Should you create a Facebook Group or Fan Page for your E-commerce Site?

July 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Social Media

A huge question I often hear when it comes to Facebook and brands is should you build a Facebook Group Page or a Fan Page?

It is a good question and the answer depends mostly on what your plans are for your site. I’ve broken down the pros and cons of both a fan page versus a group page below.

Facebook Fan Page
Facebook Fan Pages are a great option for brands – including e-commerce sites – that plan on posting information at least once a week.

Facebook Fan Page Pro’s:

  • Looks polished; closely resembles an individual profile page
  • Can include videos, photos, links, events, etc.
  • Can be fed into “fans’” update stream similar to an individual profile update
  • Can be given a customized url similar to an individual profile
  • Hides the name and address of the page creator
  • Offers options to add applications such as a Twitter feed
  • Includes a “wall” similar to individual profiles that people can post comments on
  • Can be paired with a Facebook Fan Page Widget on your site

Facebook Fan Page Con’s:

  • More difficult to manage conversations between fans
  • Conversations are on display for the public to see
  • Unable to convert Facebook Groups to Fan Pages if you’ve already got a Group page set up
  • Until you have an adequate number of fans, you’ll be posting a lot
  • A dismal Fan Page linked to your site can hurt your inbound links in SEO

Facebook Group Page
Facebook Group pages are easy to create and slightly more personal than a Fan Page. Because it is not a constantly fed profile-like page, posts do not need to be as often.

Facebook Group Pro’s

  • Can be more intimate; people see who created the group
  • Still allows for pictures, photos, videos, events, etc. to be posted
  • Allows for emails to be sent to all group members
  • Pre-dates Fan Pages; more familiarity among early adopters of Facebook

Facebook Group Con’s

  • Visitors must visit your group page for updates
  • Does not allow applications to be added to the group page
  • Offers visibility
  • Will automatically post related groups to your group page whether you want them or not
  • Cannot be linked to your site via widget(s)

The Verdict? Consider a Facebook Fan Page if you want to keep your “fans” up to date on the goings on of your site. Consider a Group if you have a niche within your site that people might want to create conversations about.