Facebook made a couple of exciting announcements last week about its new features and functionality, including the ability for users to download and save their own profile information, and a dashboard that offers more control over applications. But the most exciting announcement is the new revamped Facebook Groups, which is geared towards closed, real time communication and sharing between small groups and gives individuals more options to compartmentalize their groups of friends on Facebook.

In addition to posing a direct challenge to the more dominant online group management tools like Yahoo!Groups and Google Groups, the new Facebook Groups further distinguishes between the use, purpose and intended audience of Facebook business pages, groups and personal profiles.

What does that change mean for your business? In short, it means if your business is still using a Facebook group, stop it right now. Go directly to the Facebook Pages section and create a fan page posthaste. The days of having to decide whether a group or a page was best for your business goals are pretty much done. Facebook has made the decision for you.

Facebook Pages were developed with brands in mind,
it’s ideal for sharing communication to an audience about promotions, deals or current events. Posting content to your fan page means your content will hit the news feed of the people that ‘”like” your page, guaranteeing eyeballs. With Pages, as opposed to Groups brands control the outgoing message.

Also, FB Page Insights allows brands to find out what content is most popular with your audience, which you can’t do with Groups. If you’re determined to keep your business’ Facebook Group, you won’t be forced to switch. But why wouldn’t you, when you have so much more control though a page?—KEIDRA CHANEY

Thoughts on how—or if—businesses should take advantage of Facebook Groups? Share them here!