When Engaging Content isn’t the Answer

Earlier this month my favorite restaurant shut down. Now when I say “favorite”, I don’t mean a place that I would occasionally visit once a month because they had dish I really liked. I’m talking about a restaurant that I would visit at least once if not twice a week. I knew every waiter’s name and their story, I memorized the menu, and celebrated the birth of my boys with the restaurant staff. So yes, this restaurant was definitely my favorite.

However, the market changed and the restaurant was not able sustain itself and had to shut down. Obviously, I was crushed and I kept thinking about what it could have done to save itself. The easy answer that came to mind would have been to serve better food. I mean, that’s the main purpose of a restaurant right? Give great service and good food. If you do those two things, everything else should go smoothly, right?

But my favorite restaurant did both of those things and still shut down.

A few weeks ago, Facebook announced another change to the News Feed. This time, Facebook clearly stated that its goal was to foster more engagement between people and lower the amount of branded content that was appearing in the News Feed. Essentially, they want more personal content and less content from Facebook Pages.

This, of course, led to a panic for most church communicators. We were left wondering how to get our content in front of people. This panic was followed by a proposed solution from experts…

Create more engaging content.

That’s right folks. In order to get your content on Facebook’s News Feed, under these new guidelines, you just need to create more engaging content. Wait a minute… wasn’t that the answer last time changed the News Feed? Yep, and it was the same answer the time before that.

Look, “Create more engaging content” is a fine answer. But if we’re being honest, it’s one small part of very large solution that’s needed in order to get your Page’s content on Facebook’s News Feed. If all it took was to “create engaging content,” then it wouldn’t matter what time of the day you posted, how often you posted, and the format of the content. As long as it was “engaging” you’d be okay.

Just like my favorite restaurant. If they’d only had great food and service, then everything else would have worked out. But of course, that wasn’t the case—instead the reasons for shutting down were: their location wasn’t great, there had been a massive influx of new restaurants in the last six months, and restaurant goers are less loyal these days.

Okay, so what’s the solution to this new change with the News Feed? Well, I’ll cover that next time.