the upper methosphere: Is Facebook wrecking your church page effectiveness?

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…if you can.

Methoblogger Wil Ranney recently posted about his growing beef with the effect that Facebook’s ever-shifting newsfeed algorithm has on churches (and other non-profit/for-profit entities) who are trying to communicate with their respective audiences. While acknowledging the beggars-can’t-be-choosers argument about complaining about a free service, he goes on to outline how it’s unlikely at this point that a church could recoup its Facebook pageviews even if they utilized Facebook’s paid post promotion service.

We caught up with Wil this week with a few questions:

UMR: When I started managing Facebook pages a few years ago, I remember Facebook groups being introduced shortly after I had gotten several pages set up. Because I generally like to do things once, I ignored groups initially. I later found as you described in your post that my page posts were disappearing in the continual tide of cats, food, and Facebook defaulting to “important” over “most recent” in my feed. With groups, you at least get a sidebar notification to ignore at will. Do Facebook groups suffer a similar fate as pages in group members’ feeds?

Wil: The major hangup with groups is that after you reach 250 members, you only get posts from your friends in the group. Even if you are under 250 members, you need to set the group to “open” registration for posts to be public, otherwise you’ll miss out on the evangelistic aspect of Facebook.

UMR: Is there any advantage or disadvantage to maintaining both a Facebook page and group for a church?

Wil: I think there are situations where it’s good to maintain both, but only if you have a purpose that fits each one. Otherwise, you are just duplicating information or, worse, duplicating threads of discussion. Discourse works best when everyone is in the same room, so to speak.

UMR: If a church were to maintain both a page and a group, how could they best utilize each? As an example, where would they best engage new members (and with what information) vs where might they best engage existing members?

Wil: Groups are great among covenanting groups where different levels of privacy are needed, while pages theoretically work better for evangelism (at least they did before the latest changes). I wouldn’t give up pages quite yet though. First off, there is going to be a backlash to the recent changes. I would expect Facebook to make a correction. The second reason is that Facebook is constantly changing things. Who knows what the future holds for pages.

Be sure to check out Wil’s full post, “Facebook Deals Another Blow to Churches.”

 

 

 

Kevin Alton

Kevin Alton is the Executive Editor of The United Methodist Reporter, Senior Writer & Editor for the Youthworker Movement, and co-founder of the Wesleyan youth resource Youthworker Circuit. He lives in the Georgia woods just outside of Chattanooga, TN, with his wife Britta and their two boys, Grey & Penner.

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About Kevin Alton

Kevin Alton is the Executive Editor of The United Methodist Reporter, Senior Writer & Editor for the Youthworker Movement, and co-founder of the Wesleyan youth resource Youthworker Circuit. He lives in the Georgia woods just outside of Chattanooga, TN, with his wife Britta and their two boys, Grey & Penner.

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The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
 
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eric
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Pay pay pay for facebook ads! Most congregations refuse to pay to for the ad space needed to get their messages out. They have no issue sending thousands to Africa for nets but won’t spend that same amount of money for local missions like facebook which will have just as big an impact. Send money for nets yes that is important but also spend an equal amount on TV, RADIO, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter ads as well. Do BOTH.

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