In your face(book)!: using social networks to spread AU’s mission.(PERSPECTIVE): An article from: Church & State

In your face(book)!: using social networks to spread AU’s mission.(PERSPECTIVE): An article from: Church & State

This digital document is an article from Church & State, published by Americans United for Separation of Church and State on February 1, 2009. The length of the article is 923 words. The page length shown above is based on a typical 300-word page. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.

Citation Details
Title: In your face(book)!: using social networks to spread AU’s mission.(PERSPECTIVE)
Author: Barry W. Lynn
Publication: Church & State (Magazine/Journal)
Date: February 1, 2009
Publisher: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Volume: 62 Issue: 2 Page: 23(1)

Distributed by Gale, a part of Cengage Learning

List Price: $ 9.95

Price: $ 9.95

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Is Your Church Social – Part 12 – Facebook – Stealth Church Marketing

Is Your Church Social – Part 12 – Facebook – Stealth Church Marketing

Facebook has become the most popular social networking website on the Internet. Millions of people have a profile and most people have lots of friends. Their friends may range from family members, to people they work with, to friends from college or high school. Most of your church’s members who are on Facebook have friends who are not church members. So, how can this help you in your church marketing strategy?

The Power of a Network:

One of the best features on Facebook and probably the reason Facebook has done so well, is the News Feed feature. The way the News Feed works is that whenever a person does something on their profile, whether it’s posting pictures, saying what they are doing, or one of their friends writing on their wall, a news story is created and added to the profile’s News Feed. That story is then not only posted on that person’s profile, but it is also distributed to all of their friends. So, if you post a picture to your profile, all of your friends are instantly made aware of that. That could be tens or hundreds of people…even thousands of people (if you’re really popular). If your friends post something about the photos, then their friends are made aware of the photos. You can see how word can spread very quickly to a lot of people.

Stealth Church Marketing and Evangelism:

I’m sure by now every reader of my articles has created a Facebook Page for their church;). And, of course, once you created your Facebook Page, you announced it at church and every one of your members who have a Facebook profile went home and immediately became a “fan” of the church. Members who weren’t on Facebook went home and created a profile so they could become a fan. Maybe that’s an overly rosy picture, but when each one of your members signed up as a fan, a news story was created on their profile and their news feed sent out a message to all their friends telling everyone that they are now a fan of your church. So, if your church has 100 members on Facebook and each of them has only 10 friends, 1000 people could have had a message come up on their Facebook profile that told them about your church. Not bad for a minute’s work. And it was done in a completely natural way.

Most people who are on Facebook live out their lives to some extent on Facebook. It’s part of the fun. People post comments about what they are doing at any given time like, “Kurt is watching his dogs destroy their new toy” or “Bob is getting his Jack Bauer on. 24 Rocks!” or they post pictures from their trip to South Dakota. With people living out their lives on Facebook, it’s completely natural for members of your church to post things related to your church and their relationship with Christ. After all, that’s part of their lives. Whether it is becoming a fan of the church, posting pictures from a church event they attended, or posting a comment how Christ is working in their lives, your members can be adding things about your church and their faith to their profile and spreading the word about Christ and your church to all their friends in a way that is not invasive. Many people are uncomfortable approaching someone directly to tell them about Christ. While that is still something we should be doing, Facebook provides a way to share our lives with Christ indirectly. It doesn’t seem like marketing or evangelism, but it is.

A Recommendation and a Sneak Peek:

In addition to the fact that this form of church marketing on Facebook is stealthy, it is also a subtle recommendation for the church as well a sneak peek into what the church is like. One of the best forms of marketing for any church or business is the recommendation of that church or business to a friend. We don’t always believe what a company or organization tells us, but if a friend tells me that he really likes a particular product, I’m much more likely to get that product. By posting positive things about their experiences in church, your members are in effect recommending the church to their friends. That can have a profound effect. Your members are also providing a window for their friends to see what your church is like. If their friends are not familiar with church or had a bad experience at a church, this can be a great way to show them what your church is like and make them feel more comfortable visiting.

