Five Simple Ways to Get Better at Facebook

Five Simple Ways to Get Better at Facebook

December 17, 2012 by

Whether you work at a church, nonprofit or company, Facebook should be an important part of your communication plan. It’s the biggest social network and holds huge potential for helping your community grow closer. So what are a few ways to do Facebook better?

1. Use lots (and lots and lots) of photos
Photos communicate quickly. They catch the eye and say things where words fall short. I highly recommend using photos whenever possible. Square photos fit particularly well on Facebook’s new Timeline layout.  Whether it’s an announcement about a church picnic, new staff member, sermon series or exciting milestone, lots of pictures will improve your Facebook strategy. does a nice job using square images.

2. Stop posting URLs (by themselves)
The least Liked, Commented, and Shared form of content on Facebook is URL links. Getting people to your website, blog, or videos is still important, so how do you do it the right way?

First, here’s how not to do it:

  • Copy the URL
  • Paste the URL into “Write something…” on your Facebook page.
  • Let Facebook pull in a photo from your site and hit “Post now.”

Trust me: this does not work well. Please stop doing it.

The wrong way to share content: Don’t post just the URL.

The better way:

  • First, click “Photo/Video” on your Facebook page.
  • Select a picture or screenshot that works with the URL.
  • Write a short sentence, like “Check out our new video!” and then add the URL at the end.
  • Hit “Post now.”

The difference will be dramatic. Instead of the least-interacted-with form of content on Facebook, you will use the most-interacted-with form. Try it out.

The right way: Post a photo or video, then add a URL.

3. Schedule your content ahead of time.
One of the best features Facebook has added in the past year is the ability to schedule content on pages ahead of time. Click the small, grey clock on the bottom left of your post box and you can decide when your content will show up (Make sure you’re posting as the page itself. If you’re trying to post as yourself on another page you won’t get the schedule option.). The evening hours (6-9 p.m.) are often the best time to post Facebook content because that’s when the most people will see it. Write your post, schedule it and experiment with which time of day works best for your audience. If you’re feeling extra productive and creative, you can even plan a week or two of Facebook content in one sitting.

Look for that clock icon in the lower left to schedule your content.

4. One-line writing.

Say it with less. People have short attention spans and are constantly bombarded with information. Be kind and make it quick. If you can make your Facebook post fit on one line, do it. Say one thing. Be ruthless about cutting down on unnecessary words. Short posts will do better.

Here’s a good example of a one-line Facebook post.

5. Be patient.

Everyone wants more Likes and Comments. How do all those other Pages make it look so easy?! A wall is built brick by brick. Write one good post today. Ask one more person to check out your church’s Facebook page. Little by little, you can create a community. Care about each person. Think long term and be willing to grow slowly. Being patient with Facebook and social media is important. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

No Magic Formula
Let’s get something straight: there are no magic formulas to make social media easy, fast, or challenge-free. No rules are unbreakable. If you try the following tips and they don’t work, throw them out and let me know what did work for you.

What Facebook tips did I miss? Please share below!

Post By:

Drew Gneiser

Drew Gneiser does all the social media at Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit organization based in Minneapolis. He regularly meets with other church marketers to tackle the challenges of communication, community and storytelling.
Read more posts by | Want to write for us?

11 Responses to “Five Simple Ways to Get Better at Facebook”

  • Mike
    December 17, 2012

    Unless you are an illegal church in China, don’t make your Church’s Facebook page a secret/closed/must be approved by a moderator/no one else can post on the wall type of page! Make it easy to join/like the page and interact. Know your Facebook settings and your options to change them.

    (Thanks for the tips, especially the clock. I shall implement!)

     | Permalink
  • Joel Natalie
    December 17, 2012

    Here’s another tip I just picked up that tags along with your scheduling idea. Space out your posts about three hours apart. That’s the average time it takes for your posts to leave your fans’ news feeds. If you are only posting once a day, make sure it lands in that 6-9 pm sweet spot. If you are able to post more often, back up three hours from there.

     | Permalink
  • Gabe Smith
    December 17, 2012

    What Facebook shows to your audience is an ever-moving target. A while back photos were getting more eyes than text-only posts. Now text-only posts are getting the preferential treatment. Interaction rates, on the other hand haven’t changed, so using photos might engage your audience, but fewer members of you audience are actually seeing it.

     | Permalink
    • Drew Gneiser
      December 17, 2012

      Very good point Gabe. There are no rules – especially ones that last long. Keep trying new stuff and evolving. Thanks for reading.

       | Permalink
  • Steven Fogg
    December 17, 2012

    Hi Drew, fantastic post!

    You covered ‘when’ people are on Facebook which is so important. I would add to this and say that just after school is the optimum time as we catch all the digital natives that carry the post through Facebook Edge-rank into the evening for the oldies and young families parents who use it after their kids go to bed.

    *Shameless self-promotion warning* I blogged about 11 imaginative ways your church can use Facebook over at my blog. Would love to know your thoughts on it.

     | Permalink
  • Laura
    December 20, 2012

    Wow, thanks for this article! I had no idea Facebook had the capability to schedule posts. This is going to help us so much!

     | Permalink
  • Church Motion Graphics
    December 20, 2012

    Great post for anyone who uses Facebook to reach their audience.

     | Permalink
  • Jordan Barrish
    January 2, 2013

    Great article! I have seen significant increases on Facebook pages I manage just by implementing number 1 over the past few months. We see that inspirational quotes do worlds better in our social media sphere when they are in picture format than just text and it has helped our following greatly. Thanks for posting and Happy New Year!

     | Permalink