For a few months, our team has been waiting for the Facebook update. We’ve been wondering if it would change the way pages can get content into their “fans” news feed. Many have asked me and inquired if the Facebook update will hurt or help the church, with most of us having pages instead of profiles… and here’s what I’d say about all of it: It’s not as bad as it sounds!
Here are a few observations on the facebook update to consider as you figure out your next steps moving forward:
The new algorithm all about engagement
As we move into the next era of content marketing churches must remember that announcing something is less important than getting social engagement. Here’s the deal: we live in a culture that could care less about advertisements. They care about what benefits them and that means you need to care about what they are doing and in turn they will care about you! As this new Facebook update begins to be implemented, we need to consider posting fewer “Join us this weekend!” and instead find ways to use video, pictures, polls, questions or discussions to spark great engagement. What makes people hit these little buttons!? That’s the goal of this new algorithm.
Sharing & Commenting will become the new “reach”
Currently, a post is successful if the organic reach for the post is good. But that’s about to change. If you’re like me, the organic reach is confusing. How it is calculated? Is it the number of people who scroll past your post as they aimlessly browse Facebook? With this new Facebook Update there’s a new gold standard: sharing and comments. If you can get people to share your posts (which means you’re creating and posting more community-minded things) you’ll win with the new algorithm. Furthermore, if you can get more buy-in from key people in your church, then you’ll have little to worry about. (Hmm… the church being less like an organization and more like the body of Christ? That sounds like working together to be a force of good for your neighborhood.)
Creativity has amazing opportunity.
In the current model, pages with the “loudest” and pages with the most regularly posted status updates win their place on your newsfeed. In the Facebook update that is coming, Creativity will take center stage. What does this mean for you and the community? You’re job matters more than ever before. We need your powerful stories. We need your creative insights. We need the way you can engineer new systems and ideas. We need your God-Given Creativity to cut through the noise… to be the vehicle that the Gospel and life-changing truth makes it’s way to people’s news feed. Don’t give up, You’re likely going to be able to step into a deeper meaning and watch your giftedness impact society.
Try new things.
The last observation that I’m finding with everything I have read on the new facebook update is that it’s going to benefit organic content (videos, photos, and status updates that get reactions) over syndicated content (blog posts, articles, etc). This means you get to try new things, and we (as the church) may be able to reach new people in ways’ we’ve never reached them before. So if you’ve never tried it, explore ways to incorporate Facebook Live into your weekly social media schedule, use discussions or create a group! This is an opportunity to be innovative. To challenge the status quo.
Craig Groeschel is known for saying “To reach people that no one is reaching, you have to do things that no one is doing..” What an amazing perspective as we embark on this new journey to make the most of this Facebook update coming our way!To reach people no one is reaching, you have to do things that no one is doing. Click To Tweet
What are you going to try and do differently with the new Facebook Update to reach more people in your community?