Community vs Fanpage – pros and cons

Before starting to advertise any kind of business in the Russian social media networks, one must first decide what is the best way to do so and which tools are better to use.

At the moment there are two major social networks in Russia which offer a good platform for social media presence– vKontakte and Odnoklassniki.

VKontakte is the most popular social network in Russia and in addition to individual and private profiles it also hosts a large number of businesses who manage their social media accounts there.

The second major player is the site Odnoklassniki, that in addition to targeted advertising also offers a good platform for businesses to share relevant information, get new clients and interact directly with their target audience.

Both sites offer useful advertising tools, but which tool is the best one for this or that specific business?

In this article we will explain the main differences between a “community” and a “fan page” and what are the differences and resemblances as well as advantages and disadvantages of both of them.

 What is what?

Social group (aka community) –  is a virtual place where people who share the same interests can interact with each other. Many businesses choose this option in order to interact with their existing and potential clients. These kind of communities exist from the very beginning of Vkontakte and they are extremely popular there.

Fan page – is a public page which is made for brand promotion. All the information published on this page is official and all the content is dedicated to a specific famous person or organization.

Examples from (group and fan page):


Creating a community

“Communities” are very easy to create and the information that is shared there is also available for users outside the group. It is possible though to make the group “private”, limit the number of participants or demand authorization before allowing someone to enter the group. In this case only the people who “liked” the group will see the information posted there. The “wall” in the group can be open, in which case every single user can write something on it, but it can also be closed, so that only the Admin/Moderator can write on it.

The group can be managed by a few admins whose job is to take care of the community, post content, remove spam, answer the users questions and so on.

By choosing to create a “community” in vK, the business chooses a more personal way of communication with its clients.


Before creating a fan page, the advertiser must decide what is it exactly that he wants to promote. There are four options:

  1. A place or a small company
  2. A company, organization or a webpage
  3. An interesting person or collective
  4. A product or a line of products

After the choice is made it is possible to start creating and editing the fan page.

What is very important to remember, is that the information on the fan page is available for all internet users, also the ones who don’t have an account in vK.

Unlike in communities, the wall of the fan page is closed, and all the information on it can only be published by the administrator of the page, although the users can also suggest their own content, which first must be approved by the moderator/admin.

There are a few ways to increase the number of “fans” in the fan page. It is possible to “inform” the people in your friend list about it, or to advertise the page on other public pages. Advertising in other groups often requires payment, of course. It is also possible to do targeted marketing that will lead potential clients into the fan page. Unlike in “communities” it is impossible to invite your friends to join the fan page.

Unlike vK, Odnoklassniki doesn’t allow the creation fan pages, only communities. A page in Odnoklassniki is first of all a private account, that is made for a private use.

When creating a community in Odnoklassniki the advertiser can choose between two options: a community for business or for hobby. Users join these communities in order to find interesting and relevant information, share their thoughts and ideas or choose new products and services.

 How to attract new people into fan pages and communities?

Fan page – there are many different ways to advertise the fan page. The generic and the free-of-charge one would be the possibility to increase the number of the users through the manually invitation of familiar people or through postings or comments in other groups. So hope, your new fans will enjoy the content and invite other people with similar interests to join as well. But be patient with this method. To get over 1000 people can last some years 😉

There is of course the option of attracting people through via advertising on the platform, in order to increase the fan page-popularity and the amount of fans much faster. You would target on the audience with related to your product interests. More detailed information you can find in this blog article: MyTarget Advertising.

Community – inviting friends to your community group is the easiest way to increase its popularity, but there are also few limitations.  For example, it is impossible to send more than 30 invitations per day, and one can only invite people from his friend list, which is also of course a limited number.

Also here can help social ads. Beside the standard advertising with “subscribe” button, you can book Pre-paid posts, which will appear in other groups.

So what to choose?

For a business, where support and close communication with the audience are important, it is very recommended to create a community. The fan page can be a good start in promoting a new business in Russia with one-way communication. Your account will be  limited only to post new articles, news, and other information.

For more information regarding social media advertising in Russia please contact us through our main page.

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