Facebook Community Pages – Why You May Already Have One and Why You Don’t Want to Create One

Facebook rolled out new community pages a few weeks back, and apparently it’s led to some confusion about what they are and aren’t (and what they might become), since these pages are in addition to the existing profile pages for business, celebrities and organizations that we already know and “like.”

At the moment most community pages are acting like an aggregator or one-stop resource for information on a particular topic, pulling in information from existing official business pages or related topics (such as multiple pages about a sports team, for example). See examples of a business profile page created Innate client InterExchange Work & Travel program and the Facebook-generated community page.

Here is what businesses need to know about community pages, and what you can do with them (or about them).

Once you’ve “liked” a community page by clicking on the Like button, you have a few more options:

  • Suggest the related Wikipedia page or a related official homepage for that community page. That is the only participation opportunity currently on the aggregator pages.
  • Sign up to be notified about future opportunities to contribute to the page.  Definitely do this for any page related to your business.
  • Create a community page for another topic, which are separate from official pages for businesses, brands, artists, etc.

Community pages are designed to generate interest in causes or topic and Facebook says, “If it becomes very popular (attracting thousands of fans), it will be adopted and maintained by the Facebook community.” So that’s important to keep in mind – if you have a business, you’re better off creating the official Facebook page for your business rather than a Community Page because you’ll want to keep control over the content of the page rather than allow it to be community maintained.

Once you enter your topic and click Create Community Page, the process is very much like creating an official page for a business. You can upload photos, add a like box to your website, post status updates, etc. The only difference is that you do not have to be the official representative in order to create the page (so fans of an artist or a general interest topic like recycling or gardening are good candidates for community pages).

What we don’t like about Community Pages

There is no differentiation in the Facebook search results between official business pages and community pages, so searchers have no idea which page is the “real” page of a brand or artist.  We’re hoping for a “verified” or “official” designation similar to what Twitter offers.

Aggregator pages are even less useful as they don’t offer any “community” aspects at the moment. There is no way to interact with the page. If one of your pages has been aggregated, the only way to add content is by posting content to the page you control and hope that it will get pulled in.

What we like about Community Pages

If you’re passionate about a particular topic (recycling, Italian cooking, the Yankees), community pages offer a way to create a space for those topics.

It seems that Facebook is looking to replace the Groups because pages push information to your Wall, unlike Groups which require you to remember to go to your Groups pages to get new information.

What we hope to see from Community Pages

Ideally the Facebook created Community Pages will offer some aspect of curation and community features for discussion and interacting with others that share your interest that are currently not available.

We also think Facebook should add a system of verification so those searching can tell which are business or official pages and which are community pages.

Lisa Crotty

Marketing Manager

Lisa is a Senior Optimization Specialist at Innate – her friends even teased that she A/B tested her name change. Lisa studied Philosophy of Science & Technology at Virginia Tech and is always asking why.

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