Do you know the difference between Facebook groups and pages?
If not, you are not alone. It’s the most frequent question we get inside The Secret to Thriving Online Communities, our private Facebook group.
And though the answer can be found fairly easily by searching through Meta helpdesk articles, it’s really a question within a question:
- The surface question asks to understand the difference between these two key Facebook properties.
- The deeper question is which properties make sense for you given your stage of business and the goals you want to achieve.
To further confuse the situation, Facebook recently launched professional mode, which gives personal profiles some benefits historically only available to pages and makes it even more confusing to figure out what is what on the world’s largest social network.
In this article, you’ll discover the key differences between Facebook groups and pages, so you can make an informed decision about which is best for your needs. Then you’ll be able to leverage one or both effectively for business success.
If you want support in figuring out the best way to build an online community to support your business, we are here to help! You can join our free Facebook group to meet other new and established community owners and managers, or fill out the form below to talk with a member of our team.
- 1 What is a Facebook Profile? Understanding the Basics
- 2 What is a Facebook Page?
- 3 What is a Facebook Group?
- 4 Key Differences Between Groups and Pages
- 4.1 Difference #1: Expectation of Privacy
- 4.2 Difference #2: Functionality
- 4.3 Difference #3: Connection
- 4.4 Which Gets the Best Reach and Engagement?
- 5 Facebook Page vs. Group: Which is Best for You?
- 6 How to Effectively Manage Multiple Facebook Properties
- 7 Moving Forward with Facebook Groups and Pages
- 8 In Conclusion — Make a Decision!
- 9 Share
What is a Facebook Profile? Understanding the Basics
Facebook is still the world’s largest social network. As such, it’s evolved several times throughout the years. Launched from a college dorm room in 2004, it first became available to everyone with a valid email address in 2006.
Facebook’s early goal was simple: Connect friends, past and present, through status updates displayed on a centralized wall. Since then, we’ve seen the debut and retirement of countless features.
Profiles are where it all began. Pages and Groups (as we know them) launched in 2010.
How Do I Identify My Profile vs. Page or Group?
Your profile is your initial entry into Facebook. This is what you set up when you first join the network. If you’re abiding by Meta’s terms and conditions for Facebook, you have set up your profile using your real name (or the variation you use in daily life) and accurate information about yourself (age, location, etc.).
You are only allowed to have one account, and you’re supposed to use it for personal purposes. This is why you might hear someone refer to a Facebook profile as a “personal profile” because it’s designed to be your personal property on Facebook.
Whenever you log into the Facebook app via web or mobile device, you will enter through your profile login and password. The first screen you see will be your News Feed or timeline. If you have a traditional profile, you will connect with people you know through friend requests.
In recent years, Facebook has allowed people to follow accounts to see public posts without being connected as friends. When you look at your profile, you might see a mix of friends and followers next to your profile image under the cover image. Most people who use Facebook have a curated summary of their lives on their profiles: work history, educational background, photos, videos, interests, and shared content from other accounts.
As a personal property, profile access should be limited to one individual. It’s a violation of Facebook policy to share your login information with others or to knowingly allow others to use your profile on your behalf.
What is a Facebook Page?
A page is your business’ Facebook property. A Facebook page enables organizations and individuals to promote themselves online. Pages have many of the same options available as profiles. They also allow you to create an official fan base for your business or organization. You can interact with fans, post updates, and send out invitations to like your page.
Creating a page also gives you access to Meta Business Suite. This is a tool for analytical data, post scheduling, and advertising. Pages can be managed by teams, and employees or consultants can be given varying levels of access to page management. Pages also have access to auto-responder tools in Messenger to facilitate lead generation and customer service.
What is a Facebook Group?
A Facebook group is a space for people with shared interests to connect and communicate.
Groups are typically designed to serve a specific purpose and audience. The Instant Pot Recipes Only community exists to share tried-and-true pressure cooker recipes. The Working Homeschool Mom Club supports and encourages homeschooling moms who work either inside or outside the home. The ConvertKit Family offers a place to ask questions and get help with the popular email marketing service.
