Top 10 Tips for your church’s social media presence

Did you know that 46.1% of people say a website’s design is the number one criterion for discerning the credibility of the company. (Source: Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab.) Though this list is not about websites specifically, a well maintained Facebook page can capitalize on many of the same benefits as your website, Here are my top 10 tips for maintaining a healthy page:

  1. Verify your Facebook page
    • This will make it show up higher in search results.
    • Page will be displayed with check mark indicating it is an official page of your institution.
  2. Merge your page with any existing auto-generated pages
    • When people tag or check in to your page they might be you lose the benefit of their friends being directed to your page!
    • Someone else might claim the other page and begin operating it as if it is the official page.
  3. Post often
    • Building engagement can be a long and tedious process.
    • However, Facebook decides what you will show up in your newsfeed based on algorithms – if you don’t post frequently, Facebook will assume you don’t have  anything worthwhile to say!
    • One easy way to do this is to follow the pages of church/religious organizations affiliated with your denomination. They often provide a constant stream of appropriate and sharable posts – if you are an Episcopal church and don’t already like The Episcopal Church on Facebook DO IT NOW!
  4. Make sure your profile picture and cover photo are used effectively (and are high quality!)
    • Make sure your profile picture accurately reflects your mission or your official persona. Good examples are your logo, your church building, or perhaps a photo of your ministry in action.
    • Use your cover photo to showcase another aspect of what you do – if your profile picture is a logo, make sure your cover photo shows something more personal – the inside of your building, or your faith in action!
    • Avoid text in your cover photo – Facebook adjusts the proportions of images depending on where they show up. Be warned that your text WILL get cut off in at least one of these situations!
    • Avoid generic or stock images at ALL COSTS! They have no place on your Facebook page (except perhaps in certain ads).
  5. Make sure you claim and verify your Google business listing.
    • This possibly is THE most frequent way people:
      • Find directions
      • Check when you are open (business hours)
      • Get your phone number
      • Leave a review (with the exception of sites like Yelp)
  6. Consider sponsoring posts
    • Not only does Facebook have some of the most powerful advertising tools available at a minimal budget (as little as $30 can make a big impact) it also helps build engagement (see #3).
  7. Invest in a good camera
    • Not strictly social media, but the better quality the pictures you post, the more likely they are to really capture the spirit of an event or build engagement.
    • However, bad photos are better than NO photos.
  8. Actively promote liking & checking in to social media – again, see #4.
    • Help make your congregation aware that you are on Facebook and that it IS a significant aspect of the church’s public image. It’s not just a gimmick or a phase!
  9. Document in pictures the goings on of the church.
    • Facebook is much more effective than a website at offering an incredibly broad overview of WHO YOU ARE in just seconds. Make sure you are presenting the fullest range of activities – you never know what it will be that switches someone from casually looking at a facebook page to considering checking you out in person.
  10. Schedule announcement posts for times when people are most likely to engage.
    • Take advantage of Facebook’s “insights” to help you figure out when that is.

BONUS – make sure you utilize your Facebook “call to action” button. There are a number of options but “Contact Us” or “Call Now” are good ones to default to. However, if you have a church app – this is the place to link to it!

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