It’s the secret power of Facebook for church marketing and evangelism. By encouraging your members to include their church lives on Facebook, they can be telling others about the church. More importantly, by including their life with Christ on Facebook, they can be sharing the love of Christ with their friends. After all, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14)…even on Facebook.

Kurt Steinbrueck is the author of the Church Marketing Online blog. He has b

 

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Is Your Church Social? Part 7: Facebook ? Give your church a Face lift

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.

Be Personal:
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.

Sending Updates
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.

Publicize Events
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.

Kurt Steinbrueck is the author of the Church Marketing Online blog. He has been providing Christian search engine optimization services for church marketing solutions and private school marketing. You can find the original article at http://churchmarketingonline.com.

Is Your Church Social – Part 12 – Facebook ? Stealth Church Marketing

Is Your Church Social – Part 12 – Facebook ? Stealth Church Marketing

Facebook has become the most popular social networking website on the Internet. Millions of people have a profile and most people have lots of friends. Their friends may range from family members, to people they work with, to friends from college or high school. Most of your church’s members who are on Facebook have friends who are not church members. So, how can this help you in your church marketing strategy?

The Power of a Network:
One of the best features on Facebook and probably the reason Facebook has done so well, is the News Feed feature. The way the News Feed works is that whenever a person does something on their profile, whether it’s posting pictures, saying what they are doing, or one of their friends writing on their wall, a news story is created and added to the profile’s News Feed. That story is then not only posted on that person’s profile, but it is also distributed to all of their friends. So, if you post a picture to your profile, all of your friends are instantly made aware of that. That could be tens or hundreds of people…even thousands of people (if you’re really popular). If your friends post something about the photos, then their friends are made aware of the photos. You can see how word can spread very quickly to a lot of people.

Stealth Church Marketing and Evangelism:
I’m sure by now every reader of my articles has created a Facebook Page for their church ;). And, of course, once you created your Facebook Page, you announced it at church and every one of your members who have a Facebook profile went home and immediately became a “fan” of the church. Members who weren’t on Facebook went home and created a profile so they could become a fan. Maybe that’s an overly rosy picture, but when each one of your members signed up as a fan, a news story was created on their profile and their news feed sent out a message to all their friends telling everyone that they are now a fan of your church. So, if your church has 100 members on Facebook and each of them has only 10 friends, 1000 people could have had a message come up on their Facebook profile that told them about your church. Not bad for a minute’s work. And it was done in a completely natural way.

Most people who are on Facebook live out their lives to some extent on Facebook. It’s part of the fun. People post comments about what they are doing at any given time like, “Kurt is watching his dogs destroy their new toy” or “Bob is getting his Jack Bauer on. 24 Rocks!” or they post pictures from their trip to South Dakota. With people living out their lives on Facebook, it’s completely natural for members of your church to post things related to your church and their relationship with Christ. After all, that’s part of their lives. Whether it is becoming a fan of the church, posting pictures from a church event they attended, or posting a comment how Christ is working in their lives, your members can be adding things about your church and their faith to their profile and spreading the word about Christ and your church to all their friends in a way that is not invasive. Many people are uncomfortable approaching someone directly to tell them about Christ. While that is still something we should be doing, Facebook provides a way to share our lives with Christ indirectly. It doesn’t seem like marketing or evangelism, but it is.

A Recommendation and a Sneak Peek:
In addition to the fact that this form of church marketing on Facebook is stealthy, it is also a subtle recommendation for the church as well a sneak peek into what the church is like. One of the best forms of marketing for any church or business is the recommendation of that church or business to a friend. We don’t always believe what a company or organization tells us, but if a friend tells me that he really likes a particular product, I’m much more likely to get that product. By posting positive things about their experiences in church, your members are in effect recommending the church to their friends. That can have a profound effect. Your members are also providing a window for their friends to see what your church is like. If their friends are not familiar with church or had a bad experience at a church, this can be a great way to show them what your church is like and make them feel more comfortable visiting.

