Changes to Facebook are on their way. In upcoming weeks, Facebook will roll out a redesigned, less cluttered News Feed to users, and there are some things your church needs to think about to be ready. While it’s hard to know exactly how the modifications will affect how you administer your Facebook page, here are a few things to consider.
Your Cover Photo is more important.
In the past, the general consensus was that the big image across the top of your Timeline should be tailored to new fans who are coming to your page. Basically once someone likes your organization, they won’t come back but instead depend on seeing your updates in their feed.
But now, the Cover Photo is getting more exposure in the News Feed. When someone likes a page, their friends see that. Instead of just text, Facebook will now include a small version of the Cover Photo. This change is already happening.
That’s in addition to a recent update Facebook already implemented where a preview of your Cover Photo appears when anyone hovers over your page name.
It’s surprising how many church Timelines still don’t have a Cover Photo. If you don’t, do it. This is a great, simple way to tell a piece of your church’s story in a visual way. (Wondering what photo to use? This post might help.)
The size of the photo isn’t changing, so if you already have one, you’re okay. But this would be a fine time to evaluate the effectiveness of the image you currently have to see if there’s something better for you to use.
The News Feed is getting more visual.
Beyond the Cover Photo changes, Facebook is giving more real estate to images. Posted pictures will get bigger previews. Albums will get more space. Videos will get more attention, too.
According to Facebook, photos are still the most popular posts on the site. Think of how you can better use images to take advantage of that.
Also, if you share a lot of links from your website, it’s good to know that the preview image that gets posted with the link is getting larger as well. If you’re posting content to your website to share on Facebook, pick compelling images to go along with it.
Facebook is asking users to use the site in a new way.
Typically Facebook users get a bit of outrage when asked to change the way they use Facebook. So it will be interesting to see how this works. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg now looks at Facebook as digital newspaper. Just like traditional newspapers have multiple sections, so will the new News Feed.
Users will be able to filter their feed by choosing sections like Photos, Most Recent, Games, Following and more. It’s a little unclear where brand pages, like your church, will fit in. The idea is users can see more updates by going to multiple sections. My guess is the “Following” feed will be similar to the current “Pages Feed” option where users just see organizations they follow.
Even with the changes, Facecbook will still use its algorithm to determine what users see. In general, they still won’t see every post from every person or organization they follow.
If you want to see a little more about their changes you can go to Facebook’s preview of the changes.