Groups can be large or small, public or private. Group members interact and share content with each other in a container separate from their News Feeds and profiles. Depending on your settings, you’ll automatically receive notifications when new posts or comments to posts are added to the groups you are in.
Key Differences Between Groups and Pages
Each property on Facebook was designed for a specific purpose. Key differences between groups and pages are expectations of privacy, functionality, and connection. Knowing these differences will help you decide which to create for your business and how to manage them well.
The biggest difference between these Facebook properties is the level of privacy you can expect.
Groups are designed to be communities of like-minded individuals. Depending on your goals for your community, you can make the group public or private.
If a group is public:
- Anyone, on or off Facebook, can see what members post, comment, and share in the group
- Any Facebook user can see the group’s list of members
- Any Facebook user can see the group’s admins and moderators
If a group is private:
- Only current group members can see what members post, comment, and share in the group
- Only current members can see the group’s list of members
- Any Facebook user can see the group’s admins and moderators
When members invite friends to join a private group, the invited individual will see the group in preview mode for 30 days or until their invitation is accepted or rejected.
As a group owner, you can choose to either block pages from joining your group or allow them in. Be aware that a page can have several admins. If you allow pages in your group, any admin can act as the page to see group content, post content, or interact with posts and members of the group.
You can also set the group to be visible or hidden. A group’s visibility determines who sees it on Facebook.
Anyone can find visible groups in search or other places on Facebook. Hidden groups can only be found by current, invited, and former members. Public groups are always visible; hiding them isn’t an option. Only private groups can be hidden from non-members.
Facebook pages are set up for maximum visibility. Your page can often be found via online searches, even by those who don’t have a Facebook account.
However, pages do have privacy settings that can be adjusted according to your preferences and goals. Page admins can:
- Restrict who can see and like your page based on their age and location
- Control whether visitors can post on your page or comment on your posts
- Set up filters to block certain words or profanity
- Manage what happens when others tag your page in their posts
- Hide or delete comments
- Limit who can comment on your posts
- Block/ban individual users from your page
Difference #2: Functionality
Another key difference between groups and pages is how they are designed to function for those who own them and those who encounter them.
How Groups Function
Groups are designed to function like communities on Facebook. They allow members to interact with each other, the group’s leaders, and the content shared in the group.
Depending on the purpose of the group, you can organize content in sections labeled Guides and Files, allow for video and Reels, as well as host events exclusive to group members. Other functions that are possible in groups include:
- Buy/sell transactions
- Group experts
- Community chats
- Anonymous posting
The only limitations to group size is that set by group leaders. However, when your group gets beyond a certain number of members, you can’t make changes to key structural elements.
How Pages Function
A page functions a bit like a billboard in that its main function is to provide a place for customers to visit. Created as a business’ Facebook storefront, pages are set up to promote sales. You can host events for your customers and prospective customers, and offer deals or discounts. There is no limit to the number of followers a page can have.
Pages get access to Meta Business Suite. Within Business Suite, pages can plan and schedule content, manage their Messenger inbox, and run ads. Business Suite also offers analytical data to support tracking, measuring, and evaluating key performance indicators (KPIs) on the page, its content, and its audience.
Difference #3: Connection
Throughout Facebook’s evolution, one thing hasn’t changed: The social network has always focused on connecting people. Groups and pages both allow for connection, but connection doesn’t look the same on each property.
What Connection Looks Like in a Facebook Group
Groups are the Facebook property most set up to facilitate connection. Part of what drives connection in groups is that they are a smaller segment of Facebook. They make the large world of Facebook a little smaller and more focused.
The average Facebook user actively participates in five groups each day, and they consider the people in those groups to be closer friends than the people they know in real life. That’s the power of connection provided by groups.
What Connection Looks Like on a Facebook Page
Pages, on the other hand, are set up for visitors to make the first move in connection. You can’t send messages through Messenger to just any user. They have to make the first move by either sending you a direct message or commenting on one of your posts. When it comes to growing your followers, you can invite your Facebook friends to like your page or send follow requests to people who have already interacted with your page.
