Ideas for Facebook for Missing Persons Searches

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.

Using Facebook

There are some things you will need to keep in mind when using Facebook. Here are some tips on how to use it effectively.

Do:

  • 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

Don’t:

  • 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.

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