1024px-el_peligro_de_facebookHave you used facebook groups and compared them to your experience with Facebook organizational pages?

Both have value in different ways. I have noticed that in groups, it is easy to build numbers of followers and to receive engagement. On pages it is much slower and much harder. But I had a rough experience with a group. Simply put, I was going for open debate on all topics — but it became too hard to manage. The hostility was massive and the credibility of my brand suffered. The attacks were not only personal, but they were often personal at me. In the time I spent “defending myself” I could have been writing persuasive copy somewhere else. My goal in the group was to use the engagement on a 5:1 ratio strategy: five posts about “newsy” content, followed by a post promoting one of my clients, repeat process and so on. That way people were engaging my clients while spouting off about whatever.

I eventually converted the group into a straight ad/promo (boring) platform. No controversy/low engagement.

It took longer, but I was finally able to achieve my publishing vision (that had started with the group) on a page: :https://www.facebook.com/youpublish/

My strategy here is 4:2:1 – four posts about writing, editing, content marketing or something close; two about some hot button issue (one from each perspective, that keeps the focus off of me as some kind of political activist and allows me to fall back on: “articles here are posted for discussion. Feel free to express your thoughts about Cruz, Hillary or whoever.”); and one ad-type post about a restaurant, charity or some other client.

My page has more than 3250 real likes and adds about ten more each week. Engagement is very high and now I always have something to show a client or potential client — a platform to promote my pet causes (using other people’s concerns, anger, etc. for engagement … See the two posts about whether it was Obama or the GOP who created Trump).

Another thing I learned was that most “publishers” and that is the role I have assumed, stay out of the debate, unless it concerns matters of site content. Watch how newspaper and media outlet sites respond. Reporters and editors don’t go in and express opinions on issues. But they do go in and provide responses and links when someone says, for example: “your paper is slanted toward the mayor and never promotes the fire department.”

Of course, this is just one strategy. I look forward to your thoughts on groups vs. pages and how to use them to build active readerships (without driving yourself crazy).

PHOTO Credit: Wiki Commons

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AXS CEO Troy McClain is a Ray of Hope with the Buddy Cruise: bit.ly/1QTuzmk