At the beginning of this year, Facebook announced that our newsfeeds would be changing. First, they shared that they would be prioritizing posts shared by friends and family over posts shared by outside publishers. Shortly thereafter, they added that they were going to start prioritizing local news stories in our feeds, determined by geographic area. These are some interesting moves for Facebook that will certainly impact you as a Facebook user, but will be just as impactful as a leader who likely has a Facebook page or two for your ministry areas. What can you do to accommodate these coming changes and not get lost in the shuffle?
1. Practice CONSISTENCY.
A good rule of thumb for general social media use is to be consistent with your posting habits, but with these changes, it’s going to be even more important. The more you post, the more your content will continue to pop up for potential engagement with your audience. Don’t feel like this means you need to create new content 24/7, though. You can recycle old blog posts, re-use photos from past events to promote future ones, re-purpose quotes, etc. Content on social media has a very short shelf life because of the instantaneous nature of the platform. Use this to your advantage, and to help with your posting consistency!
2. Prioritize STORIES.
Across the board, stories are king when you’re using social media. So, what better way to get a higher level of engagement, than to prioritize your own storytelling on Facebook? You should have daily, if not weekly, opportunities to tell baptism stories, brag on volunteers, share prayer requests, and more. Not only will these stories bring awareness to what’s going on in your church and in your ministry, but they are without a doubt, the best way to keep your Facebook page alive and active in the midst of the shuffling that’s happening. Don’t discount the power of a good story told well (the fewer words, the better!).
3. Get CREATIVE.
Research shows that social media posts containing photos—specifically photos of people and animals—generally garner the highest number of likes. So, share lots of photos! A boring announcement can all of a sudden get a lot more attention if you pair a relevant photo with it. What about Facebook Live? Go live during one of your kids’ services or do a tour around your ministry areas. And don’t forget Facebook Stories. Those little icons are at the top of the Newsfeed for a reason, so don’t neglect them! They work almost exactly like Instagram stories, but on Facebook instead. In fact, you can often cross-post your Stories content to multiple platforms! Don’t make this harder on yourself than you need to, but also don’t neglect your options to be creative with what Facebook has to offer.
4. Consider PAID promotions.
The truth of the matter is, we are entering a time when simply relying on Facebook posts to spread organically is no longer realistic. There’s a lot of noise, and while these new changes are Facebook’s way of trying to cut through that a bit, it’s only going to get louder and there’s only going to be more content as time goes on. You can fight it, and you can put in the work (and you should!), but you’re also going to seriously want to consider looking into paid promotions on Facebook for important items like events or community announcements. The good news is, you can spend as little or as much as you want to get a boost for your posts with little consequence! Play around with the options and see what kind of engagement you’re getting based on the dollar amount you are spending.
Whatever you do, don’t give up! The great thing about social media is that it’s the perfect place to try new things and see what happens. If something doesn’t work, you can easily move on and try something else. But don’t let Facebook’s new changes discourage you—use them as fuel to keep creating quality content for the families in your ministries!
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