Defining Facebook Profiles, Pages, Groups, and Communities

Posted by Mark Thompson - April 6, 2010 - Social Media - No Comments

I know when you are just starting out with Facebook things can be hard to figure out.  You probably have a lot of questions about what is the most effective way to market yourself or company using Facebook.

Whats the difference between a Facebook Page and Facebook Group? Which is better?

What is this new “Facebook Community”?

It can be a lot to try and take in for someone who is new with marketing on Facebook.  That is why I wanted to take the time to discuss each of the different types of accounts and profiles you can create with Facebook.

Facebook User Profiles

A Facebook user profile is the account that is created by default when you first sign-up. The user profile allows you to add basic information about yourself, add photos & videos, and customize your profile using different applications that are available.

  • Update Your Status
  • Share Links and Content with Others
  • Comment on Other Friends Walls
  • Upload Photos and Videos
  • Customized Your Security Settings
  • Approve/Disapprove Access to People Requesting to Be Friends

Facebook Pages

A Facebook Page is very similar to a user profile, however it is meant for businesses, brands, organizations and artists/bands.  It is a way for companies to provide information, update their status, and for users to leave comments. Typically setting up a Facebook page is meant to build a long-term relationship with loyal users of your brand.  A page can only be setup by someone within the organization.

  • Indexed by Google
  • Have Multiple Administrators
  • Capture Data on Visitors
  • Send Messages to All Fans (via updates)
  • Only Restrict Users by Age/Locations
  • Create Upcoming Events
  • Add Applications (can’t do this with Groups)
  • Add Custom Tabs

Facebook Groups

A group can be setup by anyone who wants to promote and organize people with a similar interest or cause.  A Facebook Group is much more interactive, allowing anyone to post content (comments, videos, links, photos) within the group.  Members of a group are much more likely to take an active role and participate on a more frequent basis.

There are different types of groups that can be created.  Open groups are groups that anyone is able to join.  Closed groups are groups where you must be accepted by the administrator.  There are also secret groups, that only people that know the link can join.

  • User Engagement and Contribution
  • Send Private Messages to Group
  • Approve Users First
  • No Ads
  • Create Upcoming Events

Facebook Communities

Facebook Communities look very similar to a Facebook Page that a business or organization can create, however a Community page are geared for unofficial brand/company pages that users can create.  Confused?  Well since the launch of Facebook Communities there has been a lot of people wondering what is the point of this new page?

Facebook comments on Community Pages:

“…give our users opportunities to express their enthusiasm and creativity, while allowing for Official Pages to continue representing official entities such as businesses, bands and public figures.”

Facebook states that if a community page becomes popular enough, administration will be handed over to the Facebook community. In other words, Community Pages become a whole lot like a wiki once they reach a certain threshold.

It will be interesting to see how the Facebook users react to this new feature.


About the Author

Mark Thompson

Mark is the creator of StayOnSearch and president of Search Creatively, a full-service Internet Marketing Company located in Raleigh, North Carolina. He also contributes to many industry related blogs including Search Engine Journal and is active on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Mark on Twitter
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