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Using Facebook Groups and Fan Pages to Source Traffic
Member's experience using FB to source traffic to primary sites.
Dominic_X




msg:3829025
 7:49 pm on Jan 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm interested in your experience using Facebook Groups to source traffic to primary sites.

If you have a site or forum or blog or something else online and have attempted to use Facebook Groups to channel traffic to it... good and bad what was your experience?

I've seen a few groups that seem to attract a few thousand members. They seem to involve a degree of maintenance / Admin work... but don't seem to convert that interest into traffic to an outside url.

Is it worth it? Any tips and tricks you want to share?

In the back of my mind is a forum I run on a social issue. So my potential Facebook Group would be related to that same keyword topic / social issue: Daft unrelated example: People with Eyebrows. So it would be something like 'Current or Formerly Eyebrowed' or 'Eyebrowed'

What has been your experience?

[edited by: tedster at 2:29 am (utc) on Jan. 19, 2009]

 

bill




msg:3832037
 8:08 am on Jan 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Groups are good, but also consider a Fan Page for the site/topic.

I get decent traffic from Groups pages if I actively maintain it and add lots of Events. That's a great way to get people to click through to the site.

Robert Charlton




msg:3871975
 7:18 am on Mar 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

A client has mentioned that a customer of theirs wants to put up a Facebook Group for one of their products.

I assume it would be prudent for the client to include one of its employees among the Admins for the Group.

It also strikes me that if the Group weren't well maintained, it might reflect badly on the client, so by allowing the group they in essence are making a committment of sorts to keep the Group in good shape.

And I'm assuming it should be an open group.

Other thoughts, suggestions?

phranque




msg:3872067
 10:22 am on Mar 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

as bill mentioned - you might want to consider a Fan Page rather than a Group.

you can syndicate content in the Page whereas the Group requires manual updates.
you can send Updates.
better analytics.
there are several other advantages.
you should investigate the details - i only know of a few general differences.

bill




msg:3872093
 11:09 am on Mar 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Fan pages are also more open to the SEs for indexing. They get more public exposure than a Group.

I'm switching most of my public Groups to Fan Pages.

Robert Charlton




msg:3872515
 6:11 pm on Mar 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm a member of a bunch of Groups, which are widely used, so I know what they're like.

I've not seen a Fan Page, and they're not documented. Though searching Help gives my some references, it doesn't tell me really what Fan Pages are or how to set them up.

What are the differences? Groups can be used as mini-forums. What about Fan pages? Do they have the structure needed for product discussions, etc?

Robert Charlton




msg:3872542
 6:29 pm on Mar 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

PS - I take back part of the above. I am a Fan of one company.

The Fan Page seems to be used mostly for company announcements, not for customer interaction (say for the discussion of a technical product). It seems to offer more company control.

Aside from the SEO-friendliness, how would you lay out the differences between Fan Pages and Groups.

I still can't find a Help section about how Fan Pages are set up.

bill




msg:3872959
 5:42 am on Mar 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

As I understand it the major differences come down to the following in favor of Fan pages:
  • Open to SEs and visitors who are not registered in FB
  • Visitor stats
  • Promote with Ads
Groups are better for:
  • Group discussions
  • Group/bulk invites

Robert Charlton




msg:3872985
 6:31 am on Mar 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks... Since group discussions are the primary interest in the situation I'm considering right now, Groups are what I'll recommend.

That said, it's clear that Fan pages are something I should know about. But again, where is the FB Help section for them? I don't see Fan pages listed on the Help page, and a FB site search brings up nothing useful.

bill




msg:3873007
 7:22 am on Mar 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why not make both?

I don't see Fan pages listed on the Help page

It's not in Help:
[facebook.com...]

Robert Charlton




msg:3873019
 8:03 am on Mar 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Aha! Now, would a Group that's essentially a users' group for a product be considered advertising or not?

What happens if the company itself gets involved (and I do feel it's advisable for them to have a presence)?

wolfy




msg:3875219
 3:17 pm on Mar 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

In my experience Fan pages rank fine on Google if you have kewywords in the name of the page.

I've not the same experience with groups, they seem not to rank in google.

