Why is religion so popular in social media? What is it like to run a page with over 20M fans? And how to increase the interactivity of a page? We talk with Aaron Tabor, MD, a doctor who founded Jesus Daily, the page we analyzed few weeks ago that gained the status of the most interactive one on Facebook, exceeding, among others, Barack Obama and Manchester United.
You are a doctor, what was your motivation to start a page dedicated to religion?
I noticed on Facebook that many pages were devoted to the Bible, but few about having a personal relationship with Jesus. Many people today are against institutions of any type including government, military, church, etc., so Jesus Daily gets people focused back on a personal relationship with God instead of “religions” created by humankind. I have a strong belief in a Creator because of science. The modern scientific method only observes that life comes from life. As a mainstream medical doctor, I’m baffled at why some individual have such a radical faith to believe that dirt and chemicals could cause itself to live and speak. Such a belief is not based on any modern observational science. Take a handful of dirt, look at it, and imagine the amount of engineering required to make it speak! The radical fanaticism of people who believe such “science” stories is scary. So I hope that Jesus Daily helps people realize that God created them very special with wonderful engineering that could never have happened by a blind, random process of a brainless Nature.
Why in your opinion Facebook pages devoted to religion engage their fans so actively?
Entertainers and politicians have let people down over and over as role models. They can’t offer satisfaction. Only a personal relationship with God can offer true satisfaction that lasts a lifetime. Fans of pages like Jesus Daily have seen God work in their lives, and they are not crazy enough to believe that all we are is talking space dust, with no absolute morals or values, as some science actors ask us to believe. There is nothing more exciting in life than having a God-given purpose! That’s why Fans of Pages like Jesus Daily are highly active.
Did you have any long-lasting social media strategy for Jesus Daily page when you started it, could you describe the begining of the page?
I started Jesus Daily just as a “hobby”. Jesus Daily started with a distinct purpose though that really resonated with new fans: focus on a personal relationship with Jesus instead of religions that have let us down many times. “Religions” have been misused for many things, but a true relationship with Jesus will never let anyone down.
Could you describe the way in which the most interactive page on Facebook is run: how many people is engaged in preparing the content, what kind of social media tools do you make use of and how often does it happen to you to receive commercial offers to publish paid information?
Until about 4 weeks ago, I prepared all content in Photoshop. I have a very creative side so creating posts was a fun, but exhausting outlet. I now have 1 designer helping that I give art direction, but I still like to design a few of each week’s posts. I have 1 moderator that deletes pornography and bans people harassing fans. I use North Social’s apps and Facebook’s built-in Scheduler. I’m actively examining more in-depth analysis tools like Sotrender to see how it can benefit.
I have been contacted by so many Christian marketers, I’ve lost count. I only publish something if it is a great Christian resource that fans will enjoy and use. We need about 5, 000 volunteers now to help answer the number of messages, user posts and comments Jesus Daily receives monthly. That is happening with the help of Campus Crusade’s (Cru) Power To Change in Canada.
How does the fact that you are running such a popular page affect your private life, does it have impact on your business activity?
To encourage others globally that they don’t have to face their problems alone on such a large scale is humbling. I spend about 50% of my day working on Jesus Daily and the rest working on my gene therapy drug development. Regarding my private life, the Jesus Daily work takes a lot of time so it has impacted the amount of time for family, friends and recreational activities the past few years. That is changing with new organization of the workflow. I have received many death threats from anti-Jesus radicals so I have to be cautious about how much I disclose about my family and myself on Facebook. I’m not leaving this planet until God’s timing so it doesn’t affect my activities, travel or life.
Could you describe your plans for the future, are you going to develop Jesus Daily any further?
Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook Team have done a spectacular job creating the largest “Roman Road” in history. They have been really great to help the page as needs arise.
My long-term strategy now is to keep expanding Jesus Daily globally in every Facebook country and territory so those in need of prayer and encouragement for jobs, cancer, medical care, food, water, housing and other problems they are facing can know that Jesus loves them and has a plan for them even in the middle of their problems. I’m exploring broadband delivery of encouraging video content right inside Facebook as a next phase.
Could you give some tips for the people running Facebook pages which still lack interactivity?
Facebook is the perfect marketing vehicle because of the built-in word-of-mouth viral mechanism, so publishing content that elicits an interaction is critical for success. For non-religious brands, humor is one of the best ways to immediately increase interactivity. For example, if you are a car dealership, post jokes about cars on your Facebook page instead of posts about a new air conditioning feature. Health advice is also popular. If you are a coffee shop, make posts about the health benefits of coffee instead of posts about just flavors.