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Getting Started with Facebook in Unitarian Universalist Congregations

To help congregations get started using Facebook, we have collected answers to some common questions that arise in this process.

Why should our congregation have a Facebook Page when we already have a website?

Facebook is used differently than are websites. Perhaps the most significant difference is that Facebook is interactive.

  • Facebook allows for immediate and direct interaction through likes, shares, and commenting.
  • When someone sees something they find interesting, they can quickly share it with others on Facebook.
  • Information on Facebook is organized through a “Timeline” where all activity is automatically recognized and shared based on popularity.
    • Facebook determines popular content based on how much interaction (likes, comments, and shares) a post receives.

A Facebook Page should not replace your congregation's website. Instead, consider it an additional tool to stimulate interaction and facilitate outreach.

Should our congregation set up a page or a group on Facebook?

Pages
  • Facebook Pages facilitate the presentation of a clear institutional face and message while also allowing for extensive constituent participation.
  • Facebook wants organizations to use pages and therefore offers new features that are specifically useful to organizations, including specialized applications, insights to measure interaction, landing pages, custom tabs, and advertising.
  • The UUA uses a Facebook Page and encourages congregations to do so as well.
Groups
  • Facebook Groups are useful in congregations where the primary goal is to facilitate conversation among individuals.
  • Some congregations choose to create both a page and one or more groups to help organize discussion around different subjects.

Should our congregation set up different Facebook pages for different groups, committees, projects, or staff?

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) recommends that congregations establish a single Facebook Page to represent the congregation and consider allowing different groups and individuals in the congregation to contribute content to that page. There are several good reasons for this:

  • Facebook Timeline updates are based on the frequency of use or interaction. The more interaction a post gets, the more it will be seen by others.
  • A single page helps avoid user confusion over similarly-named pages.
  • Interaction is enhanced because there is more content to interact with.
  • A single page is more reliable because it is easier to maintain over time.

Organizing high quality Facebook content to share in one location does take some planning. Choosing good Facebook Page administrators is an essential first step to getting this right.

Regardless of your approach, remember that posting regular content and posting relevant content are two key factors in the successful use Facebook.

Who should administer our congregation’s Facebook Page?

There are a number of considerations when choosing Facebook Page administrators. The most important consideration, however, is to choose more than one person to administer your congregation’s Facebook Page.

The UUA recommends that you have at least three trustworthy people in the congregation serve as administrators. This helps ensure new content gets posted regularly and helps distribute the workload of updating the page and moderating content.

How do we keep spam off of our Facebook Page and/or otherwise moderate content?

The first thing to remember about content moderation on Facebook is that your congregation’s Facebook Page belongs to your congregation. Therefore, your congregation has the sole right to determine what is appropriate content.

Given this reality, it is important that your congregation understand and agree about what appropriate content is. Consider writing a content moderation policy and make sure all page administrators understand and implement the policy. A written policy is also very useful to have available when administrators are asked why some item was removed from the page.

For more information contact pw_specialist @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Friday, April 27, 2012.

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