Facebook is a great way of spreading awareness, but it can be very time-consuming. Before creating a Page and inviting all of your friends to ‘like’ it, consider contacting TEXAS MISSING PERSONS Supporters Facebook Group or the Texas Missing Persons Facebook page . These groups volunteers their time to the cause and have thousands of followers who share missing persons information and posters.
- 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
- Organize 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
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.