“Did you post that event promotion yet?” “Where are the photos from the Fall Festival? We promised parishioners to have that up last week!” “You know, I run the Facebook page for my business and I really think you should…”
If you’re in charge of your church Facebook page and social media is not your forte, perhaps you feel a bit like the Apostle Paul talking about a thorn in his flesh. “Three times I begged the Lord to remove it!” And yet, like God Himself, your pastor keeps it there. So how can you make the platform’s power a little more perfect, despite your own weakness?
Better Than a Personal Page
A Facebook business page has features your personal profile does not. Here are a few your church might find particularly useful:
- Offers the ability to schedule posts for specific dates and times
- Tracks basic analytics for page visitors and post success
- Pin special posts to the top of your page
- Set up auto-reply to business messages
- Stores videos and files together in an easily accessible location
- Have your updates sent straight to the top of parishioner news feeds
Your parish’s Facebook page doesn’t need to feel like a thorn in your side. Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at a few key areas of your parish’s Facebook page: Scheduling, Analytics , and the User Experience .
What Scheduling Can Do For You
To keep a Facebook page active and relevant, it’s important to post regularly. Few – if any – parishes can hire someone specifically dedicated to social media. You might have inherited Facebook from your tech-savvy predecessor. Maybe it’s bundled in with your youth ministry responsibilities because social media is considered “youthful.” Maybe you come from a larger parish with a Director of Communications or Evangelization, and the digital world is in your domain. Whatever the case, it’s likely one more task in a long to-do list. So how can scheduling help?
With the ability to schedule posts, you can plan your social media posts in advance. Once you know what you’re posting and when, you can block out an hour or two to schedule days and days of Facebook posts. Ideally, you’d be monitoring and checking in occasionally for messages and comments, but the pressure to post is off! They’re set up and ready to go automatically.
A Step-By-Step Guide
Scheduling posts is easier than you might think. Head over to your parish’s Facebook page.
1. At the top of the page, you’ll see a sharing section similar to your personal page. You can type, add images or links, and more. You’ll also notice that – once you start typing – the button at the bottom offers the option “schedule.”
2. A new box will pop up with scheduling options. You can select the date and time of your choosing. When you’re done, just click “schedule.” Voila! You’ve scheduled your first Facebook post!
1. Find the “Publishing Tools” button. This is located in the top navigation bar of your page. Click it.
2. This will take you to a page that shows all your previous posts. In the sidebar, “published posts” will be highlighted. We’ll talk more about this page in the upcoming Analytics blog. For now, click “scheduled posts” instead.
3. Now we can get moving! Click the “create” button in the upper right hand corner.
4. A box will pop up that’s similar to posting elsewhere. You’ll notice that “schedule” is now the default option. Clicking on it will bring you to a box identical to the one shown in Method 1. Once you hit “schedule,” you’re all set!
Making a Change
1. To make a change to a scheduled post, you’ll want to navigate to the “Scheduled Posts” section shown in Method 2. You’ll see your scheduled posts in the queue. Click on the one you’d like to change.
2. A new box will pop up. Click on “edit” in the lower righthand corner. “Reschedule” will appear as one of the options. Click it.
3. You’ll see a box similar to the one for initial scheduling. Change the date and time, then click “reschedule.” The new time and date will now show up in the queue.
There you have it! Scheduling enables you to think ahead and communicate more effectively online. Take a look at your events and liturgical calendar. How will these influence what you’d like to post on Facebook? Scheduling posts in advance takes the burden off you. Rather than remembering to take 10-15 minutes each day for Facebook, you can schedule batches in advance to save time and productivity later.