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Facebook Pages, Plural

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How many Facebook pages does a business really need?

We're all familiar with personal Facebook pages. That's where you brag about your children's success in school, sports, and the arts. Where you post selfies. Or select the most flattering photos from yesteryear for "Wayback Wednesdays," "Throwback Thursdays," or "Flashback Fridays." You can even be excused for indulging yourself by posting FOMO-inducing images of fabulous vacations, front-row tickets, celebrity sightings, or newly acquired luxury items. (FOMO stands for "Fear of missing out," in case you don't have a teenager at home.)

Businesses have Facebook pages too. These should be official, including information customers need to know, like hours of operation, street address, directions, and ways to get in touch. Posts should include company news, event announcements, promotions, and sales. You can choose to let visitors respond to business posts or you can keep it completely .... well ... businesslike.

Then, there are Facebook group pages. These are often used for clubs, associations, reunions, or informal groups of like-minded individuals, such as "Mudville Little League Carpooling Parents." The target audience for these (if you want to think of it that way) is communities. These group pages become a convenient way for "members" to get and stay in touch.

Some organizations quite naturally have both business and group pages. For example, a golf club might have an official business page that promotes the club and keeps members (and prospective members) abreast of club news and announcements. That same golf club might also have a group page where members can communicate with each other. Depending on how the page is set up, it can be formal or informal, while the page for the golf club business itself will remain fairly formal.

It's easy to see how a business like a golf club might use a group page, but what if your business is a more commercial enterprise, like a software company for example. There's still a place for a group page — or maybe even several. Technology firms have long had user group communities, where customers can share application stories or troubleshoot technical difficulties. This is a perfect use for a Facebook group page. Depending on what you sell, you might have several of these set up for different products or vertical industries. Ideally, you should assign somone who is an in-house expert on the specific group topic as the page's admin. That way, while customers are comparing notes about a new or changed feature, the business can put in its two cents as well.

Whether you manage a business page, a group page, or both, the key to your success is always going to be visitor engagement. To that end, refresh your content often and — when and where appropriate — make sure that your marketing is a two-way conversation.

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