I see this far too often…Facebook is a great communication tool, but making it effective means setting up your club presence correctly. Failure to do it right burdens your members and hampers your ability to push information efficiently.
The first and foremost, your Facebook initial registration is your own personal account. This involves your REAL name. This involves a REAL person. REAL friends. You create a personal profile that represents you as a person. You do NOT use your personal profile as a pseudonym for your club or business. You lose some options for information, and you lose the ability of your club ‘friends’ to have any sense of anonymity.
Since you now know that a personal profile is NOT the correct method to represent your club on Facebook, this leaves us with Groups or Pages. Either of these is an extension of your personal page, and controlled by your personal account. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
Groups: Effectively, the Facebook version of a forum. You form a Group, and become the Admin. You add additional Admins. You gain Group Members. They post, they interact. For all purposes, this is a forum page for the Members to discuss amongst themselves. Groups are GREAT if you intend for the information to remain closed, since you have the option in Groups to make them visible only to Members. For club-only business and club-only discussions, it’s a perfect option if you don’t already have a club forum set up elsewhere. The bad about Groups? If the Members don’t visit the Group page, they never see the information. The Group Admin must message the Group for any announcements. Any Admin or Member posts started on the group Wall never appears on the News Feed.
Pages: While these appear to be geared towards only Businesses, their use by a club has some significant benefits. You are creating an Official Page for your Non-Profit Organization. You can use Facebook to advertise your club. You gain Fans and can be added as a Favorite to other Pages. You can have multiple Admins for the Page, and when those Admins make a post, it shows as an ‘official’ post by the club. The biggest advantage? Posts made by Admins on the Page Wall appear in the News Feed, meaning your announcements regarding club events and activities is significantly more likely to be read by your members and fans. I believe using Pages to promote your club presence greatly enhances your ability to gain members and participation.
Hopefully, this short tutorial on Facebook and Clubs helps you how to best proceed with your Facebook presence. And hopefully, all those individual profiles ‘masked’ as clubs correct their mistake and improve their marketing presence!