Saturday, February 20, 2016

Create a Facebook page to reach groups, teams you are involved in - February 19, 2016

Do you have a church group, child’s athletic team, maybe a home-based business and you want to reach members, parents and customers?

It used to be I’d suggest creating a website to coordinate all the information you want to put out. While that’s still a good idea, it is always best to go where the people already are.

And today, that means Facebook, which has more than a billion and a half users. You most likely are one. Most likely a parent of every child on the team is on Facebook.

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook, as do many. I love how it lets me stay in contact with friends from different eras of my life and different parts of the globe that I otherwise would have lost track.

And I hate its seemingly “big brotherness.” It is never quite clear what others are seeing about me. They see the likes I make, but who sees what and why is not always clear.

And I do not see every post my friends make, as they do not see all of mine. Facebook’s algorithm for the feed is both a secret and Byzantine.

Besides your standard Facebook feed, you can also create your own Facebook page. A page can be for a business, group, team, hobby or whatever. My vet has one that lists their hours, a map to their location and interesting posts that keep their name in mind.

Our church has several pages supporting various ministries and letting members interact by posting questions, comments and other interactions.

It costs nothing to create a Facebook page. As an exercise, I created one for the Family Tech column. To find it on Facebook, search for “family tech newspaper column.” Someone already beat me to the Family Tech name.

When you have a Facebook page, the owner can see how many people have liked the page and who they are.

People who like the page will see some of the posts in the feed and all of the posts in their page’s feed or if they visit the page directly.

For the page owner, if you want a post to reach more of the people who have liked the page, you can pay to promote the page or post.

Also, you can pay Facebook to run advertisements showing your page to those who have not already liked it, encouraging them to visit it.

There are two big reasons to have a Facebook page. It lets your members, team families, or in my case, readers, have a place to interact and learn about activities, games or new columns and Family Tech resources, respectively.

It also shows up if people search for your kind of service or group. It can bring you new members, customers or whatever.

If you search in Facebook for “veterinarians Woodbridge,” it will show you the pages of many local vets.

Facebook’s algorithm won’t show all the posts to everyone who liked a page. There is a way you as a user can see all of them. If you go to a page you like and you wish to see all of the posts in your normal feed, then go to the like button you clicked when you first liked the page. It has a down arrow. Click the down arrow and a set of choices appears.

In the notifications section, choose “All On.” Now, every post made on the page will appear in your normal feed. I did that with the page long ago to make sure I didn’t miss any local news.

If you are a page owner, you should have a post on your page encouraging members to make the notification change and explain how to do it. You should probably put that post up once a month or so to reminding new users to do it.

You want to get the word out to build your audience and get the most bang for your efforts.

Page owners can create tabs on their pages to add more information and resources. For inspiration, check out some of the pages of larger companies to see what their social media people have put together. Expect to see this column’s page change over time.

But right now, please find the column’s page and like it. If you can’t find it, check the link post below.

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