If you’re like most people on this Earth and have a limited amount of computer skills, you probably have a Facebook profile.
Facebook (FB) provides a great way to keep up with current friends, reconnect with old ones, and make new friends, all at the touch of a mouse. Setup is minimal and you’re literally in the social media mix in a matter of minutes.
Churches have a few more hoops to go through to create a profile, but nothing that is onerous.
Your church’s FB page
There is a saying on the internet; you don’t go where the traffic is. Go ahead. As a result of the popularity of Facebook, having your church on FB is a great way to stand out in traffic.
Your FB page is different than your church website, though not a bad alternative. It’s a great way to get your church active on social media.
What are the benefits for your church?
FB will make your marketing efforts more effective. As such, whether people are full-time or part-time staff members, volunteers, or run a ministry, they will have a greater stake than they currently have. But you know what? They will also have a lot of fun with it!
Since many people have their own Facebook pages, your non-Christian friends will see that they are linked to your church. The result will be that they will gain insight and perhaps enthusiasm for your church!
In this day of email overload, emails tend to get overlooked. Phone calls aren’t even an option. FB makes it easy for select people to get up-to-the-minute updates about your event or what’s happening at your church. Truly a single source of information.
That sounds great, but I want my church to be good at this!
FB is like any app. The more you use it, the easier it becomes. But if you want to get the most out of your FB experience, here are a few things to consider:
Think of Facebook like Twitter or voting in Chicago.
Do it early and often! (Just kidding on the voting issue.) Interest and therefore page views from returning visitors will increase proportionally to the number of updates you provide.
After all, if the site only updates once a week (or worse yet… once a month), then you really haven’t given anyone a reason to come back. (Keep that in mind with updating your Sunday services too…people like it fresh!)
By having church members post to your page, you provide fresh content (which keeps people coming back and hopefully interested enough to come on Sunday) and also make it more personal. As I mean, the relationship is started (and in this case) maintained.
And that’s what people want these days. That’s why Web 2.0 is so big! Your willingness to get personal makes both you and your church more human, especially for those who are reluctant to become parishioners. Basically, it changes the way people see the church in general and your church in particular.
Does that mean you have to update regularly with events or photos?
Posting photos and videos gives great insight into your church and really adds a tremendous benefit to members and visitors by letting people know what’s going on. But are they mandatory? I do not think.
You can do something as simple as putting a motivational/inspirational quote, photo or video on your wall (don’t worry about that particular term, it will soon make sense). It can really be anything that reflects what is happening in your church (be it past or upcoming events)
Even if the minister or someone who leads a church ministry talks about something they are doing in church, it creates excitement. Michael Beckwith with his Agape Church does an amazing job on that. Take a look at his FB page to see what I mean.
What about maintenance? Do you have to be a geek?
All the apps have become extremely easy to use in recent years. You really have nothing to worry about, because if you can move your mouse, you can update FB. And the best part is that anyone in your congregation can do it!
Whether you’re posting an event, what’s happening at your church, what’s been up, or want to keep up with your friends, the Facebook wall gives you the ability to do it all in one place. It gives any visitor the possibility to see what has happened and what is the most current content. Posting updates regularly is critical to getting the word out.
That may be true, but I want to post photos and videos! It will be difficult?
If you know where to find the file on your computer or USB stick, you can easily publish any of these.
Will they give our church more exposure?
Absolutely! How much is going to depend on what you put in it. But it is a total advantage.
Twitter is great for pushing people to your site. So if you have a Twitter account and want to post a picture or video, FB is a great place to do it. Then tweet and get people to come to your FB page to check it out.
And there are other great features with the apps that can set your church apart and give it the attention it deserves.
The only downside to your church having a Facebook page is the act of not maintaining it. If you do, then you will benefit in ways you could never imagine.