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A lot of people don’t realize that apart from Facebook’s profile pages there are two other types of Facebook entities:

  • Facebook Groups
  • Facebook Fan Pages

Both can have multiple admins, but there are quite some differences that you should be aware of before chosing one over the other.

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Facebook Groups

  • FB Groups can represent anything – unless we’re talking about copyrighted material, of course.
  • Member requests can be approved manually or automatically
  • Admins can send out messages to 500 members max.; members can reply to these messages.
  • Opting out of messages is not possible; you have to leave the group to achieve that
  • Group members are not notified of updates to the group
  • Easy to invite all group members to an event
  • Privacy settings allow the groups administrator to limit visibility to members, members & friends, or allow everybody to see it (globally visible)

Facebook Fan Pages

  • FB Fan Pages represent a real business or promotional entity (like a service or product)
  • Fan requests are automatically approved
  • Admins can send bulk messages to all fans; your fan page can have an unlimited amount of fans
  • Fans can not reply to these messages; they can opt-out of future status updates though, so try not to update your pages too often, or it may be viewed as spamming your fans’ Walls…
  • Fan pages are visible to non-Facebook users, including the search engines
  • Administrator can post photos; fans can post โ€œfan photosโ€
  • Fan Page updates will appear on the fan’s Wall, and their friends’ Walls (talk about viral marketing!)
  • Great analytics tool: โ€œInsightsโ€; find out who’s doing what; reports on demographic breakdown of fans and their engagement levels
  • You can add apps to your pages, and showcase them on a tab; this includes Facebook’s own mark-up language (FBML; soon-to-be disabled, for new fan pages only) or iframes

Both FB Fan Pages and Groups can block people for inappropriate behaviour.

So depending on your type of intended use, and need for viral marketing functionality you may chose one over the other.

I found this video on YouTube that briefly goes into both options:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCcD4OS6SpI[/youtube]

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Hope this clarifies the question “Facebook Fan Pages vs Groups”. ๐Ÿ™‚