It’s a bit easier for pages to connect with other pages, thanks to the addition of a page-specific News Feed in the New Pages Experience.
Which Gets the Best Reach and Engagement?
Comparing reach and engagement between pages and groups on Facebook doesn’t make sense. Because pages are public, anyone can what they post — followers and non-followers. Page posts can also be easily shared throughout Facebook. Groups, on the other hand, are more private. Even in a public group, you have to join it to be regularly exposed to content posted there. Most groups, though, are private and that means nothing posted in the group can be shared outside the group.
For these reasons, reach will always be higher for pages than groups.
Engagement rates, though, are much higher in groups than in pages. We usually see pages have engagement rates around 2% to 4%. Active groups will have engagement rates around 20% or higher. But this doesn’t mean pages are better than groups. It means they are different.
Groups have higher engagement than pages for the following reasons:
- Most groups have fewer members than pages have followers. The bigger the audience, the lower the average engagement rate.
- Being in a group requires a higher level of commitment than following a page. The act of following a page is passive. Joining a group requires a few extra steps, which usually means members have a higher level of interest in the group.
- Group content is interest-specific. Because groups are usually created to meet a specific need, the content is targeted to the interests of members. Page content is often more general.
- Group members see content based on their notification settings (user-driven). Page followers see content based on Facebook’s algorithm (AI-driven).
If you don’t have a group or want to see what’s truly possible when it comes to amplifying the reach of your page content, you can run ads from your page. Posting ads or even boosting posts will increase both your reach and engagement over a page’s organic performance. Ads take time, though. If advertising is something you want to try, keep your budget small (up to $5 per day) and test it for six months before judging its effectiveness.
Pages and groups serve different purposes on Facebook. A page is like the front porch of your house. Anyone who drives by your house can see your porch. If your porch looks inviting, or if they are driving down your street specifically in search of your home, some people will stop and walk up to your porch.
Of the people who walk up to your porch, some — like the Amazon delivery driver — stay just long enough to drop something off for you to pick up later. Others ring your doorbell or knock on your door in hopes of catching you at home. When you open the door, you might have a brief conversation before sending the individual on their way. Or you might chat with them for several minutes on the porch.
A few, though, get invited in.
If a Facebook page is your front porch, a Facebook group is your living room. A group is made up of the select few who aren’t left to just hang out on the porch. These are the people who want a deeper relationship with you, and you want a deeper relationship with them.
You don’t mind if they see a brown half-eaten apple on the coffee table or have to move the laundry pile to sit on your couch.
Group content is often customized to the members and their desired outcomes, whereas page content is more general in nature. You tend to have a closer relationship with people in your groups, and they have stronger relationships with each other compared to page followers.
Choosing the best one for your and your business comes down to goals. You might choose one over the other. You also might decide you need both to fully serve potential clients at every stage of the awareness journey: from awareness and consideration, to purchase, retention and advocacy.
Goal #1: Getting Clients
Pages and groups can both help you get clients on Facebook.
Promotional posts with “buy now” calls-to-action can work on pages, though they don’t seem to get seen as much as other posts. One way around that is to leave links out of your captions. Instead, ask people to comment with a codeword if they want more information. From there, you can follow up in response to the comments or by sending a direct message.
Making money from your group requires time and intention. You want growth strategies that attract the right members, an onboarding process that diagnoses what stage of the buyer’s journey they are in, and systems for education and sales so they can make informed purchasing decisions when the time is right.
Groups can help get you clients because they provide a central location for past, present and potential future clients to gather. Being part of your closer network exposes them to what it means to be in your ecosystem, which warms them up to working with you even without direct pitches.
Goal #2 Connecting with Ideal Clients
Connecting with ideal clients on a business page requires enough familiarity to understand how their needs intersect with your offers. Posting polls, market research questions and broadcasting video livestreams are all tactics that help identify how many ideal clients are following you. If your page content resonates, followers will share your posts and extend your reach to their networks as well.
