Facebook is a great way of spreading awareness, but it can be very time-consuming.
Ideas for Facebook
Before creating a Page and inviting all of your friends to ‘like’ it, consider contacting Nicole Morris from Australian Missing Persons Register. She volunteers her time to the cause and has thousands of followers who share missing persons information and posters. See: Australian Missing Persons Register Facebook Page
- Create a Page with a title consistent with your brand (e.g. ‘Missing Person – _____’ or ‘Help us find _____’)
- Include a brief physical description of the person, where they were last seen and what they were wearing etc. (update details as time passes)
- Ask your friends to use your poster as their profile picture or cover photo for a week
- Update your status or page when new information comes to light (but be selective with what information you release)
- Link to any media coverage that the case attracts
- Organise events to raise awareness
If you’ve decided it’s an option you want to take, create a Facebook page.
There are some things you will need to keep in mind when using Facebook. Here are some tips on how to use it effectively.
- Use clear photos of the missing person
- Try to use photos that only show the missing person (crop out others where needed)
- Include a brief physical description of the person and where they were last seen
- Keep posts positive – audiences respond to positivity and it promotes action
- Communicate clearly and concisely so that your message is easy for people to digest
- Post at a time when people are likely to see your message (i.e. not at 3am)
- Appoint 2-4 trusted administrators to help maintain the page
- Bombard followers with too much information. A maximum of four posts a week is recommended, although you can update more often if you have new information to share.
- Feel obliged to respond to any comment or message
- Respond to trolls – it’s generally best to remove or hide negative comments
example page: Missing Person – Daniel James O’Keeffe
Things to be aware of
- Journalists may hear about your story through Facebook and contact you.
- It can take a lot of time and energy to manage the response social media can generate. This is why multiple administrators is important – share the load.
- You may receive unkind or unhelpful comments from people; you or your administrators should delete inappropriate content as soon as you can.
- You should only share the information you are comfortable to make public. Once it’s online you will have limited control over it.