Your Church Facebook Page Is Going to Change

Posted October 07th 2011 @ 1:45 pm by Jerod

You may not notice any visible changes with your church Facebook Page right now.  But the way your updates appear to your fans has already changed.  And soon, the appearance of your page will likely get a makeover, too.

First, let’s start by talking about how you share information with your fans.  The goal traditionally has been to get someone to Like your Page.  Once they hit that button, you were golden.  Updates appeared in their feed and life was good.  But when Facebook recently changed their layout, they also tweaked how information is shared.  Users have more control.  They can mark what stories are their top news by clicking a little blue triangle on the corner of a post.  Likewise, if something starts out marked as a top story by Facebook, and someone unclicks it, that will affect future updates, and feed placement, from that page.  So it’s now more important to create updates from your church page that people actually find interesting or useful.

There’s also a greater importance on interaction.  If someone tags your page in a post, uses the share feature to pass along your update or likes a post, you get more points with Facebook and your posts may get a better chance of showing up in someone’s feed.  Same thing if someone comments on the post. 

Plus there’s a new feature that will actually publically show how many people are interacting with your Facebook Page and its content.  On your Page, below where it shows the total number of people who Like you, there will be a number showing how many “people are talking about this.”  It’s basically a total of people who are liking, commenting on or sharing your content.  It also includes people who are answering a question you post or RSVPing to an event you created.  Basically if someone is doing something with your Page or content, it ends up in this total.

Secondly, the new Timeline profile will change the way people present information about themselves and this change could be coming to your church’s Facebook page soon according to Mashable.  A Facebook rep told the website, “Consistency in both functionality and appearance is really important to Facebook, so we hope to make Pages more consistent with the new Timeline in the future.”  (Mashable has even imagined what certain brands might look like in Timeline.)

Here’s why Timeline is going to change what your church does.  It’ll turn your page into a visual history of who you are and what you’ve been doing.  You can have more say on what it looks like though the images you use.  Plus, Timeline gives a much bigger focus on the history of your church or organization by letting you add information and milestones from a time before Facebook existed.  If there are holes in your history timeline, you can help fill in the blanks.  So where a lot of things were done by default in the past, you’re going to need to be more conscious about what you’re presenting.  It’s not a bad thing. You’ll have greater opportunities, but it will mean you have to be more intentional about what you’re doing. 

None of the Timeline for church pages stuff is guaranteed to happen, but it seems likely.  So think of this post as a little bit of a heads-up for you to starting thinking about how you could better tell your church’s story on Facebook.

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