Surprise! Facebook is changing the algorithm by which Page owners can reach their fans.
This means the organic (read “free”) reach you enjoyed up to this point will start to decline over the next few weeks. In fact, a “high performing” post could reach as little as 10% of your followers.
The gist of the matter is Facebook wants to monetize the traffic to Pages. This makes sense for Facebook (sort of). They are in business to be in business after all. And now they have stockholders to answer to. Instead of giving away free advertising Facebook wants to charge Page owners to click “Boost post” to promote their content.
So what does this mean for church social media managers? Here are 4 actions to take in the next week or so:
1. Communicate with your audience
Your Facebook fans have no idea this change is happening. They may notice less of your church’s content in their newsfeed and will wonder where you went. Let your audience know about the changes. Inform your followers where to find the best info about [insert church name here] and how to stay connected.
2. Build up substitutes
If Facebook is your primary social media channel it’s worth bolstering your presence on other platforms. Twitter and Google+ round out the “Big 3” social media giants with 100s of millions of active users. Also, this is a great opportunity to build (or start) your church email list. People will want to stay in the loop on news, sermons and events. Especially around the holidays.
3. Explore social media alternatives
Checkout options like The City, a closed community platform that integrates with Facebook and combines the benefits of social networking with targeted email communication and event planning among other features. There’s an added benefit of administrative control and community management not available on social media platforms.
4. Do something
Regardless of whether your church multi-site or a high school gym, if you have any presence on Facebook these changes impact you. The wrong choice is to make no choice at all and do nothing.
Facebook will continue to change and disrupt the norm. They rarely reverse changes despite the outcry of users. It is what it is. How you and your church navigate this change is up to you. Take advantage of the chance to engage with your audience and demonstrate the value of online community in supplementing the church experience.
How do you plan on responding to Facebook’s changes for Pages?
Which social media platform is your church (as a staff and organization) most active on?
Where are your church members most present?
Note: This applies to all Facebook Page owners, not just churches. If you’re an artist, blogger, online marketer, etc, your Facebook engagement stats will take a hit.