Using Facebook To Communicate With Your Studio Family
Public Profile Pages on Facebook (which I’ve talked about here) are certainly one way to reach out to your current customers but, like an interactive business card, these pages also represent your business or brand.
If you are looking to utilize Facebook to interact with members of your organization (rather than or in additions to the promotion of your studio with a public page), it is possible to create an area for these internal conversations to take place via the Facebook Groups application.
Any Logged-In Facebook user can create a group (about any subject) by visiting www.facebook.com/groups/create.php. Groups can be “Global” and either “Open” for all of Facebook to view or join, or “Closed” – offering a limited view to non-members and moderated membership. Or, they can be completely “Secret” – viewable only by members who are added by invitation only.
Comparing Pages and Groups
Facebook sums up the differences between Pages and Groups nicely by stating,
“Pages are designed to allow Page admins to maintain a personal/professional distinction on Facebook, while groups are a part of your personal Facebook experience.”
Here is further comparison to help you decide which may be best suited to your needs:
|Do not display the admin’s name or personal profile||Creator/Admin’s name(s) and personal profiles appear as links in Administrator section|
|Actions by admins, such as posting on the wall, appear to come from the page (company, organization, or brand).||Actions, such as posted wall comments or links, appear to come from the individual/administrator.|
|Actions by fans, such as commenting on the wall, will appear in their News Feed (viewable by their friends) unless they have set privacy options preventing this.||Actions by group members appear in their Highlights/Event feed only if the group is set as Global and Open – Closed or Secret groups do not appear as stories in non-member feeds.|
|Page administrators can send “Updates” to all fans that will appear in the Updates section of the individual’s Facebook home page||Group admins can send messages to all members (if the group does not exceed 5000 people) that will appear in the member’s Inbox (and consequently, in their personal email inbox as well as often notifications are sent to users when they receive a message)|
|Pages may only be restricted by certain ages or locations||Groups, as mentioned above, can have restricted access and membership.|
|Pages can be customized with applications similar to those used for personal profiles||Groups cannot use applications are have less customizable layout|
|“Pages can only be created to represent a real public figure, artist, brand or organization, and may only be created by an official representative of that entity.”||“Groups can be created by any user and about any topic, as a space for users to share their opinions and interest in that subject.”|
Are There Drawbacks to Using Groups?
I have noticed in my use of Facebook that I do not visit Group pages that often. Because much of the activity in my groups does not appear in my News Feed, I often forget to visit. I do, however, receive Inbox messages from my groups which can help to keep them in my consciousness (public pages send Updates which are less visible and not sent as an email notification). Groups based around actual “real-life” social circles (such as your studio) may fare better than Groups focusing on subject matter. If you use Facebook, what has your experience with Groups been
Using Both Pages and Groups
It is possible you may find use for both a Page and a Group for your studio. Many organizations do. It is easy to set up both to complete your presence on Facebook. And remember, should you decide you need help maintaining these spaces online, Facebook offers the option of appointing administrators in either case.
I realize that using Facebook may not be for everyone. However, if you are considering it as a possibility to promote or interact with members of your dance studio, I hope this was a helpful guide!
Do you participate in Groups on Facebook?
Does your studio utilize other forms of online communication?
Have opinions on the use of Facebook for Dance Studios? We want to hear your thoughts!
Mashable.com has written a comparison of pages and groups too. Some more relevant info that may help you with your choice! CLICK HERE