How our Facebook page grew to 250K likes

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Social Media 101 Blog

By Nils Smith

I get asked a lot about the Online Church Facebook page and how it grew to over 250,000 page likes in less than two years. People often expect one secret sauce solution and that simply does not exist. This page grew through experimentation, systematization and plain old hard work. Over the first two years of Online Church page’s existence we have failed at many experiments and succeeded in just a few. Those few have been tremendous though for our growth and I’m excited to share them with you here:

1. Posting Schedule
We post approximately four to six times each day. Many people suggest that this is too often when they look at our page, but the reality is that Facebook users rarely go to your actual page. They interact with your your posts in their newsfeed and they likely only see about 10% of the posts you make. This means that if we post four to six times each day, the average user will see one of our posts every other day. Doesn’t seem like too much to me and our Facebook community has yet to complain. By the way, we schedule most of our posts out through Facebook’s scheduling feature so that we don’t have to manually post with this regularity. We monitor the page closely and strive to constantly engage with our audience.

2. Post Variety
We have a posting formula creating a balance of posts focused on inspiration, conversation and information. Most churches want to get straight to the information and let people know about their events and activities. We have found that the more we lean on posting inspirational and conversational posts, the more effective our information becomes. We try to add even more variety by posting these three different styles using multiple formats, such as text, images and videos.

3. Running Ads
Churches seem to think they are above online advertising and that they should not have to pay for Facebook since it is a free platform. You do not have to, but I think it is a great tool to reach more people. For the Online Church Facebook page we spend about $5 per day on ads and the exponential growth these have fueled has been well worth the financial investment.

On our way to finding these three success points, there have been dozens of mistakes. As we now look ahead to the milestone of 500,000 likes, I’m sure we will try dozens more experiments that will fail. At the same time, I believe that through those experiments we will find two or three more things to add to this list. We plan to keep experimenting, keep tweaking our systems and keep working hard as there are more than a billion active users on this network that need to hear about Jesus and engage in community!

Courtesy of The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church.

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