Earlier this month, we presented at a workshop on Facebook for church congregations. While there is no way we can cover all of the topics discussed during the workshop in one blog post, we thought we’d share the top five questions – and short versions of the answers – that we addressed with the (fabulous) audience. These tips can apply to other organizations or businesses, as well.
Q1: Should we have a Facebook Page or Group?
A1: Think about your purpose or goal for having a Facebook presence, and that will help you decide on a Page, Group or a combination of both. Pages: great substitute for website; posts will appear in followers’ newsfeeds; sharing is possible; non-admins of Page who post are limited to a small section of page. Group: Open groups have many of the same functions as Pages; great for interaction within a group; gives all group members an equal voice; Closed groups are excellent “secure” environments for members wanting to share sensitive/personal information and questions.
Q2: Which type of content gets the best engagement?
A2: In a nutshell: the more visual, the better (see our visual content blog post). Video is tops, photos or images next, plain text (keep it brief!) last. Keep this in mind, but mix up your post types for variety! Also, use tags in your posts to increase audience reach.
Q3: How do I manage a consistent presence without needing to work on the Page every day?
A3: Use Facebook’s post-scheduling feature to easily schedule future posts in one sitting. Remember, though, to be sensitive to current events and un-schedule posts if they would appear inappropriate or conflicting.
Q4: Where can I get content to share?
A4: “Like” pages and public figures relevant to your cause or industry, follow blogs and explore websites for links to share. If your organization is part of an umbrella organization (for example, you are an ELCA church in the SEPA synod), like the umbrella organization and other organizations at your “level.” (Like the SEPA Synod page, like the ELCA, like other neighboring churches in your synod.) Then, remember to use Facebook as your page, and look at your page’s newsfeed to find potential posts to share.
Q5: How can we grow our Facebook audience?
A5: ASK people to share your Page/posts. PROVIDE “shareable” content and lots of visuals. TELL people your Page exists through other communication channels – via your website, email newsletter, printed materials, email footer, business cards, letterhead, etc.
If some of this sounds like another language to you, don’t worry. Try things and see what works and what doesn’t. The beauty of social media is that it is a forgiving medium – nothing is written in stone, and if something doesn’t work, just try a different approach the next day. And, of course, you can call us if you’d like consulting. We can customize a training session or workshop for you. –Virginia
P.S. This article shares nine great tips on becoming a better Facebook community manager!