    Here's a big difference for me. Pages allow you post a messages or picture messages via email whereas I haven't been to figure out how to this with groups. So, I can post a picture from my phone on the Page but not the Group.

  • but also a few other groups created by ex-guests and workers.

  • i like this post

  • but also a few other groups created by ex-guests and workers.

  • i like this post

  • Thanks for asking the exact question I was looking for.

    I have a free slots group, and have always wondered if it should of been set up as a fan page. It has been great as a group traffic wise. But recently it has started getting less joins and more leaves, and this was after upgrading the account. So I may now try a fan page and see if there is any improvment.

  • It looks like the fan page has significant advantages over the group. Are there any particular disadvantages to having both? Say for example you focused on the fan page and invited your fans to join your group to get in on discussions of the the latest news. Are there any issues with brand dilution, such as people joining the group and not the fan page?

    • Tiamari

      I don’t seem to be able to upload a file on my Fan Page, but the feature is available on the Group.

  • I really believe that Facebook fan pages are overrated by marketing professionals. I run a film marketing consultancy specialised in digital and I tend to advise my clients against opening a time-consuming and ineffective Facebook fan page. The users who actually do see the updates on their wall is around 12% and tends to go down with time, unless they keep interacting with the page. This is a very low return on investment. I am relying more on Twitter and Google+ and will probably focus on those platforms for my future crowd funding or audience building campaigns.

  • We have a Facebook Group. The Facebook link on our website never required someone to be signed in to Facebook, or even have a Facebook account. Now it does! Is there any way around this or do we have to convert our Facebook Group to a Facebook page?

  • I think the only good thing is that they will see your latest information in the news feed but thats about it. I would never think facebook can be used this way. It’s really great that this powerful social network can be used for so many different things.

  • One thing you omitted was website integration – the only reason I am thinking of trying to convince a client to migrate from group to page – you can’t promote a group on a website like you can with a page (make a like button)

  • Point taken! Fanpages are great from the SEO point of view but Groups are better for an interactive community and for information to go viral. So it is advisable to have both.

  • I think facebook promotion is the best way to connect to fans