Group vs. Page
A Facebook page allows only those individuals with special privileges to post anything to the public face of the page. This can be beneficial for a group trying to make itself known on campus, or for a larger organization such as the OCF National Office. For your average OCF chapter, however, a Facebook group is ideal. A group is ideal because:
- It allows you, as a moderator, to add anyone to the group who you would like to stay connected, as long as you are friends with them on Facebook. Anyone can also request to join the group.
- Any member of the group may post to the wall, so students can stay connected with each other and discuss anything relating to their OCF chapter, whether it’s thoughts on last week’s meeting or a link to an upcoming event at the local Church parish.
Starting a Group
You don’t need a lot of students to start your Facebook group. Facebook is a valuable social media resource that’s free to use, so it’s often wise to make it one of the first things you do as a new OCF chapter. If you’re an established chapter without an active Facebook group, you may want to try it out to see how much it can benefit you. When you go to create a group, there are a few things you are asked to do right away.
- Create a group name. The most effective group names are ones where the very beginning of the title tells an observer almost everything they need to know, because that’s often all they’ll see. For this reason, start your group name with (OCF) and spell out “Orthodox Christian Fellowship” with your school name or acronym either before or after it. Chapters usually include both the acronym and full name for OCF because this way students can find the group by searching for either. An example of an effective group name would be: “(OCF) MTSU Orthodox Christian Fellowship”
- Add members to the group. Start with the Orthodox Christian students on campus you already know. Add your Faculty Advisor, Lay Coordinator, and Spiritual Advisor as well, if they’re on Facebook! You can add members to the group later at any time, so don’t fret about this step too much, just get a good start.
- Choose your privacy setting. Your options are open, closed, or secret. If you set the group privacy to “open”, then anyone searching on Facebook using keywords such as your school’s name and “OCF” will be able to find the group and request to join. As we seek to exemplify Christ’s thematic message of “Come and See”, this setting makes the most sense and is what most chapters choose to use. This setting also means that anyone can read the posts on the group wall, which is something to keep in mind, but should not be a serious concern. If the group is set to “secret” then no one can access the group unless you add them to it, and although “closed” allows people to access your group via a link and request to join it, the group does not show up in search results as frequently. This makes “open” the ideal privacy setting.
- Publicize the group. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the group so we can post the information on the main OCF Facebook page, share the group with your friends, and see if your university has an avenue for you to publicize the information elsewhere online. You may not personally know every student on campus who would be interested. Be creative!