I have been helping to run the Digital Bible Facebook page, owned by United Bible Societies, since 2009. It has been a wonderful experience to be part of sharing God’s Word with millions of people on Facebook and to see the page growing and growing – we now have just over 8.7 million fans! I have learnt a great deal from working on this page and have used this experience to develop the page of my local church, Backa kyrka. It’s just a small page, with a little over 100 likes, but there are loads of things that you can learn from a huge global page like Digital Bible. Here are some tips that may help you develop your own page:
1. Have a basic idea – and stick to it!
The basic idea of Digital Bible hasn’t changed since the page first started – we post Scripture without comment or interpretation and we let our fans comment and discuss. We trust our basic idea that the Bible speaks for itself. The success of the page suggests that this trust is well-founded.
2. Adapt to the changing social media landscape
The world of social media doesn’t stand still and you need to stay abreast of developments to ensure that your page keeps up. For example, the changes to Facebook itself (rules and features) and the huge increase in mobile internet usage both affect the way that your fans see and interact with your posts. We have adapted the way we work with the page but still stick to our basic idea of sharing Scripture.
3. Consider the shorter attention span
In an increasingly mobile-oriented environment, the only time you have to catch people’s attention is the time it takes to swipe a finger across a mobile phone. Use images, cropped to a 1:1 ratio. If your text is more than a few words, highlight the essence of it with another colour.
You have to help your followers to stop at your post in their feed and engage with it.
4. Make good use of your cover photo
Your cover photo can contain 20% text. Make good use of it and check how it looks, both on a computer, mobile phone and tablet.
5. Encourage people to inbox you
The page inbox is a great way for you to form a closer relationship with your fans. At Digital Bible we get hundreds of prayer requests when we ask people, but it’s well worth the effort to respond to each person.
6. Check your page insights
These give invaluable insight into who your audience is and how they are responding (or not) to your posts. For example, on my church page, Backa kyrka, I noticed that roughly 1/3 of the people reached by the page were not using Facebook in Swedish. At that time I was only posting in Swedish. I immediately started doing a few posts in English, targeting them to only reach those who had chosen English as their language on Facebook, and the number of people reached by and engaging with my posts increased.
7. Have fun!
Don’t be afraid to try different kinds of posts. Ask your followers what they’d like to see. On my church page, for example, some of my most popular posts have simply been trivia about various years of significance in the history of the church.
The results so far…
I’ve worked on the Backa kyrka page using these tips for 2 months now (with most church activities closed down for the summer). These are the results:
• 7.2% increase in ‘likes’
• 312% increase in people talking about the page!
• 163% increase in weekly engaged users
• 207% increase in weekly reach
• 399% increase in weekly impressions
• 987% increase in daily page views!
I encourage you to take a look at your own page and start implementing these ideas. I’m sure you’ll see a positive result rather soon :-).