It’s the secret power of Facebook for church marketing and evangelism. By encouraging your members to include their church lives on Facebook, they can be telling others about the church. More importantly, by including their life with Christ on Facebook, they can be sharing the love of Christ with their friends. After all, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14)…even on Facebook.

Kurt Steinbrueck is the author of the Church Marketing Online blog. He has been providing Christian search engine optimization services for church marketing solutions and private school marketing. The original article at http://churchmarketingonline.com.

Is Your Church Social – Part 12 – Facebook – Stealth Church Marketing

Is Your Church Social – Part 12 – Facebook – Stealth Church Marketing

Facebook has become the most popular social networking website on the Internet. Millions of people have a profile and most people have lots of friends. Their friends may range from family members, to people they work with, to friends from college or high school. Most of your church’s members who are on Facebook have friends who are not church members. So, how can this help you in your church marketing strategy?

The Power of a Network:

One of the best features on Facebook and probably the reason Facebook has done so well, is the News Feed feature. The way the News Feed works is that whenever a person does something on their profile, whether it’s posting pictures, saying what they are doing, or one of their friends writing on their wall, a news story is created and added to the profile’s News Feed. That story is then not only posted on that person’s profile, but it is also distributed to all of their friends. So, if you post a picture to your profile, all of your friends are instantly made aware of that. That could be tens or hundreds of people…even thousands of people (if you’re really popular). If your friends post something about the photos, then their friends are made aware of the photos. You can see how word can spread very quickly to a lot of people.

Stealth Church Marketing and Evangelism:

I’m sure by now every reader of my articles has created a Facebook Page for their church ;). And, of course, once you created your Facebook Page, you announced it at church and every one of your members who have a Facebook profile went home and immediately became a “fan” of the church. Members who weren’t on Facebook went home and created a profile so they could become a fan. Maybe that’s an overly rosy picture, but when each one of your members signed up as a fan, a news story was created on their profile and their news feed sent out a message to all their friends telling everyone that they are now a fan of your church. So, if your church has 100 members on Facebook and each of them has only 10 friends, 1000 people could have had a message come up on their Facebook profile that told them about your church. Not bad for a minute’s work. And it was done in a completely natural way.

Most people who are on Facebook live out their lives to some extent on Facebook. It’s part of the fun. People post comments about what they are doing at any given time like, “Kurt is watching his dogs destroy their new toy” or “Bob is getting his Jack Bauer on. 24 Rocks!” or they post pictures from their trip to South Dakota. With people living out their lives on Facebook, it’s completely natural for members of your church to post things related to your church and their relationship with Christ. After all, that’s part of their lives. Whether it is becoming a fan of the church, posting pictures from a church event they attended, or posting a comment how Christ is working in their lives, your members can be adding things about your church and their faith to their profile and spreading the word about Christ and your church to all their friends in a way that is not invasive. Many people are uncomfortable approaching someone directly to tell them about Christ. While that is still something we should be doing, Facebook provides a way to share our lives with Christ indirectly. It doesn’t seem like marketing or evangelism, but it is.

A Recommendation and a Sneak Peek:

In addition to the fact that this form of church marketing on Facebook is stealthy, it is also a subtle recommendation for the church as well a sneak peek into what the church is like. One of the best forms of marketing for any church or business is the recommendation of that church or business to a friend. We don’t always believe what a company or organization tells us, but if a friend tells me that he really likes a particular product, I’m much more likely to get that product. By posting positive things about their experiences in church, your members are in effect recommending the church to their friends. That can have a profound effect. Your members are also providing a window for their friends to see what your church is like. If their friends are not familiar with church or had a bad experience at a church, this can be a great way to show them what your church is like and make them feel more comfortable visiting.

It’s the secret power of Facebook for church marketing and evangelism. By encouraging your members to include their church lives on Facebook, they can be telling others about the church. More importantly, by including their life with Christ on Facebook, they can be sharing the love of Christ with their friends. After all, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14)…even on Facebook.

Kurt Steinbrueck is the author of the Church Marketing Online blog. He has been providing Christian search engine optimization services for church marketing solutions and private school marketing. The original article at http://churchmarketingonline.com.