18 Facebook Posts Your Congregation Should Try

Inside Leadership

18 Facebook Posts Your Congregation Should Try

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It’s 2017, and Facebook is nothing new. A far cry from the college-centric social network that debuted in 2006, Facebook is now the most popular social media platform in the world, used by 79% of adults (and 68% of adults in the United States). Among users, three-quarters check Facebook daily.

Still, many congregations struggle with engagement on Facebook. What kind of posts will garner responses from members and potential members? How can we get past Facebook’s tendency to throttle organic post exposure?

Here are 18 ways your synagogue can experiment with Facebook this year. Give ‘em a try and tell us what works best!

  1. Preview what’s happening this week. Hosting an interesting speaker, a dynamic musician, or an incredible artist-in-residence? Tell people all about it, of course! But…
  2. Promote an upcoming event. Facebook automatically gives your post less visibility if the image you share is text-heavy. So, stay away from sharing your event flier or brochure. Instead, write something special for Facebook. Create a Facebook event to share, or share an image with the details of the event in the post, not on the picture.
  3. Share lyrics from your favorite Jewish song. Even better, share a video or a direct link to the song online. You’ll introduce folks to a new Jewish jam and promote a hardworking Jewish musician or group. (Don’t forget to tag the artists!)
  4. Tease the Shabbat sermon. Ask the rabbi to send a tidbit from his or her upcoming sermon…. After the service, turn a quote from the sermon into a graphic you can share on Instagram! See how interconnected this whole social media thing is?
  5. Post photos from your last event. Pick the best, highest-quality photos to share on Facebook. If you’ve got a professional photographer on hand, wait for those photos instead of posting grainy iPhone photos in the moment. Social media can wait if the pay-off is high-quality content.
  6. Share the weekly parashah. Help members prepare for Shabbat by sharing a link to the Torah portion before services. Visit ReformJudaism.org’s Torah Study page for summaries, d’vrei Torah, and English translations.
  7. Introduce staff and lay leaders. Put real people behind your social media presence! Share a silly photo of the rabbi behind the scenes or a “get to the know the president” post that includes his favorite Jewish holiday, most beloved Jewish food, and dreams for the future of the synagogue.
  8. Share helpful articles, blog posts, and how-tos. You can find all this and more at ReformJudaism.org!
  9. Celebrate simchas (joyous occasions). New baby in the congregation? Hosting a wedding this weekend? The rabbi’s birthday? Congratulate members and staff on social media, and be sure to tag them.
  10. Tune into important Jewish news. Share local and global Jewish news to keep congregants in the know. Visit JTA, The Forward, Haaretz, and your local Jewish paper to keep atop this week’s newswire – even if it isn’t strictly Jewish news. If something important is happening in your community, share that, too, with or without Jewish commentary.
  11. Count down to an upcoming event. 100 days until the URJ Biennial? One week until your awesome Hanukkah carnival? 18 days until confirmation? Count down with a visual, like a video or a fun image.
  12. Share Ten Minutes of Torah. Under the umbrella of Ten Minutes of Torah ReformJudaism.org publishes an essay on a topic of Jewish interest each weekday and a once-weekly podcast episode of “On the Other Hand: Ten Minutes of Torah.” All this content is designed for congregants, so get sharing!
  13. Share a verse from Torah. Let our ancient Jewish wisdom speak for itself.
  14. Note synagogue closures. When bad weather forces you to close your doors or cancel a program, post to Facebook to let folks know. Social media shouldn’t be the only way you inform them, but if they check your congregation’s page, they should be able to easily find out whether or not religious school is in session.
  15. Link to your livestream. Better yet, use the Facebook Live tool to livestream directly. Central Synagogue in Manhattan does it every Shabbat, so check it out.
  16. Celebrate holidays. Share well-wishes in the form of images and videos. Brand them with your congregational logo so if they’re shared, they can be traced back to you. They may bring in new members!
  17. Thank your volunteers and lay leaders. Display an attitude of gratitude publicly. Give kavod (honor) to the guys who shovel the snow and the parents who baked all those hamantaschen – and don’t forget to tag them!
  18. Share a Shabbat greeting. Try something new every week and mix it up – a prayer, an image, a song, or a simple “Shabbat shalom, friends!” will do the trick.
Have something to say about this post? Join the conversation in The Tent, the social network for congregational leaders of the Reform Movement. You can also tweet us or tell us how you feel on Facebook.

Kate Bigam Kaput is the assistant director of messaging and branding for the Union for Reform Judaism and, in this role, serves as a content manager and editor for ReformJudaism.org. A prolific essayist and lifestyle blogger, Kate's writing has been featured in The Washington PostEsquire, Woman's Day, Cleveland Magazine, HeyAlma.com, Jewish Women Archive, and more. Kate, who grew up at Temple Beth Shalom in Hudson, OH, holds a degree in magazine journalism and lives in Cleveland, OH, with her husband.

Kate Bigam Kaput
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