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Your church Facebook Page and Facebook’s new algorithms

Mark Zuckerberg

You may have heard that Facebook is changing the algorithms that determine what shows up in your News Feed. Rumor has it that you will see more of what your friends post – status, photos, links to stories – and less of items from Facebook Pages.

But your church’s Facebook presence is one of those Pages. How will these changes affect your ability to communicate what’s happening with your congregation? Will people miss hearing or seeing some of your exciting news?

The answer seems to be both yes and no. Yes – without making some changes in the way your audience manages their News Feed, some may not see every item you post. No – if those changes described below are made, there will be a better chance more of your posts will be seen.

Facebook has decided through its research that folks naturally would rather see things they like and in which they are interested. So the more often they click on items posted by friends: status, photos, links, etc., the more likely these type of postings will appear at the top of one’s News Feed. But unless your audience “likes” or “shares” items from your church’s Page on a regular basis, some of your postings may be missed.

So there are a couple of ways in which the changes in the algorithms can be managed.

First, encourage your audience to make sure they have “Liked” your church’s page. Then ask them to go to the church’s page, hover over the “Liked” button, and select “See First” in the menu drop-down.

A second approach is to encourage your audience not only to “like” a posting, but also to “share” it on their own News Feed so that it will come to the attention of all their friends, who can then “like” it, which will then improve the likelihood it will rise on everyone’s News Feed.

Facebook often tinkers with its algorithms and there is no guarantee that these suggestions will solve how we communicate with our church’s Pages. But, for the time being, it’s well worth the effort.

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