There are two types of groups that business owners can create to connect with ideal clients: prospecting groups and customer/client support groups. A prospecting group is usually free and welcomes anyone who is looking for solutions you provide with your products or services. For example:
- Clutter Free Academy welcomes members who want to tackle the clutter in their lives.
- The Working Homeschool Mom Club supports moms who don’t want to choose between working and homeschooling.
- Like the name implies, Boss Moms supports entrepreneurs who are raising children.
- Hysterectomy Support and Shared Experiences is for women who are considering, recovering from or experiencing challenges related to this specific type of surgical procedure.
- Blogs by Jarvis is a group for anyone interested in AI tools.
Customer/client support groups are for paying customers. Some businesses, like those listed above, have separate communities that provide a higher level of service for paying customers and clients. Other businesses only host communities for paying customers. Examples of these businesses include:
- The Style by Color Closet Outfit Planner community – Style by Color has communities for each of its products. The Closet Outfit Planner is their signature style program. Other products include digital color connections, color academies, image consultant certifications, and a VIP membership.
- Liz Wilcox’s Email Marketing Membership – Only for current members of Liz’s email marketing membership.
- Team EBG’s Party Pad with Lizzy and Emma – Open to anyone who has bought anything from Elizabeth Goddard.
Some companies host both types of groups, while others only have one option available. In either case, you are gathering people together who you know want what you have to offer. The perception of privacy in groups leads to stronger connections and conversations that go deeper.
Goal #3 Connecting With Business Associates and Collaborators
If you’re using Facebook to grow your business, you’ll want to use your business page to connect with associates and collaborators. You can post authority-building content on your page, but the real connection happens when you engage with the content other businesses post on their pages. By being a good follower, you can elevate your relationship with other professionals. Today, you might be commenting back and forth on each other’s posts, and tomorrow you might successfully make a DM slide that doesn’t come across as creepy or predatory.
If your business has an affiliate program, you might want to create a Facebook group for your promoting partners. The features available within groups make it easy to share promotional assets, timelines, and incentives. You can also use the group to facilitate relationships among your promoting partners, and as a forum for them to share how they are sharing your products and services within their networks.
When a business associate or collaborator becomes a true friend, send a friend request. Establishing friendship through Facebook is also smart when you know you’ll want a seamless way to send private messages back and forth.
How to Effectively Manage Multiple Facebook Properties
There are only 24 hours in each day. After you account for eating and sleeping, you don’t have a lot left over for work. You have to be wise about how you spend your social media time. Every property you have on Facebook has to earn its keep by having a specific function within your business model. If you don’t know why you have a page or a group, it’s time to reconsider whether you need them.
So before you think about how to manage a page and group together, first decide whether it makes sense to have both Facebook properties or if one is sufficient.
Quality beats quantity when it comes to content, but consistency is important. Aim to post three to five quality posts on your page each week designed to attract your ideal client. In your group, where members can keep conversations going with or without your input, aim to post two to three times per week.
Content that performs best usually includes a mix of conversation-starters, educational resources, tips, trends, relationship-builders, and offers. If you’re looking to drive engagement in your group, certain types of posts can help you achieve that goal while staying true to your group’s purpose.
Moving Forward with Facebook Groups and Pages
The right time or case to use a Facebook page or group depends on who you’re trying to reach and what you’re trying to accomplish.
Pages are designed to build awareness of your business and attract clients. Getting sales directly from a page isn’t impossible but takes a focused strategy. Groups gather together people from all corners of Facebook who share interests. You can use groups to build deeper connections with members or to sell specific products. Again, you’ll want a focused strategy that guides your members through the customer journey according to their needs.
In Conclusion — Make a Decision!
Understanding the difference between Facebook groups and pages is a matter of knowing the intent behind each property and how it applies to your social media goals.
From there, you can create a strategic plan for how you’ll use each to achieve the business results you desire. Put together the right pieces in the right format based on your target market, industry, and products or services. Test and evaluate, making adjustments as needed after three to six months.
After reading this article, you now have all the pieces at your fingertips. It’s just a matter of getting started. Take the first step for free by either contacting us for more information or joining our free group on Facebook.