Facebook offers a multitude of tools for brands to raise awareness and successfully market themselves to new consumers. Facebook pages, groups and communities offer three different approaches, but how do you know which is best?

The central focus of a Facebook group is to function as a place for members to connect, share and collaborate. Groups are great for building awareness around a variety of ideas. The most significant feature behind Facebook groups is the ability to make them limited to specific networks or “invite only.”

In contrast to Facebook groups, which center on organizing around topics or ideas, Facebook pages are a tool for companies and public figures to share and interact with Facebook users. Essentially, Facebook pages are a company’s official profile and an excellent way to spread awareness of a company and its products. Community pages aren’t necessarily the best option for a company or organization because they center on topics, not brands or companies.

A brand or organization looking to establish a presence on Facebook should look into Facebook pages and groups. So, how do you decide which is best for you? Take a look at these features and identify which are most important to you:

1.  The ability to mass message users, enact membership restrictions and send users event inbox messages.

2.  The ability to support applications, use engagement metrics and targeted updates.

If the qualities of group one seem more applicable to you consider creating a Facebook group. Facebook groups promote collaboration and interaction while helping to foster brand awareness and loyalty. If the aspects outlined in group two are more relevant consider creating a Facebook page. You can set up a Facebook page for a brand or company and use it to engage with users as well as to keep them informed about promotions and other company happenings.

Still not sure whether a Facebook page or group is best for you? Perhaps you should consider using both. Since Facebook pages and groups serve different purposes and meet varying needs, it is okay to establish both, as long as you remember to make them unique. Suppose you are trying to establish an online presence for ABC Company. First, create a Facebook page where you can broadcast official information to other Facebook users. Next, decide on a sub population who you think would enjoy and benefit from the ability to engage and discuss with one another. For example, you could create a group for ABC employees who volunteer their time with a given community program. The Facebook page allows you to constantly relay events and updates to fans while the Facebook group allows a specific segment to interact and collaborate given their common interest.

Facebook groups and fan pages are easy, inexpensive, and effective ways to raise awareness of your brand or organization. Use these tips to help navigate through the many options available and you are on your way to building your online presence.   Facebook recently enhanced the Facebook Group capabilities, here is a link to learn more about Facebook Group changes.

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Georgia has spent her 30 year career at the intersection of photography and digital technology. As an author, speaker, trainer and social media and photography evangelist, her perspectives entitled “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Friends…or Enemies” will appear in print in the upcoming book entitled The Relationship Age, by social media guru Mari Smith. Georgia is a frequent guest blogger for our professional photography lab.

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