There are two ways to network on Facebook: Create a Group Page or Create a Fan Page. Creating a fan page for your local business has several advantages compared to a group page:
- You can have unlimited fans. Groups are limited to 5000 people only. If you think you might never reach 5000 people, think again. Even a small, obscure business can have over 20,000 fans in under a year due to viral marketing. Word spreads so fast on the social networks, especially when your business gets featured on a TV show or a celebrity endorse your product.
- You can add applications to your fan page, making it more customized and improve your fan experience. These include RSS Feeds from your blog, website, or Twitter accounts; Flashplayer for video and game content; Posted Items Pro that allows you to embed YouTube videos, music, and other files that can be posted in your press section, etc. Groups are not allowed to have different applications.
- Fan pages are visible to everyone and are indexed on search engines like Google meaning anyone can find out about them and join. Groups, however, are only visible to registered members, and one can only join by being invited by a member.
- Fan pages offer you the power to analyze your fan statistics via the Page insights section
- When someone becomes a fan of your business on Facebook, this information is posted on their wall and also in their profile, which friends can view. When their friends see this, they get curious and follow their friends lead to your business fan page creating more fans for you. This is the power of Facebook-the social proof that ignites a following.
- While both fan pages and groups can be marketed through Facebook ads, fan pages have the additional benefit of being marketed through social ads. Social ads publicize the connection between a specific fan and a fan page such that a business can use a fan's picture and profile as part of their sales pitch.
Facebook Fan pages, therefore, work better for businesses seeking to connect with their
customers on a broader scale and in a more interactive manner than Facebook groups.