Whether you work at a church, nonprofit or company, Facebook should be an important part of your communication plan. It’s the biggest social network and holds huge potential for helping your community grow closer. So what are a few ways to do Facebook better?
1. Use lots (and lots and lots) of photos
Photos communicate quickly. They catch the eye and say things where words fall short. I highly recommend using photos whenever possible. Square photos fit particularly well on Facebook’s new Timeline layout. Whether it’s an announcement about a church picnic, new staff member, sermon series or exciting milestone, lots of pictures will improve your Facebook strategy.
2. Stop posting URLs (by themselves)
The least Liked, Commented, and Shared form of content on Facebook is URL links. Getting people to your website, blog, or videos is still important, so how do you do it the right way?
First, here’s how not to do it:
- Copy the URL
- Paste the URL into “Write something…” on your Facebook page.
- Let Facebook pull in a photo from your site and hit “Post now.”
Trust me: this does not work well. Please stop doing it.
The better way:
- First, click “Photo/Video” on your Facebook page.
- Select a picture or screenshot that works with the URL.
- Write a short sentence, like “Check out our new video!” and then add the URL at the end.
- Hit “Post now.”
The difference will be dramatic. Instead of the least-interacted-with form of content on Facebook, you will use the most-interacted-with form. Try it out.
3. Schedule your content ahead of time.
One of the best features Facebook has added in the past year is the ability to schedule content on pages ahead of time. Click the small, grey clock on the bottom left of your post box and you can decide when your content will show up (Make sure you’re posting as the page itself. If you’re trying to post as yourself on another page you won’t get the schedule option.). The evening hours (6-9 p.m.) are often the best time to post Facebook content because that’s when the most people will see it. Write your post, schedule it and experiment with which time of day works best for your audience. If you’re feeling extra productive and creative, you can even plan a week or two of Facebook content in one sitting.
4. One-line writing.
Say it with less. People have short attention spans and are constantly bombarded with information. Be kind and make it quick. If you can make your Facebook post fit on one line, do it. Say one thing. Be ruthless about cutting down on unnecessary words. Short posts will do better.
5. Be patient.
Everyone wants more Likes and Comments. How do all those other Pages make it look so easy?! A wall is built brick by brick. Write one good post today. Ask one more person to check out your church’s Facebook page. Little by little, you can create a community. Care about each person. Think long term and be willing to grow slowly. Being patient with Facebook and social media is important. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
No Magic Formula
Let’s get something straight: there are no magic formulas to make social media easy, fast, or challenge-free. No rules are unbreakable. If you try the following tips and they don’t work, throw them out and let me know what did work for you.
What Facebook tips did I miss? Please share below!