What should a ministry put on Facebook?

This week I was introduced to a new blog called @stickyjesus by a buddy who sent me their "8 ways to use your social networks to increase your church's reach". I thought the article was great and to sum it up here are some of the great ways mentioned that you can increase your social media websites reach:

    1. Post your church services.
    2. Post quotes from the pastors sermon.
    3. Post blogs from your church leaders.
    4. Post special events.
    5. Promote mission opportunities
    6. Share, links, pictures and videos.
    7. Be contagious, get as much out there as possible.

After reading this blog post, I recalled the key points I gave a few weeks ago at the 2011 Pastors and Leadership Conference I spoke at. The question I got was about Facebook fan pages, a participant asked "What are the best things to post and how often should I post?"

First things first, no matter if it's a website, social media site or a church bulletin, CONTENT IS KING! You want to provide as much engaging content as possible. Whether it's the content listed above or other content that your church provides, make sure you stay consistent and let the content flow. Now, let's answer the first part of the question above, "What are the best things to post?", well here are the best things, in numerical order:

    1. Video - video is the most engaging form of content on the internet as well as Facebook fan pages. This multimedia format has quickly became the most influential and impactful format to get content out to your online users.

    2. Links - links give people a call to action, this allows them to click to another page to get more information based on the headline or blurb that is located on your fan page.

    3. Status update - Always a fan favorite, just a plain old status update with some information. Whether it's a motivational quote or a reminder about bible study, status updates are great ways to communicate on Facebook fan pages.

    4. Photos - Photos are a great way to capture the moment. Continue to provide photos to your fans and they will comment on the great pictures you provide.

    5. Questions - questions is a feature that is quickly rolling out on Facebook where you can ask questions to your fans and get instant feedback. This is not only a way to get important questions out to your fans but to also allow them to express their opinions to you. This two way interactive feature is a great representation of the essence of social networking.

Now that you have an idea of what to post, let's address the second part of the question, "how often should I post?". Well here is a good daily strategy:

    1. Morning post (6am - 10am)
    2. Late morning post (10am - 12pm)
    3. Afternoon post (12pm - 3pm)
    4. Mid-day post (3pm - 6pm)
    5. Evening post (6pm - 10pm)
    6. Overnight post (10pm - 6am).

You don't have to post as often as these 6 times suggest but this is a good start. This way you will start to be consistent on posting and start to develop a large fan base that wants to interact with your ministry.