Monday, May 20, 2013

Interacting and Engaging with Irvine Pres Using Facebook Photos

IMPORTANT NOTE: I am no longer doing the social media for our church and so read this article with caution, keeping that in mind. It was written when I was temporarily handling Irvine Pres social media, late spring, early summer of 2013. Interaction can become time-consuming and not all people using social media are into it. Thanks.
Thank you for wanting to engage and interact as the Irvine Pres community using social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Some of you have been asking me how you can post updates, and share photos and videos. In this post I show how you can easily do these things including sharing photos/photo albums that you've already uploaded on your personal FB pages, of small groups, faith activities, and church events. A little bit of a recap for those who just joined us and may not yet have been to Irvine Pres. on Facebook. Here's what it looks like, right now: Direct url:

Many of us have already been sharing information and engaging with each other on Facebook, a few of us via Twitter, as well as networks such as Pinterest, Instagram, Linked-in, Google+, blogging through Blogger, WordPres, Tumblr, Typepad or other platforms, and other networks for sharing reading and music interests. This, however, is the beginning of our intentional engagement with social media together, as the people of God. I have written three posts to provide us with a Christian perspective on digital literacy and how to use social media to deepen relationships, build our community, and do outreach. They are:
1) Connecting with Irvine Pres. Using Twitter: I explained why our church is engaging with social media, highlighted a Christian definition and provided details about the What is Worship? Class led by a Jesus Movement leader John Fischer and the experimental, concurrently running #worshipchatipc (April - June 2013) campaign. 
2) Twitter Etiquette. I encouraged TweetVision (development of a personal purpose for engagement on Twitter), described how to post photos using the #irvinepres hashtag, and provided links to other resources about churches using social media.
Log into FB; Search for Irvine Pres to find the page
3) The Ps and Qs of Social Media Engagement- I introduced social networks along with critical tips and resources for visioning and designing your strategy and behavior.

Now, I explain how to interact and engage as the Irvine Pres community on Facebook by sharing photos and photo albums of our faith journeys and stories. To see bigger pictures of the screenshots, simply click on them. The easiest and simplest way to post an update, upload a photo, video, or create a photo album, is to make sure you're logged into your personal FB a/c and already on the Irvine Pres FB page. To find Irvine Pres. simply enter Irvine Pres. in the search box at the top of your FB page as shown.

Once you're on the Irvine Pres. FB page/wall, it is very easy to post an update, photo or video. Just post an update or upload video, photo or create a photo album. You do not need special permissions and you will see your update, photo or video show up immediately on the side of the page.

Important: Do not change the audience selector status from Public.

By now, you have probably gathered that the Irvine Pres. FB page is public. By default, everything on this page is public.

Privacy settings are often the reason why you cannot share from your page. Privacy settings are determined by the original author, in this case, you and your settings which are probably set to Friends.

If you want to share on the Irvine Pres. page something you've already posted on your own timeline, e.g. a photo album, the following screenshots show you how to do so. They also show the location of FB audience selector, timeline, and share and provide a brief understanding of these three important elements of FB interaction.

 Understanding and Using Audience Selector

Probably the single most important thing to know is the audience selector in FB. Every time you post a status update, a photo, video, or a photo album, FB allows you to select the audience for each post. In this album which Kerry has posted on his own timeline, the red circle highlights the audience he has chosen to share: Friends. The choices of audience that Facebook offers include: Public, Friends, Custom, Only Me (this depends on how you've configured your privacy settings but is generally true). For most people, like Kerry, the default is Friends. Kerry's status updates, posts, activities, Likes, etc. are visible to his Friends. (again, keep in mind that I'm simplifying and generalizing). Before you can post your Irvine Pres FB status updates, photos, videos and albums, please make sure that you have selected your audience: Public
Important Note: Let's say you don't change the audience selector but you come to the Irvine Pres. FB page and post an update or a photo. Who will see it? Only people who are your friends will see your posts. Granted they may be a lot of Irvine Pres. folks but remember there are a lot more people who have liked Irvine Pres. page. They will not see it. Please remember to change your Audience to Public.

