Recently, I came across several “Unofficial” parish Facebook Pages. In each instance, when I spoke to the pastor he had no idea that his parish was on Facebook. Today I want to address these questions:
- What is an Unofficial Facebook Page?
- What options do you have once you discover it?
- How can you create your own parish (religious community or organization) Page?
- Why do you need an official Facebook Page for your parish (religious community or organization)?
What is an Unofficial Facebook Page?
A Page may exist for your business [here insert parish, religious community, organization] even if someone from your business didn’t create it. For example, when someone checks into a place that doesn’t have a Page, an unmanaged Page is created to represent the location.
If the Page is unmanaged, you’ll see Unofficial Page below its cover photo. You can request to claim the Page and become its admin, or you can merge the Page into a Page you already manage for your business.
To claim or merge an unmanaged Page:
- Click Is this your business? below the Page’s cover photo
- Follow the on-screen instructions
Keep in mind that you may be asked for information to verify your relationship with the business, such as business phone number, business email or documents.
Source: Facebook Help Center
Why Have a Facebook Page and How Can You Create It?
Pages are for businesses, brands, organizations and public figures to share their stories and connect with people. Like profiles, Pages can be customized with stories, events and more. People who like a Page can get updates in News Feed.
To create a Page:
- Go to facebook.com/pages/create
- Click to choose a Page category
- Select a more specific category from the dropdown menu and fill out the required information
- Click Get Started and follow the on-screen instructions
Note: Anyone can create a Page, but only official representatives can create a Page for an organization, business, brand or public figure.
Source: Facebook Help Center
Why Do You Want an Official Page for Your Parish, Ministry, or Religious Community?
- An official Facebook Page is just that: a page that is managed by a competent and trusted authority, empowered to speak for your parish, ministry or religious community. You may have more than one administrator.
- You have real-time, direct access to your followers. You can keep them up to date on community/ministry happenings and provide them with inspirational and faith formation content as often as you like. Post a minimum of three times a week to be effective on Facebook.
- You let those who are on social media (especially the younger generations) know that this is part of your world too and you are there for them. Franky, when you are not officially on any social media site, it is one more sign of the Church’s irrelevance in their eyes.
Have you had to deal with an “unofficial” Facebook Page? What did you do?
Does your parish, religious community or ministry have an official Facebook Page?