Are there any Real Humans at this Page?

Most faith-based organisations with pages on Facebook intend these pages to be missional, and to have the capacity to help new people form relationships with the church.

Now a couple of thousand years ago, a being sometimes known as God spotted that humans have trouble forming relationships with non-human entities, and that is what the incarnation story is all about. So, just like forming a relationship with God, the process of forming a relationship with the church sometimes requires an actual human or two to be part of the picture. Pop along to Sunday worship, and you will be able to spot the humans, usually without too much trouble. Pop along to your brand new, shiny Facebook page in default condition, and there is not a human in sight. This post is about how you can change that.

It can be very helpful to feature at least one page owner (page admin) so that he or she displays on the left side of your Facebook page, and can be contacted by visitors to the page. This page owner should ideally be online in Facebook responding to communications at least twice a week. His or her personal security settings should allow a complete stranger visiting the page to send a message, but not necessarily to view his or her personal wall. The point of this is that clicking on the profile picture of the visible page owner should not be leading the visitor down a blind alley. It should allow communication to take place. It quite often doesn’t!

To display a page owner, click on Edit page at the top right corner of your page. Then click on the Featured tab at the left:

Use "Add featured page owners" to show visitors to your page who the real people are behind the scenes. Click picture to enlarge.

Click Add featured page owners at the bottom, then choose the admins who you want to make available to visitors as points of contact. Save your changes. The owner’s profile picture will display below the pages your page has “liked”.

The owner(s) then show below sites the page has "liked" on the left.

Note that above the Add featured page owners button, it states that “This page will be shown on their personal profile”. People need to be comfortable with that.

When you first set up a page, it has one owner or admin. It can be wise to add more admins, to share the workload if the page gets busy, and to safeguard against someone losing access to Facebook and leaving the page unattended. There can even be a succession of page owners if people move on.

To make someone who has already liked your page into an admin, look on the left to see how many people like your page. On your own page the words like this under the number are a hyperlink, leading to lists of all those lovely people and pages supporting your own page.

Here is the link to the people who have liked your page.

You can turn someone who likes your page into an admin by clicking the Make admin button beside his or her name. Excuse the blurring I have applied to the next screenshot. I suspect the Privacy Act may apply to the identities of people who like my page, as they are normally hidden.

Click "Make admin" to promote a contact who has liked your page to be a page admin.

New admins have just as much control over the page as the original owner, so should be chosen with care. You may feature as many or as few admins as you like. If everyone posts in the name of the page, some groups like admins to sign posts with their initials.

It is possible to write on your page in your own name, and this can lend a more personal touch. Go to Edit page at top right, then Your settings at top left, then remove the tick beside Posting preferences.

Remove the tick in the posting preferences box to post on your page in your own name.

I hope I’ll be able to see a name or a face behind the page a little more often now. Our own fragile echos, perhaps, of the incarnation story, as we seek to be relational in mission through social media.


About Mary St George

I teach in gifted education, both online and face-to-face.
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