Is Facebook relevant?  How often should I post? When should I post? If I have Facebook, do I need a website?  Facebook vs Instagram?

I am asked these questions and others on a regular basis.  Let me hit some of the highlights for you, remembering that in the world of social media, things are in constant flux.  As soon as you think you “have it,” things change…usually for the better.

1) Firstly, what is social media?

“Forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos).” – http://www.merriam-webster.com/

Through a myriad of internet applications and technology, we can connect with others, around the world, in an instant.  Facebook has been around for some time (MySpace was first) and has become a way for people to connect.

2) Is Facebook relevant?

The short answer is, YES!  Setting aside email, at this time Facebook surpasses all other social media platforms and spans the generations.  Sure, the kids will say, “Facebook is for old people,” but they do have an account and check on it as they certainly “don’t want to miss anything.”

3) How often should I post? When should I post?

Many of us truly post too often.  The science behind Facebook indicates that 4-5 posts/week is the optimal number with Saturday having the highest engagement. *Dan Zarrella, Social Media Scientist

After that, people just turn off.  Also, it is pretty much understood that the stats Facebook provides are inflated and fairly meaningless.  Likes and Shares are the best indicators of your level of engagement.

4) If I have Facebook, do I need a website?

ABSOLUTELY!  Facebook is great for putting out content for a short time-frame, but that content can be lost, removed by Facebook for unknown reasons and difficult to find at a later time.  Facebook is a tool to be used as part of your overall Communications Ecosystem, but your website should be the central repository for information.  See our Communications Ecosystem Blog here.

5) Facebook vs Instagram?

Hmmm…both.  Instagram is owned by Facebook.  The audience is generally younger, but generational engagement is expanding very quickly.  In general, if you are looking to connect with your community, Instagram is a great place to do it, but it is not a replacement for Facebook.  The suggested posting frequencies are the same as Facebook.  In general, if you want to be posting more than 4-5 times a week, you should be looking to Twitter! (But that topic is for another day…)

6) Supporting each other on Facebook is quick and easy!

Every time you “Like,” “Share” or “Comment” on a post, you help to increase engagement.  These actions greatly increase our reach.  As an example, we saw our engagement for the TAUM Music Festival Blog post increase significantly with only 2 “Likes” and 1 “Share.”  These are easy ways to be supporting each other and spreading the news on the many good works and activities happening.  If you have something you would like us to “Like,” please feel free to reach out and send us a note.  Sometimes we miss the post, but can easily hop on and support you!

Facebook is a great way to reach a multi-generational audience, however you can’t be lulled into thinking it can replace your website.  It is a great tool as part of a comprehensive communications plan.  The Albany Presbytery is currently working to overhaul our Communications Plan too!  We all are a work in progress.  Let’s support each other by engaging with each other more in Facebook and the social media platforms that best suit your community.

About Kim Deal

Kim is the Communications Manager for the Albany Presbytery. Outside of this role, she is passionate about her family and inspiring people to grow and contribute in meaningful ways. You can reach Kim at communications@albanypresbytery.org. She also attends Brunswick Church where she enjoys singing with the women's ensemble, Grace Alone.

The purpose of the Albany Presbytery Blog is to share information, tell stories, and promote the mission and ministry of the presbytery, synod and beyond. While the breadth of this medium is intentionally broad, it is not a platform for opinion pieces related to business coming before the presbytery unless designed as part of an initiative to provide a diversity of viewpoints at the direction of the presbytery. Exceptions to this policy may be brought to the presbytery officers who will determine appropriateness of submissions.