In a recent survey on synagogue marketing that I conducted, Jewish leaders said word-of-mouth is their most effective marketing technique. In the same survey, they admitted that while they have Facebook pages, they mostly can’t say whether Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild is worth their effort.

Word-of-mouth is successful because it’s a marketing message from the most trusted source: someone you know. (Admittedly, not everyone I know carries the same amount of trust.)

Facebook, with its extensive friend networks and ability to communicate personally and honestly, ought to be the ultimate word-of-mouth tool.

If you’re a synagogue executive director or a leader of any non-profit, some of these ideas might help you get more out of Facebook. (Feel free to ask me for help!)

Make Facebook more effective in a synagogue, membership organization or non-profit

  • Find volunteers to help manage the Facebook page – it’s one of the few projects that’s easy to “outsource” to someone who is not paid staff.
  • Create a Facebook “fan” page (a fan page is much better than trying to create a personal page in the name of your group).
  • Create a separate page for Youth Group, Sisterhood, Brotherhood, etc.
  • Completely fill out the “info” page, and load it with search-term keywords.
  • Be sure to include your organization’s logo.
  • Make the page open to the public (not a “closed” group).
  • Use all available resources (printed bulletin, email newsletter, public announcements) to encourage members to become fans of your Facebook page.
  • Ask youth to show their parents how to become Facebook fans.
  • Post at least three to five messages per week.
  • Ask members to hit the “like” button and comment on the posts – this helps to give the posts more visibility.
  • Encourage members to post comments promoting upcoming events or just telling the world how happy they are to be involved with your group. Even better, get them to include a photo or link to your home page.
  • Make posts meaningful, thoughtful, thought-provoking.
  • Consider a weekly, brief Torah commentary, or at least a title of the rabbi’s upcoming sermon.

Don’t be afraid to be creative. Just ask people to keep their posts friendly, positive and respectful. Just as you do in real life, if you practice derekh eretz (proper ethical behavior) online, all will be good.