Facebook is the hottest trend America (the world) has ever experienced. Facebook has over 800 million registered users. That means they would be the 4th largest nation in the world. The social network is an unbelievable tool when used with purpose and strategy. With most people in the United States entrenched with Facebook, the church has a great opportunity to leverage the trend into a kingdom impacting tool.
Here are 7 ways to maximize your Facebook page –
1) Good content
80% of people check out your website before attending your church. The second place they visit is your Facebook page to view pictures and dialogue between church members. In most situations your Facebook page is much more telling than your website. This is perfectly okay as long as you manage your content well. Provide people the opportunity to get to know you through general information, photographs of events and services, videos of messages and life-change stories. Make sure the content is monitored and matches up with the message you want to deliver.
2) Make it known
I hear this statement all the time, “We created a page but nobody joined!” I quickly respond, “How did you inform people that the page existed?” They reply, “We didn’t.” Here are some quick ways to make sure people know about your page – announce it regularly from stage, print Facebook.com/YourChurchName wherever you print your URL and provide a link from your website.
3) Regular relevant posts
In most cases, the administrator (typically staff person) will be the one driving page activity. Be strategic about what you say status updates. The content MUST be relevant. Some ideas to share – life-change stories, ministry event updates with pictures, quotes from worship service messages, recommended reading list, etc.
Tip: This is going to sound bad, but rethink the idea of posting a scripture verse each day. I think if you took a look at your personal wall, you would see that 3-4 other friends already got that one covered. Be different and unique. Offer value.
4) Staff interaction
Recently, I made a simple post on behalf of a church, “How can the pastoral staff be praying for you, specifically?” Before I knew it, I got ambushed with requests. The only problem was the staff was not prepared to respond. I frantically had to contact the leadership team telling them they needed to engage immediately. I recommend pastors check the church page daily, interact 1-2 times a week and provide the communications team with information ammunition on events and life-change stories.
5) Provide guidelines
Hopefully the staff team is active in building community through Facebook and other social media mediums. If so, take some time to think through what guidelines you wish for them to follow. For example, you might ask them never to speak negatively about your church or any other church. Provide overall guidelines in social media etiquette.
6) Check the analytic reports
Facebook does a great job of report generation. The reports provide information that will boggle your mind. Check the reports monthly, as these reports will be a great guide on what content to offer to your audience. What are people “liking”? What do people click on? When do people “like” your page?
7) Communicate purpose
Make sure it is very clear that you are using Facebook as a spiritual growth tool for your church. Communicate the page will be used to help people stay connected, receive prayer, find opportunities to serve and spiritually grow.
In summary, make sure you capitalize on the opportunity provided by Facebook. They’ve done a great job of assembling millions into one social community. Now it is our turn to use the tool for kingdom growth.
How do you use Facebook to grow online community and ministry?