Is Your Church Social? Part 7: Facebook ? Give your church a Face lift
If you are a person (and most of us are) you can create a Facebook profile to reconnect with old friends, stay in touch with family and friends and meet new people online. Churches, on the other hand, cannot create a profile as profiles are restricted to individuals. Churches have to create a Facebook Page which works a little differently than a profile.
Your Church’s Facebook Page:
The Facebook Page for your church is a good way to get your church into the social networking scene. With Facebook being so popular, having your church where people are and having your church involved where your members and others are involved is a great way to connect with people.
The Facebook Page allows your church, as an organization, to have an official presence in Facebook, which is great for church marketing.
• The first step is to add a good profile picture. Many churches use a photo of their church building. That’s fine, but I’d encourage you to use pictures of people. People connect better with people than with buildings and after all, the church is the people, not the building.
• Next add the church’s contact information and some descriptive information about the church. If you have a church website, be sure to include the web address for the official church website.
• From there you can add whatever information/content you want. You can list events, publish photos and pictures, create discussion topics, and add notes.
Update, Update, Update:
Even more than with your church website, it is important to update your church’s Facebook Page. Most people on Facebook check Facebook a lot. Having new content on your church’s Facebook Page gives people a reason to check the page whenever they are on Facebook and that keeps them connected.
Updating the page doesn’t mean that you have to constantly be adding event or photos, it can simply be putting a message on the wall, perhaps a Bible verse or short “message of the day”. Also, unlike your church website, the adding of new content to the Facebook Page can be done by every member of your congregation. Encourage your congregation to write messages on the wall, post their own pictures and videos, and participate in discussions. The more interaction from your members, the better.
Having your members posting on the church’s Facebook Page is not only helpful because it adds new content, but also because it makes the church more personal. Facebook is all about people connecting with people. Most of the communication that goes on in Facebook is about the little, personal things in people’s lives. People on Facebook are looking for that kind of personal information and interaction. By allowing the personal side of your church to come out on your Facebook Page, it makes the church more attractive to people, especially unchurched people who think the church is all about rules and religious practices.
You can also use your church’s Facebook Page to communicate with fans (members of the church) that aren’t currently on the church’s Facebook Page using the Send an Update feature. This feature sends a message to the fan’s Facebook Profile. Sending updates can help send information to church members and also bring them back to the church’s Facebook Page. You can also use the Facebook Page to distribute blog articles, but I’ll discuss that in a future article.
One other neat feature of the Facebook Page (and profiles) is that events can be made public. One of the options you will have when you setup an event in your church’s Facebook Page is to “Publicize” the event. By publicizing the event, it adds the event into the Facebook event database. People who are not fans (and fans too) who search through Facebook events will be able to find your church’s events. This is especially useful for events like concerts.
So, go ahead and get started. Create a new “Face” for your church. People are social. The church should be too.