What's the Deal With Facebook Pages and Groups, Anyway?

So many of you have asked about Facebook pages, and why you can't seem to get any engagement on your posts despite hours of work, blood, sweat, and maybe even a few tears.

Like Amanda from Amanda Creation who writes:

"I feel like I have upped my game and am posting better stuff yet I'm getting very few likes, comments and shares which is resulting in low views. Many posts are seen by less than 100 fans!"

I hear you, girl. 

Today's lesson was supposed to be about current Facebook stats and strategies, but your questions hit me over the head, giving me a textbook lightbulb moment. "DUH, girl." I said to myself. 

"Let's break down Facebook's algorithms and talk about why groups are better, instead." 

Yes, I talk to myself frequently. It helps me think and figure things out. Don't judge. 

Needless to say I talked myself into this post instead. I hope it helps you get a better picture of the whys and hows of Facebook pages and why you should stop screwing around with Facebook pages and invest your time in a Facebook group instead. 

 

How Facebook's Algorithms Work


There are over a billion people on Facebook now, the average person has about 330 friends, and has "liked" around 10 Facebook (business) pages. So naturally if you saw EVERYTHING that was posted to Facebook by your friends, your feed would be totally inundated with content that you would never get through. 

This is why Facebook's algorithm exists: to moderate your feed to bring you the stuff it "thinks" you want to see based on engagements and habits. 

 

Access to Your Fans

Fact: If you never like your Aunt Charlotte's updates, over time you'll see less of them. 

Same goes with business pages: if you don't engage with the content the business is posting, you'll get less of that in your feed because Facebook takes non-engagement as a virtual "thumbs down" on their content. 

But here's another factor: Facebook prioritizes your friends' and families' content over (business) pages, so the chances of seeing a business or shop or other fan page is already lowered, and reduces from there based on your engagement with the brand, blogger, or business. 


Reach


Currently, Facebook pages see an average of about a 6% organic reach on their posts. This means if you have 100 page likes on your business page, only 6 of them are actually seeing your update. 

That's pretty shocking, right? Especially after all the hard work you put in to get those 100 fans in the first place. 

But the reach gets even worse if you have more fans: new stats show that Facebook pages with 500,000 followers have an average reach of 2%. Yikes. 

 

Payment


If your organic reach isn't cutting it, you can always pay for your fans to see your updates. This could cost you anywhere from a few bucks a month if you have a low fan count, to hundreds of dollars a month depending on how many eyeballs you want on your update. 

Even then, paying out the nose may not get your post in front of ALL of your fans because some people may have liked your page but have "unfollowed" you so that you don't show up in their feeds at all. 

Yes, you can like a page and still unfollow. I guess we all have separation anxiety? 

This lack of reach and engagement is why we get so obsessed with finding the right day and time and type of content to post on Facebook — because we think it'll help us get more likes, more shares, and more comments. But the truth of the matter is that today, you really do have to pay to play where Facebook is concerned, if you're running a business page. 

 

Groups


So you may be feeling really down about all of this, and even like you've wasted a ton of time trying to build your page with so little return (I'm sorry). But there is a solution to this problem right now: Facebook groups. 

Here's the thing: Facebook groups are not under the same strict algorithm restrictions that pages are. Currently, when someone joins a Facebook group, they see ALL of your updates in their main feeds. Your post will waltz right on past the Facebook algorithm velvet ropes, and into your group member's feeds. It's like you slipped the bouncer a $20 to get a VIP table.  

But, you know — without having to pay anything. 

This is awesome for a few reasons: 
1. Your engagement will increase since more people will be seeing your posts
2. You don't have to pay for that. (Yet?)

So far, Facebook has not added a "boost" option to their Facebook group posts, so for now this access is free and open and clear. So start moving your Facebook pages over into a group while you can.  

Your group can be closed or open to the public, but either way, if you want your engagement to increase and the ability to access all of your group members feeds,' then move it on over to a group, honey. 

 

How to Make the Change From Page to Group  


I'd start by pinning a post to the top of your Facebook page that alerts all your fans that you've started a group and will be posting updates there from now on. Make sure you've got a link in there for easy access. 

Then I'd then post periodic updates to your page followers to let them know that you've moved. As you've learned already, it'll reach very few people, but this is really the only way I can see that you can let them know (without having to pay). 

Then start getting the word out on your blogs and your other social networks that you've moved to a group. But rather than just say "hey I've moved to a group come join me there," give your audience a REASON to join you there. 

Will you be offering up any special features to your group members? 
Any bonus content? 

Pro tip: Make it a closed group and offer bonus content (similar to what you'd offer in your newsletters). This will immediately ratchet up the "exclusivity" factor and could entice more people to join. 


Maybe you'll also post your freebies to the group, or have extra videos that go there, or maybe you'll post a daily or weekly tip for only those members to see. Could be as simple as that. 

 

Unexpected Bonuses

As most of you know, I have the Launch Ladies Facebook group, and while I knew that starting a group would give me better access to you, what I didn't expect was how much I'd start to care about each and every one of you so quickly. 

Because I'm able to converse with you more often, learn your personalities, your needs, and the things YOU want to know about, I feel like I'm forming bonds. And it's really been my honor to help you reach your goals. I'm excited for the future, and hope you are, too! 

 

Today's Action

There are two parts to today's action: 

1. Evaluate your Facebook page metrics. Are you seeing a decline in engagement or reach? Consider moving all the action over to a Facebook group. 

2. Make a plan for the future by asking yourself: 
Why are you on Facebook?
What content are you posting and why? 
Who is your ideal reader and what does he/she want to see? 
How often will you post? 

There are no bonus worksheets today, but instead, I'd like you to really dig in to your Facebook page metrics and make a real decision to stick it out or go over to a group. 

What questions do you have about Facebook groups or Facebook stats in general? Leave them in the comments or over on the Launch Ladies Facebook group where I've started a thread all about groups so we can get your questions answered. 

 

And if you haven't yet signed up for the 30-Day Blog to Business Challenge, please do so now because there is still SO MUCH to come in week 4. Week 4 is all about how to make money from your blog using sponsored posts, so get excited and SIGN UP by clicking the button below to get all the freebies headed your way this week.