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Facebook Has Really Done It This Time!

Well, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed our growing fears last week , Facebook has tweaked their algorithms to modify the reach of our posts. Historically, the modification is intended to drive marketers into paid posts and ads channels to increase revenues, and that is still partially true. However, I think there is a large, silver lining for churches and non-profits to regain some lost ground in using Facebook as a tool to reach new people. Here are three reasons I believe this to be true. 
1) Facebook is putting the social back into social media. The new algorithm is designed to declutter our Page’s timeline by rewarding posts that engage a conversation and give less reach to those self-promoting “look at us” posts. So, our Facebook timeline is intended to be our digital coffee table where friends gather to talk and not a carnival barker screeching to come see the bearded alligator! Realize Facebook makes money when we spend time on their platform, so they will now reward us with increased reach when we bring more people to the table with posts that elicit interaction. 
2) Gives us a platform for our live media to generate two-way conversation. For the past couple of years, Facebook has rewarded posts with videos, both recorded and live. As I understand it video, particularly FB Live videos, will continue to be high value, if you can get people to engage in conversation around the video. Do you see the pattern here? So, make sure you offer salient questions of your audience and give them ample opportunities to respond to maximize the new formula. 
3) It more clearly defines the purpose of pages vs groups. I have already heard in the first couple of days of the announcement some “Chicken Littles” espousing that Facebook is killing our Pages and making us use Groups exclusively. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Actually, for churches in particular, it delineates where we talk (i.e. have conversations) to the unchurched in our communities (Pages) and where we share important information (i.e. announcements) with our congregations (Groups). 
This is just a brief overview of the changes to Facebook; the details are much more complex and far-reaching. The point I want you to hear loud and clear is that Facebook is NOT crushing your Page. It is giving the church an opportunity to do what we do best – build relationships! Stay tuned to future posts, live videos, and webinars from ChurchCMO on how we can help more people follow Jesus using our digital toolboxes! 

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