Robert Charlton




msg:3878265
 6:08 am on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Asking again... does anyone know whether a Group that's essentially a users' group for a product be considered advertising or not?

What happens if an official of the organization or company that the Group centers around is an Admin of the group? When, if at all, does a Group become advertising? I don't find this mentioned in the FB advertising guidelines, and I'd rather not ask Facebook unless I have to.

Harry08




msg:3879050
 6:56 am on Mar 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

In my opinion, however, as long as the group is started by the company, it's some kind of ad. If there are too many ad contents, the fans will feel a little ill and may leave the group. The ideal condition is that the group is operated by fans. They write posts, make discussions, publish news, and organize events. However, it's quite difficult for small business without a brand.

annej




msg:3882858
 2:18 am on Apr 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

does anyone know whether a Group that's essentially a users' group for a product be considered advertising or not?

I'm not sure what you mean. Of course anything like this helps advertise a site. Or are you asking if there would be a problem with Facebook if you are advertising. I don't think there is but they hope you will pay for some advertising on Facebook. They have a link at the top of your Page that says "promote page with ad".

I don't have a Group. It appears to be fine for a business to have a group but I don't know if they then encourage you to buy an ad to bring people to your group.

There is no requirement to buy ads but I think they hope you will.

Robert Charlton




msg:3882926
 6:58 am on Apr 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

does anyone know whether a Group that's essentially a users' group for a product be considered advertising or not?

I'm not sure what you mean.

Thanks for the response. I'll try to clarify further.

One of the company's customers, not the company, wants to start a Facebook Group for product users. The company asked me if I saw any problems with this, as they'd like to accomodate the customer if it's not a hassle.

All the Groups I've seen that are related to companies appear to include among their Admins someone who is an employee or officer of the company. This seems only prudent, so if something goes awry with the Group, the company has some kind of brand protection.

Several posters on this thread suggested Fan pages as an alternative, particularly because they are open to search engines and outside visitors, and I was referred to Facebook advertising to get more info. For what the company wants, a Group would actually work better. The word "advertising" came up because that's where the Fan page documentation was.

In this case, the intent of company involvement isn't to advertise... it's to retain some sort of administrative control over the page.

The question is whether such company involvement automatically turns the Group into an advertisement under Facebook's terms of service. I can find zero documentation, and I thought someone here might know.

Robert Charlton




msg:3882932
 7:12 am on Apr 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

PS to annej... in a discussion in Supporters, you touch on exactly one of the issues that concerns me...

Facebook Page or Facebook Group?
[webmasterworld.com...]

You say...
If the Group just sits there and does nothing I don't think it's very good publicity for your business.

That is in fact something that could happen with this users' group, and I'd want the client to be able to shut it down.

Artsyrat




msg:3883173
 3:54 pm on Apr 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Very good information. I had been considering this for a few weeks now and feel better about pursuing it with facebook and myspace. I wasn't sure how to handle it and this discussion has cleared up some things for me. The only issue now for me is the updating of any of these pages on a regular basis... More work. Hopefully it turns into more visitors and more revenue.

annej




msg:3883263
 5:21 pm on Apr 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

One of the frustrations I have with Facebook is they just changed everything. I had much more control on how I formatted my Page and felt like I had a great professional Facebook presence and they changed Pages to look more like a regular member's account.

It's still a good additional way to have your presence on the Internet and is much more visible than groups. There is no reason why you can't have both a Page and a Group. But if you have a client who may not go all out to get a Group started and keep it active I'd say a page would be better. It will still take a little time as you want to ad content to keep it interesting plus when you ad content I think it goes into the news feed now.

Where does it say "no advertising" for Groups? Does it come up as you build the Group? I haven't built one.

Also I think there has been some talk of charging people who want to add more options to their Pages. I wonder if that is why they changed the Pages. Before I was perfectly happy with Pages, now I wish I had more options.

Robert Charlton




msg:3883467
 9:14 pm on Apr 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Where does it say "no advertising" for Groups? Does it come up as you build the Group? I haven't built one.

It doesn't say this. What I said was that I could find zero documentation on the question of what is considered advertising.

annej




msg:3883680
 6:07 am on Apr 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

It is hard to be clear just what the rules are on Facebook. You also can't trust that things will stay the same.

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