Key Steps to Sharing Photo Albums: Audience, Timeline and Share

Let's assume, Kerry wants to share a photo album with the Irvine Pres. community. He's already posted the album to his own timeline. To share with Irvine Pres. here's what he does: 1) He changes the album audience selector to Public (after making sure that each and every photo in the album is also set to public). 2) Next, he shares it to the timeline of one of his friends, Grace Irvine (IrvinePres FB page admin) with a message to please post to IrvinePres FB. This screenshot and the next highlight the three key elements that must be set correctly for sharing Photo Albums on the Irvine Pres FB wall: Audience, Timeline, and Share.

The Public Share and Engagement

Once Kerry has made sure audience for each photo in the album he wants to share is set to Public, and Public is the selected album audience, he can post it to the Timeline of Grace Irvine and Share Album, as shown. Grace, then, will be able share the album to the Irvine Pres FB page. (Remember, users can create new albums from the Irvine Pres. page, this is only when you already have created the album on your own timeline that you have to go through Grace.)

Important to Know: In this case, Kerry does not have to re-upload or re-create the whole album and photos. Just change the audience to Public. Only the photos and captions will be visible in the new album shared on Irvine Pres. FB wall. Not the comments of friends. Those will remain governed by their original privacy settings.

Photo Album Creation Tips: Titles, captions, descriptions besides the pictures can nurture, feed, and inspire thirsty, hungry souls. Here's a couple of recent Irvine Pres. Photo Albums: Prayer, the Church's Banquet; Reminiscing: A Walk of Love.

Are you wondering why I've chosen to focus on photos and photo albums? Well, I get the most questions about, photos - how can I share my photos and videos? Also, photos are hot,hot, hot. A picture can still tell the story far more effectively than a thousand words; besides, with so many smart phone camera apps people are playing even as they create and share cool, attention-getting pictures. I want to encourage creativity with smart phones, electronic toys, and social media for God's glory. Finally, tn the little more than a month that I've been managing the Irvine Pres. Twitter and Facebook a/cs I've gained a better understanding of the popular types of information for engagement, I share them in order of popularity: Photos of Irvine Pres staff, congregation, and visitors/friends and family are extremely popular followed by short updates such as Welcomes, Shout-outs (thanks), short videos, and inspirational links (e.g. blog posts). Facebook Insights and other independent market research of churches also corroborate my observations. Visual bursts of information sharing is insightful, fun, and hence my focus on the photos. To God be the glory.


Dave Hawkes. Facebook Page Engagement Insights. 

Facebook IPC: Friending with benefits. Jan. 2012 article from Chicago Tribune. Captures succinctly how FB makes its money. A quick worthwhile read for all FB users.

Facebook Studio. Page Publishing That Drives Engagement

Facebook Privacy. Help Center: Community Forum  and Basic Privacy Settings and Tools (Audience Selector, Share, Lists, Custom Lists).

Instagram says it now has the right to sell your photos. I've added this Dec. 2012 news article simply as an act of good faith and to alert you. Instagram was bought by Facebook last year and FB issued a new policy of perpetual right to sell users' photos. When there was a bit of a ruckus, FB backed down, I believe, but I'm not an attorney nor am I particularly well-versed in all of the complex issues surrounding intellectual rights and online privacy. Please don't blame me for anything :). Just be aware that rights and privacy, as we used to think them, have changed with digital media and the online world. FB, quite frankly (like other social networks), is mining personal data besides taking up more and more of the screen real estate on FB pages for ads, selling us, and selling to us. Imho, this is yet one more reason for us to be conversant and engaged with these technologies so we can learn, develop, teach ourselves and our children with a Christian perspective on digital literacy and social media. Then, when we engage on social networks we can offer Christ, in whom we live and in whom we are grounded, and his voice of powerful living hope and healing to a restless, seeking world.

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