Medical Practice Have a Facebook Fan or Group Page

Whether you’re starting a new medical or aesthetic practice or you’re just new to social media, it’s always a good idea to have a Facebook presence. If you already have a personal Facebook account you’ll want to keep that separate from your business. This begs the question, do I set up a Facebook Fan page or group page to promote my practice?

I’ve listed a detailed table comparing the two options below:

Feature Fan page Group page
“Ugly” urls No (but you need 25 Fans for “clean” url) Yes
Custom branded welcome page Yes No
“Related” event creation and invitation Yes Yes
Promote with ads Yes No
Allow video & photo sharing Yes Yes
Messaging to all members Yes (on their news feed) Yes (only private messages)
Discussion on wall & in forum Yes Yes
Ability to host discussions Yes Yes
Visitor statistics Yes No
Additional applications Added Yes No

The biggest benefit to using a Fan page as opposed to a group page is that Fan pages can be indexed by search engines. Your Facebook Fan page can show up in search results and your group page cannot. Furthermore, a non-Fan can still see a business’ Fan page, but they cannot see a group page unless they are a member. I also like the fact that you can custom brand your Fan page with a “welcome” landing page that can include not only your logo, but also an opt-in form, video and much more.

The biggest advantage that group pages have over Fan pages is that they allow you to ‘bulk invite,’ which means you can more easily send out messages encouraging your personal friends to join the group. On your Fan page you have to go in and individually click on each friend that you want to ask to become a Fan. Of course, this benefit is negligible if you don’t have many friends.  Groups are ideal for developing a quick conversation among friends about a certain topic, but if you’re trying to establish a presence and build long term relationships for your practice through social media, then you want to go with a Fan page.

Consensus winner: the Fan page

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