Eight months into my tenure at St. Andrew, my team and I are starting to gather enough data to learn some things about our communication efforts. One of the most fascinating data sets has come from our Facebook page.
Just prior to my arrival, the church hired Chris Derrett, a sports journalist, as our communications associate with a special focus on social media, particularly our church Facebook page. Chris has been on the job just a few weeks longer than me, so we’ve been learning together. His focus has primarily been on developing our Facebook page, which as of this post has 2318 likes (people following the page).
After a few months, Chris and I established some rules to govern how we post to the page. Since then we’ve seen a steady increase in our median unique reach per post:
- 12/16 – 953
- 1/17 – 1016
- 2/17 – 1181
- 3/17 – 1242
Here are some rules we established:
- 1 post per day on Facebook, because the average FB post lasts 24 hours.
- Emphasis on content over advertising
- Emphasis on community over programming
- Emphasis on organic posts over scheduled curation and links
- Consistency of “voice”
Since then we’ve noticed a trend about post type (we’re not the first to notice this). The average reach per type of post varies wildly. Video outperforms photos, and way outperforms links (we’ve not tried just straight text yet).
- Video – 2920
- Photo – 2011
- Link – 912
Also, we’ve noticed a big difference in the time of day we post. Here’s a list of posts by hour, again with unique median reach per post. Afternoon posts work best:
- 3:00p – 3397
- 1:00p – 3029
- 5:00p – 2147
- 2:00p – 2017
- 12:00p – 1795
- 7:00p – 1632
- 11:00a – 1616
- 4:00p – 1476
- 8:00a – 932
- 9:00p – 828
- 9:00a – 649
- 6:00p – 386
People are more likely to check Facebook during and after lunch and through the mid-afternoon doldrums, then again before the leave the office at 5:00p. Posts at the beginning of the day fare the worst, as well as posts during dinner and around bedtime.
Last, we’ve been tracking categories of content using a few buckets. Here’s some average reach by content type.
- Sermon 3283
- Bumper 3229
- News 2286
- Promo 1752
- Chapel 894
- e-votional 563
Sermons, which are two minute-ish video clips selected from weekend streamed sermons, perform the best. Bumpers, which are video clips of content not associated with news and promotions – straight ministry information – also perform well. The e-votionals suffer from lack of photo and video content. We added Chapels in March, which are posts summarizing lessons from our staff chapel, but so far they’re not performing well.
In other words, short form original video content is killer.
For the future, we’re going to analyze types of video and straight text, as well as some more targeted time stamps. We’re also going to add photos to our e-votionals.