The Problem With Facebook Pages For Communities

June 5, 2013 · 24 comments

in Facebook

The Problem With Facebook Pages For Communities

facebook logoFacebook Pages 
The “Facebook Groups”
That Aren’t 

In the earlier years of Facebook, “Community Pages” were not only a viable idea on Facebook but actually worked quite effectively.

Today however, between changes in both EdgeRank and serious changes in how community member non-admin postings are displayed, it’s a very different world. 

Recently, a Just-Ask-Kim.com reader asked a great question about engagement on community member submissions into a “Facebook Group” that wasn’t a group at all! :

On Facebook there is a photo group called Tokyo Camera Club. I’ve submitted photos and I get like 6 or 12 ‘Likes.’

Other people submit photos and get like 4,724 ‘Likes.’

If I were submitting silly little snapshots I’d understand, but I’ve been a professional photographer for 20+ years and I submit quality stuff.

Am I saying that my images are better and I should win based on my resume? Not at all.

But, are those other photos 4,000 times better than mine? No way.

So, I have a feeling something’s going on that I don’t know about. Somehow these people are promoting their photos. I wrote and asked Tokyo Camera Club directly and they replied, ‘No tricks.’

YOU seem to have a certain amount of web/FB savvy, so I thought I’d ask you: how does one image get 4,000+ votes and another get 6?

Have any ideas?

I’m going to answer this question over 2 different blog posts.

First, here, answering the question more in depth based on what’s really going on. Then in another blog post, answering the question “ask it was asked” and giving the answer if one were actually dealing with a group.  

Hey John, great question!

Congratulations on your many successful years in the photography industry. I follow a wide range of nature photographers on Facebook and the skill necessary is truly amazing! 

So let’s dig into what’s really going on – because there’s more here than meets the eye! 

First, we need a little Facebook terminology. 

Facebook Page – An SEO friendly, Google accessible, part of Facebook that is approved by Facebook for use by brands, marketing, sales and promotions. There are categories of Facebook pages and they MAY be used by communities but over time, emphasis has shifted away from this.  They are primarily a channel for the brand or managing team to make postings seen by the fans. 

Facebook Group – A non-SEO, non-Google accessible, part of Facebook that is strategically designed to facilitate communication between community members and enables (reasonably) fair and equal visibility of member postings with admin postings. 

In the case of “Tokyo Camera Club “, their naming tells you of their intent, but their use of a Page puts a damper on the “community” aspect of being a club. 

The link above, if you open it, is a Facebook Page (note the Like rather than Join button).  I’ve circled a few key things in red. 

facebook-page-tokyo-camera-club-1

Here we see an active, vibrant, strongly performing Facebook Page. Averaging 4,000 likes per post with a fan base of 23.5k is rock solid performance if it’s consistent. 

Yet, this page is a great example of one that creates confusion among it’s fans about whether it’s a community or not!

As I mentioned before, formerly, posts by fans onto the wall of the page itself, resulted in them having at least some exposure in the feed of the fans of the page. 

Today, that is simply not true. Additionally, over time, the exposure these items have to a fan that directly visits the page as ALSO fallen. 

Now, posts by fans are corralled into a box called “Recent Posts by Others”.  

This box not only minimizes the posting but also has zero visibility to in the news feed of fans of the page. 

So, why are fans of the page not liking your item? Simple: Because they are not SEEING it! 

Could it still be useful for you to post your images there? Maybe… *IF* the management of this fan page uses those postings as their source of images to then RESHARE with their fans. 

Look through prior postings, and match up whether any of them were taken from prior community member postings. 

If so – then them re-sharing your stuff would draw attention to you as a pro photographer. 

This would not mean likes on your original posting but would still be good exposure. 

I do note that this page is re-sharing images from a number of places. They’re obviously not afraid to re-share and that is a good sign… but if they are not sharing community postings, then your efforts are wasted. 

Why has this happened? 

Because there is no moderation on fan postings, anything a fan posts would be immediately seen by fans of the page. This could lead to griefing of the fans and spam on the page and even objectionable things such as pornography or illegal images. 

By putting all the fan postings in a “box” spam is controlled and it’s easier for the brand to keep a tight rein on what the community is exposed to by fans. 

Perfect for the brand or authority…. crappy for the community that wants to share pictures too! 

Looking for somewhere that your images will get seen? Try a Facebook Group! 

facebook-page-tokyo-camera-club-3

Joining a Facebook Page is much more like joining a newsletter than it is like joining a community project. 

In some ways, this is a shame because it limits the use of Facebook Pages (and also hampers ones that previously were more effective). 

You’ll want to search a number of relevant words, phrases, and terms to find groups in the Facebook search. For example, there is an active “Nature Photography” group with over 15,000 members! 

If you are okay with your Facebook friends seeing that you are posting in Facebook groups, then look for “Open Group”. If not, and you’d rather keep all of that activity away from annoying your friends, then find a “Closed Group” which will not display your activity to your Facebook friends. 

Dive into groups and you’ll find a much more community-centric feel and engagement rate for your content! (Just be sure to first read any group rules that exist and be sure you are posting within the guidelines that are unique to each group. Be a gracious guest!)

