Most churches have a Facebook Page.
Your church does, right?
The problem with having a Facebook page, for most, is that churches don’t really know what to do with them! Facebook can feel intimidating—especially with the constant changes they make. But you don’t have to feel intimidated. You can learn how to maximize Facebook’s potential by learning a few fundamental principles.
There are simple tactics you can follow to reach people in your community with the gospel. Here are nine essential ways you and your church can use Facebook today.
1. Be social
Connect with people on your Facebook Page. Respond to their comments. Ask questions. Be social. Think about it this way.
Facebook is like a water cooler or coffee station at work people gather around to talk. It’s the place where they share their latest news, political rants, or a picture of what they ate. Make plans to spend time on Facebook to be socially present.
To do this, it’s best to have a staff member or volunteer responsible for overseeing your social media accounts. If you're thinking about handing this responsibility over to a volunteer, make sure you establish clear boundaries, requirements, and expectations.
You can find a great video here on the topic.
2. Share helpful content
Share things with people that are helpful and encouraging.
You can share passages from the Bible, quotes from books, and snippets from a recent sermon. Whatever you do, aim to provide a steady stream of helpful content throughout the week.
To help you think through what you need to share, here are 5-steps you can take to create a social media strategy for your church in minutes.
3. Ask for prayer requests
Designate a time every week to ask people to share their prayer requests. To keep this private, you can encourage people to send you a direct message through your Facebook Page, contact your church, or whatever option you have available for people to ask for prayer.
4. Share Stories
Share stories about the life of your church.
If possible, take a picture of your members, ask them questions, and then share this in the form of a short story (with their permission).
5. Recognize volunteers
With their permission, take pictures of your volunteers and share a little bit about them. Let people know their name, how they volunteer, and why they volunteer.
Recognizing your volunteers is an excellent way you can affirm people in your church and even raise awareness of ministries and events.
6. Encourage People to Tag the Church
Encourage staff, visitors, and members to “tag” the church during their social media conversations.
Also, consider adding your church as a “nearby place” on Facebook. This addition will give people the opportunity to add your church to their status updates when they are visiting, volunteering, or attending a worship service.
7. Advertise on Facebook
You can create awareness of your church in your geographic location by taking out targeted ads on Facebook. Don’t worry if you don’t have a huge budget to spend on reaching people via Facebook. Many smaller churches (100 or less) have experienced significant success by spending only $61 on Facebook Ads.
Here is a great video tutorial to help you get started.
8. Be human
Share the life of your church through behind the scene pictures, Q&A’s with staff members, volunteers getting ready, and on and on and on. These simple acts will “humanize” your Facebook account.
Another thing to consider is when the administrator of your Facebook Page responds to comments, he or she can place their initials or name at the end of the comment, which will let people know a person is behind the page—not a robot.
9. Share photos
Share photos. Lots and lots of pictures.
You can share before, during, and after photos of your worship services (You may need to place a sign up in your worship space to let people know that their images may be used).
It’s also a great idea to share photos of the regular day-to-day life of your church. For example, share photos of events, baptisms, community groups, and Sunday school.
If you’re posting pictures, DO NOT post pictures of children unless you have the written permission from their parents or guardians.
What has your church found helpful when using Facebook? Share your experience in the comments below!