Facebook isn’t friendly to organizations that are trying to use it for free. That’s a reality. Increasingly, Facebook is a pay to play system. Honestly, that shouldn’t be a surprise for a publically traded company, but it can be frustrating.
That said, it isn’t time to abandon Facebook, but it is good to set realistic expectations. Less than a fifth of your users will see your average post, but there are some things you can do to boost that number. The average church is never going to reach everyone without paying, but here are some ways to improve post performance.
- Good content is your best strategy. Creating posts that people want to share, like or comment on are gold. Lots of interaction increases the odds that your content will reach more people. Strive to help, motivate and inspire your followers.
- Understand how and when your audience interacts. Timely interaction is incredibly important. That simply means the more likes, shares and comments that happen the sooner after the your post goes up, the better. That makes two characteristics of your audience important to know. First, what kind of content do they interact with the most? Second, what time are they usually online?
- Thankfully Facebook gives you a little help with interaction information. Through Insights, you can see what kinds of posts (pictures, text-only, links, etc.) perform the best. Additionally, Facebook will show you a graph of when your fans are normally online. Beyond that, you can get post-by-post analytics that will give you a feel for what’s working. To access this information, click on “See Insights” at the top of your admin page.
- Keep a regular schedule. There’s definitely a part of the algorithm that punishes infrequent and sporadic posting. From personal experience, we’ve seen that when we’re posting several times a week our posts get higher overall views. Likewise, if we don’t post for a while, that first post after the drought will inevitably get a lower reach.
- Don’t overcommit your time. Part of using Facebook well is understanding that it’s not a perfect communications tool. That’s why it’s important to realize what Facebook can and cannot do for you. Budget your time accordingly. There’s no need to overinvest your time on something that’s not your most efficient communication avenue.