~ Kim ~
Simple Tech Tips For Marketing

PS: Sometimes, postings in groups won’t perform as well as you might expect either. Here’s where a few of the discrepancies in groups can come from. 

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24 comments
awapal
awapal

hey kim nice suggestion but i thought rather than posting on others John should start his own Facebook Profile page.

Pawan
Pawan

Facebook groups are useful if you just want to target only a particular group of people means only your friends circle . It may help you to get your brand promotion at grass route level,after you succeeds then you can make a Facebook page which will help your brand to get world wide people. Facebook page helps your brand to get noticed by every people if someones likes.

duncan
duncan

Hi Kim. Yes, you're right. Facebook page and Facebook group are totally different. The FB Group is much more helpful. Thanks for the great post.

Zuan
Zuan

Facebook announced Community Pages, people thought it was a prank. You have people interacting with each other on your page every day.

Hamza Sheikh
Hamza Sheikh

Kim, seriously this is an interesting piece of information. I learned one or two things here about Facebook Pages, and Facebook Groups.

I am agree with your claims that Facebook Pages are open to Google, and anybody on the internet. While Facebook Groups are limited but sometimes more efficient than any other thing on internet.

Smitha Nayak
Smitha Nayak

Facebook pages are a little more difficult to encourage lateral communication, because in order to spark conversation you have to post something to show up in the news feed.

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Quynhlan
Quynhlan

I can't agree more with you about Facebook group and pages have more differences than similarities. Facebook Group help me a lot in building brand. Actually I do not know that Facebook page could affect Group ranking in that way. Thank you so much for sharing those useful information with us. Very well done!

Farrell Conejos
Farrell Conejos

Hi Kim,

First of all, thanks for sharing this information to us. Facebook pages and Facebook groups do have big differences and with paid promotions on Facebook pages, it seems to be off right now. While Facebook groups are free for everyone, it's more safe to say that Facebook groups is more convenient compared to Facebook pages.

Gopinath
Gopinath

Very interesting post , seems like you done as well as detective kim. I really likes yours Article.

Vivek
Vivek

Good read,I believe Facebook Groups are better then Facebook pages after Facbook introduced paid content discovery.I prefer to start a Group for new website than a pages,Pradeep of Hellbound blogger do that often.He starts a group prior to launch a website and actively engages with the group.

Ravi Verma
Ravi Verma

Thanks Kim for explaining th difference betweent he Fb page and the group. I was wondering why the Page are indexed and not the groups.

Worth Reading...

Regards

Stephen Kjeldsen
Stephen Kjeldsen

Hi Kim.

I just want to let you know I am a new reader. I am suppose to get our business into this social media. We are currently not present anywhere, but I will start now. I just want to let you know, that your podcast and articles are of great help and motivation.

Thanks, please keep it up!

Felipe
Felipe

Hello, Kim.

You got it right. It's nice to know how FB works from the inside. About groups, I really liked the communities in ORKUT. It was clever but nobody uses it anymore.

Dr. Erica Goodstone
Dr. Erica Goodstone

Kim,

Thanks again for explaining a small piece of this online puzzle. I didn't realize that joining a group could be more valuable than a community. And I did not realize that my Facebook pages affect my google ranking.

Warmly,

Dr. Erica

Carl
Carl

I must admit that I am using Facebook groups quite successfully and actually it is a good part of my brand building strategy. I think you are right, there are more differences between pages and groups than similarities.

Cherrie Bautista
Cherrie Bautista

That's what I've been noticing. But admins can actually remove the Posts by Others feature and allow the members to post, but like you said, it will take a lot of policing to make sure there's no spam or offending posts.

Chery Schmidt
Chery Schmidt

Hi Kim! I really like how you spelt it all out for us in this post. I have found that FB allows you to join quite a few different groups to... This is a great way to get exposure and Yes to find ones in your niche is key.. I still have no idea how you know all this stuff.. WOW Thanks fr sharing Chery :)

Troy
Troy

Thanks for that breakdown, Kim. I've been trying to figure out some of the differences between pages and groups lately, and it seems like almost everyone sets up a page rather than a group nowadays. This post helps me out a lot seeing some of the advantages and disadvantages of joining/posting in either type. Now I need to read your other post on the topic...

Arwin Adriano
Arwin Adriano

Another thing I would like to include is that it is no assurance that even you are a professional in one field means you will receive 100% feedback from it. In this world I think everyone is just equal and the importance of what you believe depends on what others taught about your work.

Sneha
Sneha

Nice information Kim all tips are very useful yes join community in particular niche is so helpful my work Thank you for this awesome sharing.

Corina Ramos
Corina Ramos

Very interesting post Kim and Bren makes a good point and it makes a lot of sense to join groups within our niche. Something to think about that's for sure...

Thanks for shedding some light on this...hope you're having a great week.

Suhas
Suhas

Hi Kim,

Facebook pages are just for maintaining a rand these days. After paid promotion was introduced, the visibility of post even by page admins is reduce. We know that all the posts are not seen by all the fans.

You have gone in the depths of a question that looks simple but is actually not. You have reached a very good answer here. Thanks for sharing is case with us.

Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

You're welcome Ravi. This happens because groups are only accessible if you are logged into Facebook whereas pages are accessible (visible) from the outside world. This was an intentional design decision on behalf of Facebook.

Kim