Q & A: The Creator Of Facebook's Most Engaging Page

The creator of the most engaging page on Facebook, Jesus Daily, is neither a church nor a clergyman, but has a lot to teach about how to get people involved in conversations on the social network.

You might have noticed that the most engaging page on Facebook isn’t a pop star, athlete nor brand.

Jesus Daily has dominated our weekly ranking of most engaging pages ever since we launched the list back on April 4 of this year, holding the top spot for 14 weeks in a row.

And yet, the creator of this religious page is not a minister, priest nor church of any kind. I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Aaron Tabor, the creator of Jesus Daily, via email.

When did Jesus Daily get its start, and how did the page come into fruition? Is there any specific thought or notable force, especially those that relate to your daily occupational and/or social environments, which lent a hand in its creation?

I started Jesus Daily on April 7th, 2009, after realizing there were many Bible verse pages and groups, but none (that I could find) focusing on the words of Jesus. I added the word Daily to give it more of an urgent, news-style feel.

As a gene therapy researcher, physician, and son of a pastor, I’ve been around emotional suffering and physical death for much of my life. I wanted to create a page that encouraged and inspired people with Jesus’ words because of this family and career background. We have people asking daily for prayers regarding breast cancer, divorce, and to find jobs. The page is fulfilling its purpose.

Do you continue on as the sole administrator at this point, or is it a team that handles aspects of the responsibilities? If it is a team effort, could you tell me a little more on how this group has come together and grown into what it is today?

I am the sole administrator of the page at this point that generates all of the daily content. I have recently hired a moderator to help keep the page in good shape. Jesus Daily is actively seeking technology partners to go to the next level including social gaming apps, online education, and faith-based music.

What is your daily occupation, and how much of your time do you find yourself putting into the page on an average week? Did you have any social media experience prior to starting Jesus Daily?

I started a gene therapy company called Gene Facelift with The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Gene Facelift has exclusively licensed a method for non-surgical face lift and cosmetic appearance enhancement from the Johns Hopkins University. I also run a diet and anti-aging nutrition company.We sell products online and through QVC.

It’s easy to spend six to eight hours a day on Jesus Daily because there are so many people in need of encouragement. I’ve dealt with people so desperate for comfort that they are contemplating suicide to people rejoicing over a clean cancer-free doctor visit. Helping and ministering to others is addicting.

Jesus Daily has expanded into Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese now. These sub-pages are listed in the left-hand column of the main page.

My social media experience was limited prior to Jesus Daily so it has been a fun few years. I’m still learning. I’m taking what I learn and applying it to my commercial pages.

It presumed that your level of interest in the topics discussed on the page is extremely high. Looking back at the start, did you initially think that a spiritual and religious page on Facebook could garner such success? Similarly, what do you think continues to be one or two of the main reasons that have led to the page’s longstanding takeover as the top engaging page?

When you read the comments that fans (I call them family members) leave, it is hard not to become highly interested. The level of emotion exhibited is unparalleled in any secular product brand.

I had no idea Jesus Daily would become the most active page on the number one website in the world, but I feel it is because the page is meeting people’s spiritual, emotional, and intellectual needs.

The family members come back daily to continue encouraging one another and to be encouraged. The interaction rate between Jesus Daily’s family members is really remarkable to me. To see someone in the Philippines post a prayer request for breast cancer, and then see someone from Nigeria post a prayer for them still excites me. Jesus Daily is connecting believers around the globe in a way never before possible. I’m grateful to Facebook for the platform.

Have you found it difficult to keep up with always increasing number of comments coming into the page? Do you have any particular successfully strategy that helps you stay on top of your fans posts, and would consequently as result help maintain success as an interactive force on the social network?

It is extremely difficult to keep up. I’ve been living on a three-hour cycle for a few months, which seems like my medical school days at Johns Hopkins, but help is on the way.

Jesus Daily needs a staff of around 12 people to properly run the site if 100 percent of questions are to be answered. I’m examining ways to make that happen.

I want to keep all of the pornography and anti-God posts deleted if possible. Everyone is welcome as long as they aren’t posting pornography or profanity that offends the other members. I’ve identified several key programming changes that would help large page owners to monitor better.

I hope to discuss with Facebook because the same issues I deal with will be an increasing burden on Fortune 500 brands that need to keep the integrity of their Facebook pages intact. Right now, attackers can circumvent Facebook’s built-in moderation software, and the site’s application programming interface is too restrictive to allow companies like Vitrue to provide all of the services truly needed to keep a brand’s page clean.

I’m happy to share what I’ve learned for best practices if Facebook is willing to hear me. It is the best platform ever created, and it is exciting to be part of it. Right now, lots of manual work is the only true solution.

Overall, has your approach to running a page on Facebook, and your social media efforts in general, changed with the continual growing success of Jesus Daily? If yes, would you mind sharing how it has changed and a few of the main attributes that you have learned that has aided in your success?

The way I run the page seems to change almost weekly. The key to success is simple so it will seem almost silly when I say this, but post what your fans want. One of the best things I ever did was post, “What type of content do you want me to post?” I received thousands of suggestions and a clear pattern emerged. Sometimes Facebook’s programming changes affect the way a page has to be administered to grow, too (e.g. when the “suggest to friends” function was disabled).

If you were offering tips to others out there starting a page, both of a spiritual and religious theme and speaking more generally, what would be a few notes of advice?

Choose a niche area that is very unique. It would be nearly impossible to grow a basic Bible verse page or Jesus page at this point. No one wants to be signed up to ten Bible pages because their entire news feed would be flooded with posts.

Be consistent in your message to fans. I see many pages that have too diverse of a message. I don’t see a very good interaction rate on those pages. If you run a Chinese restaurant, serve Chinese food. Customers would be confused if you served them Indian cuisine.

Any last thoughts you would like to add about Jesus Daily?

Everyone is welcome to join regardless of your beliefs. I even have many Atheist friends that join Jesus Daily just for the encouragement and inspiration. I would also like to thank AllFacebook because the weekly ratings have given Jesus Daily many international publicity opportunities to continue to spread our message of Hope in Him.

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