By Caroline Eaton
Welcome back, ministry leaders! Today, we’re diving deeper into the Facebook world and discussing how to use it effectively for your ministry. Specifically, we’re going to talk about quality content that reaches your viewers.
If you aren’t caught up, be sure to read our last two blogs about social media. We defined many terms that we will be using today, so be sure you are caught up in order to follow along!
Now, let’s get started. If your ministry has a Facebook page (which it definitely should!), you will want to share quality content that gets noticed by the people who have “liked” your page. Facebook has a system of rewards: the better the content, the more people it will reach.
Unfortunately, not everyone who “liked” your page will see what you are posting. That’s just how Facebook works nowadays. However, if you are consistently posting quality content that people engage with, Facebook will “reward” you, and more and more people will begin seeing your content on their newsfeeds.
So, what makes quality content? The big people at Facebook ask these questions before deciding what content is considered high quality:
- Is it timely and relevant content?
- Is this content from a source you would trust?
- Would you share it with friends or recommend it to others?
- Is the content genuinely interesting?
- Would people complain about seeing this content in their newsfeed?
You should also ask yourself these questions before posting any content on your Facebook page. Think specifically about the people who follow your ministry or are part of your church. What is the general personality of the group? What content would they share or recommend to friends?
Now let’s take this a step further. How can you consistently generate high-quality content that will engage your followers? Keep these tips in mind:
1. Photos are preferred over text alone. For example: if you would like to start a “verse-of-the-day” program from your Facebook page, I highly recommend that you choose a photo to go with your verse instead of simply posting the verse alone. When people scroll through their newsfeeds on Facebook they often quickly skip past text, but a photo will catch their eye. They may stop to read, share the verse or comment on the photo. To see an example of this idea, check out the DOE Facebook page, where our media coordinator shares a Bible verse with a photo once a week. (A tutorial about graphic designs will come later.)
2. Share photos of events. In case you can’t tell from the first point, Facebook loves photos in general. So instead of simply posting a status about how great your latest youth event was, be sure to take photos of the event (or have someone else take photos and send them to you). Then, when you want to post about how great it was, you will have photo evidence! This will not only engage the people who attended the event (Because who doesn’t like to see a photo of themselves?), but it will also make others who didn’t attend want to join in the fun next time!
Here’s an example of our Christmas Party that we shared on Facebook back in December:
3. Tag people. When you post photos from events, tag the members of your ministry who are in the photos. This will make it not only show up on your page, but it will also show up on the members’ time lines and be seen by more people.
4. #Hashtags. Using relevant hashtags with your posts will also help it gain a further reach. But you don’t want to go overboard—choose about three hashtags that are relevant to your event. For example, if you are having a youth revival, you could hashtag #youngadultministry #revival and the name of the youth group.
Notice, we use the hashtag #COGMIP2015 for of 2015 MIP Commissioning Celebration.
5. Post consistently. A major way that Facebook will be able to tell if you are dedicated to sharing high-quality content is if you are posting on a regular basis. In our next blog, we will talk about the nitty-gritty details of managing a Facebook page, so look out for that. However, for now, it is simply vital to know that in order to gain engagement and activity on your Facebook page, you must keep it active by posting on a daily basis.
Challenge: This week we want to challenge you to create your ministry’s Facebook Page if you haven’t already created one!