When Should Campaigners Use a Facebook Group, Page or Profile?

Like it or loathe it, every campaigner knows they need to be on Facebook. And with almost 2.5 billion users worldwide, 1.6bn of them using it daily, rumours of the platform’s demise have been greatly exaggerated* [*though let’s talk again about Gen. Z] But for start-up orgs, rookie candidates or those still working through a pesky digital transformation, the different ways to engage with constituents through the blue F app can sometimes baffle.

This might seem like a basic one, but there’s still a lot of confusion out there. Here we’ll talk through the three main ways to connect with people on Facebook, and particularly the reasons you might choose a Page over a Group and vice versa.

Do my Friends even Like me?

Let’s start with the nomenclature. 

A Facebook Profile, aka a Personal Profile, is where an individual connects one-to-one with other individuals by Adding Friends. Once you’re Friends with another profile, you can see content they share in your news feed. 

A Facebook Page can represent a person, a campaign, a brand or any entity. People can Like a Page, and the Page can then post out content which those people see in their news feeds.

A Facebook Group is a place you can Join for people to come together under a shared interest or cause. You might be a member of Groups for your local neighbourhood, parenting advice or shared humour, or those set up by a campaign or brand. Once you join a Group you may see content posted by any of the Group members. 

Add Friend Button.png
Like Button.png
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Profile = Friends     Page = Likes   Group = Join 

There are good reasons to have each of these, and your campaign may want all three. But each serve different purposes, and have different limitations and advantages.


Every person using Facebook must set up an individual Profile, and you must use your real name. Friend Requests have to be sent by individuals, and approved by you. Some public figures like politicians and candidates enjoy the implied intimacy of having a ‘Friend’ connection with a constituent, and argue (justifiably) that content from Friends receives more distribution from the Facebook algorithm* [*the omniscient back-end tech which decides which content goes into people’s news feeds and where]. In other words, people see more content from their Friends in their news feeds than content from Pages. Being Friends with someone allows you to message them directly on Messenger. However, the 5,000 Friend limit on Profiles can restrict campaign growth. Profiles cannot be advertised, posts can’t be boosted, and you can’t get any insights about your Friends list (such as their ages, locations, etc.)

The ODV Digital advice would be, though you must have a Profile to access Facebook, a campaigner or candidate should keep this profile only to connect with their real friends, not with constituents or for campaigning purposes. It will limit your capacity for growth in the long-run.


To represent your campaign or your candidate adequately on the public stage, you must have a Page. Though many in commercial circles might decry Likes as a ‘vanity metric’, being able to illustrate a popular support base is crucial in political campaigning. And unlike those Pages for toothpastes and takeaways, sharing mostly irrelevant memes, good* political Page content still receives a decent amount of organic (meaning non-paid) news-feed distribution [*making it ‘good’ is a separate challenge].

You can advertise a Page, either to grow your Likes or to boost engagement (like video views or click-throughs) with your content. You can analyse your content’s performance through Page Insights, and your audiences through Audience Insights. You can moderate how people engage with your content, such as by keyword blocking, but your Page is always Public – the ‘shop front’ of your campaign. You can host Events, go Live, and access pretty much all Facebook functionality. You can have multiple team-members and stakeholders accessing your page, to post and promote content, through Business Manager. Should we say it again? You must have a Page. End of.


“Ah, but what about Groups?” I hear you cry. Many Facebook users will have noticed the increased amount of content we see from Groups in our news-feeds these days. And it’s true; since 2018, the Zuckerberg machine has dialled up the amount of organic reach a Group post receives, vs. a Page. The challenge for campaigners is that, in a Group, posts by group’s members receive as much distribution to others as posts by the Group ‘host’ or moderator. This makes a Group far harder to control than a Page, particularly if it starts to grow beyond a few hundred people. You need to be confident that group members will not go ‘rogue’ and off-message for your campaign. Moderation using third party social tools can be harder than with a page, and you can’t manage Groups through Business Manager. Crucially during a growth or high-stakes campaign, Group content cannot be advertised to group members – i.e., you have to trust the algorithm to do the work for you.

All of that said, a Group can be very useful for smaller scale engagement, such as grassroots organising. Bringing a team of field campaigners together in a group, where their voices can all receive equal weight, so they can chat and plan activities, is both time- and cost-efficient. Unlike WhatsApp groups or other group texting, Facebook Groups are easier to search for historical content, and thus can make good repositories for institutional knowledge. Being in a Group will help keep your content top-of-mind for your teams, since they’re more likely to see it higher in their news feeds, and their feelings of belonging and community can be strengthened through, for example, Watch Parties (which allow a group to watch a live-streamed event – on a Page – together, so they can respond and chat as though they were actually sitting to watch it together). And Groups can be Private and Hidden – unlike a Page – which can be helpful and necessary for internal campaign chat (but don’t make the mistake of thinking Group content can’t easily be screen-shot and shared publicly. You’re still on the internet.)

At ODV Digital, we focus on four phases of digital campaigning – connecting with your core, engaging them as micro-activists, persuading your targets and getting out the vote. Groups can be hugely useful for engaging a committed core of supporters and leveraging them as activists. For all other aspects of your campaign, though, you’ll still want to use your Page.

So, which should your campaign use?
The answer is: probably all three 

You need to have a personal Profile to use Facebook, and you probably want to have a personal space where you can see your cousin’s new baby and share your holiday snaps. You must have a Page to run a campaign of any sort, whether for an organisation or an individual. And you may want to use a Group to help build community around your campaign supporters.

This chart will help remind you what you can and should do where – until Mark Zuckerberg decides to change the algorithm again 😉

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