5 Tips for Promoting Your Church on Facebook

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Church Sign

Photo by Paul Nicholson.

Most of the world seems to be on Facebook. I’ll be somewhere really remote, drawing people following a church service, and as I hand the finished product to the (ahem) victim, will say, “Now, this is your new Facebook picture.”

No one has ever said, “I’m not on Facebook” or especially “What’s that?” Usually they say, “Good idea” or “You’ve got it!”

Now, I recognize that being a Southern Baptist preacher, most of my FB friends are like-minded with me about the Lord and church and the Bible–you know, spiritual things. It’s the nature of these things. So, on a Saturday night or Sunday morning, the “posts” from many of my buddies all seem to say similar things….

–”Join us for church at Shiloh this morning at 9:30 am. You’ll receive a blessing.”

–”Today I’m preaching on Hezekiah’s tunnel.  We’ll see if we can find the light at the end of that thing.”

–”My little granddaughter is singing today at Cornerstone. You won’t get good stuff like this on American Idol.”

–”Have you ever wondered what happened to the Jebusites? Be at Riverside Church this morning and find out.”

These are great folks, they want to reach people, and I wish them well.  However, they desperately need to sharpen their posts if they would increase the effectiveness of these invitations to church.

Most of the invitations are boring or trite or too general or uninspiring.

I don’t have the last word on this subject, but here are five suggestions that come to mind….

One: Tell us which church you’re talking about and how to get there.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve read posts like this: “Today, First Baptist Church will feature a visiting choir from (wherever). They have won all kinds of awards and we are so excited to have them. Come early for a good seat.”

Arrgghh!!  What church, friend? And where is it?

One of my pastor friends would say, “Come out and be with us tomorrow at First Baptist Church of Houston.” A time or two, I messaged him privately to remind him that hundreds of people reading this do not know he’s talking about Houston, Georgia, and that there are a few other cities by that name. (I don’t even know if there is a Houston, Georgia. Just making a point.)

Sometimes they will say, “Located on Route 6 at the intersection of (whatever).” Again, not enough information! What town, people?

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About Joe McKeever

Dr. Joe McKeever is a Preacher, Cartoonist, and retired Director of Missions for the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tomixoxo Tomi Jacobs Ziobro

    As a female pastor I wished you had included me in your writing, it’s pretty easy to be inclusive… say spouse instead of wife and so forth. I appreciate your ideas and think they can be used most effectively by the lay leadership and overall members of the church. By giving them some suggestions on the kind of things to post on FB, check in that they are in church and so forth… we will reach a much larger audience. Still we all know that a personal invite is the most effective tool in bringing new folks to church. Social media will not replace the personal invitation.

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  • Becky Harmon

    This was a GREAT blog. This is exactly what I tell my clients about the purpose of social media. Its RELATIONSHIP building. I love how you broke this down really practically and specifically on exactly how to share. I am going to send this to the Pastors I am connected with. Thanks, awesome (that and the zombie blog which I had to share also)

  • Georgia Baptist Preacher

    FYI, there is a Houston County (pronounced “house ton”) in Georgia. It is just south of Macon and the home of Robins Air Force Base.

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  • Mojo

    1. You don’t need to say “what church or what city,” if they are reading your facebook posts, then they already know. Facebook doesn’t reach anyone who isn’t your current friend. You can also post messages FROM your church account, which is what we do and then everyone “knows” what church we are talking about.

    2. Visitors to your church won’t have you as a friend on Facebook either. If you’re a pastor you will only reach people you have friended, if your church has its own account it will only reach people who are viewing that page or who have “liked” it.

  • LoisLu

    Our church FB page is so badly done it was allowing people to post vacation photos on it. I contacted our “Communication Director” and gave links to a couple other church FB pages. I was told it would be reviewed when the new pastor came. Nothing has changed in 4 months. It’s still as disorganized as it was. For a church as large as ours, and one that has several staff people that could revised this media resource, it’s frustrating.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cynthia.meade.54 Cynthia Meade

    Our Facebook hits have been skyrocketing with simple daily postings.We take pictures of our new members with their certificates in hand. They share those pictures with others. We put church events in the postings, not just the events section.

    • Georgia Baptist Preacher

      Works for us too, especially youth events.

  • webpastor

    Good tips. I have put them (and similar suggestions) to the test and they work! Bless you!

  • http://humanwebsite.com.my/ Kent

    I agree with your points. Facebook assists in relationship, especially between Pastors and members. Facebook doesn’t replace that relationship.

    And in order to build relationship on Facebook (before face to face meeting), we need to make sure that why should people join our churches. If we are able to answer this question, we can apply the same thing to different social media platforms.

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