Like it or not, we all tend to rely on the numbers to let us know if we’re effectively engaging with our friends and followers on social media. However, Facebook makes a lot of changes and it’s hard to keep up with them all so, if you’re scratching your head about why something’s happening there, we can clear up at least one mystery for you.
If you’ve recently seen a decline in your church’s Facebook numbers, starting around March 12 or 13, it’s not your lack of wit, your social savvy, the disappearance of your church members, or your imagination.
Facebook Is Deleting Inactive Accounts
The grandfather of social media announced recently that they would be purging “memorialized and voluntarily deactivated accounts” from its network. That means if any of those deactivated accounts were liking your church’s page, your numbers will drop. (Along those lines, we hope YOUR Facebook identity isn’t being deleted for inactivity!)
There’s an Upside
The silver lining of this little cloud is that this change could actually make your Facebook data more meaningful to you in reaching your members. “Likes” aren’t the most important measurement of engagement in Facebook’s opinion, anyway. Actual engagement is.
Just as in real life, engagement is how people are interacting with your Facebook posts: liking, sharing and/or commenting. High engagement percentages tell you that people are paying attention to you and enjoying what you have to say, not just giving you a passing thumbs-up.
Facebook has a sophisticated algorithm that records the types of posts users engage with and then tinkers with each user’s timeline to try and only show posts (and ads) that person will enjoy. Currently, only about 1 in 6 of your members could be seeing your Facebook post in their newsfeed. [Tweet that]
If you’re managing a Facebook page for your church, the main thing to focus on to increase your appearance in your members’ newsfeeds is creating relevant posts that they will care about enough to comment on and share. You also get extra points for always commenting back to their comments on your own page, as well as creating conversations on others’ pages. In this regard, Facebook’s algorithm seems to be based on Scripture:
Increase Engagement by Putting the Social Back in Social Media
At a recent conference, a social media consultant addressed the “new” trend in social media: Sharing Moments.
Sharing moments is a return to the original purpose of social media: being social. Only since organizations began leveraging social media platforms for business purposes has it become important to emphasize the social side of Facebook again.
The notion of Sharing Moments is a good way to gauge your Facebook posting strategy. Sharing moments is best done:
Use images and videos for maximum engagement! (Please do so with caution when children are involved. Review our blogpost about imagery guidelines).
Facebook posts under 40 characters receive 86% higher engagement. (Fast Company) Instagram recently passed Twitter (the original platform of brevity) in followers because, as you know, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Rallyverse recommends a content ratio of 30% your own moments, 60% curated (sharing other peoples’ moments) and 10% church “business” content.
Behind on Social Media?
If your church is behind on social media, we’d love to help! We’ll be focusing on social media for churches this quarter here on the blog. Also, let us know here or on our Facebook and Twitter pages what aspects of social media you’d like to hear more about.