Facebook Profiles Vs. Groups Vs. Pages

When integrating a Facebook page into our Social Stream Database, or into your website in general, a common question is the differences between a Facebook profile, group and page. 

In short, you should use a Facebook profile for an individual person to join Facebook, a group to share updates with a specific group of people who are already involved in your organization, and a Page to share general updates with your whole community and reach new people. Only Facebook Pages can be connected to our Social Stream Database. 


Facebook Profile/Account

A Facebook profile is designed for one person to share personal information, and connect with friends and family. The profile is not intended to be used by an organization to share information. Anyone using Facebook, even if they are also using Groups or Pages, will need a profile to login to Facebook. If you don't already have a Facebook Profile, you can learn how to sign up here on Facebook's Help Center.


Facebook Groups

The purpose of Facebook Groups is to connect people with similar interests. In the case of an organization using groups, Groups are designed for people who are already involved at your organization, and typically a select group of people. When you post in a Facebook Group, it will show your name and link to your profile, although the type of profile information displayed will depend on your privacy settings. Groups can also have various privacy settings, depending on who you would like to be able to join and if you want people to be able to search for your group.

Ideal uses of Facebook Groups for a church could be to connect the children or parents in the youth ministry, connect a small Bible study group online, etc. For a school, Facebook Groups are a great way for alumni to connect, or even for parents with kids in the same grade to stay in touch.

To read more about Facebook Groups, you can find information from Facebook's Help Center


Facebook Pages

As mentioned above, Facebook Pages are the only type that you can connect to your Social Stream Database. Facebook Pages are intended for sharing information with a general audience. This means sharing information with your community, marketing purposes, and evangelism purposes. A Facebook page allows people to see who your organization is and how active you and your community are online.

When posting to a Facebook page, it will not display the name of the individual (Facebook Profile) who is posting. It will only display the organization name-- the exception being if you allow users who are not Page administrators to share things on your Page's "wall". 

We strongly recommend that all of our organizations, whether or not they use the Social Stream Database, have a Facebook page, and provide a link to it somewhere on your website, whether it's in the footer or another common spot. It's a great way for new people to get a glimpse of who you are. 

You can learn more about Pages here on Facebook's Help Center

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