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a collection of articles on how to use Facebook as a congregation

a collection of articles on how to use Facebook as a congregation

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Your church and facebook Document Transcript

  • 1. YOUR%CHURCH%AND%FACEBOOK% P R E P A RE D ! B Y ! W E N D Y ! B A I L E Y! !! ! Inside:! • Why!Your!Church!Needs!to!be!on!Facebook! • Pages,!Profiles!and!Groups!…!Oh!My!! • How!to!Create!a!Facebook!Page!for!your!Church! • Building!Your!Church’s!Facebook!Page! • It’s!Not!about!“Marketing,”!It’s!about!“Relationship”!
  • 2. WHY!YOUR!CHURCH!NEEDS! TO!BE!ON!FACEBOOK!F! acebook!is!not!a!fad.!! Social!media!and!social! networking!are!here!to!stay.!!Since!Facebook!went!public!in!September!2006,!it!has!become!the!major!platform!for!social!connections!on!the!Internet!in!the!United!States!and!around!the!world.!!Today!Facebook!has!more!than!800!million!active!users,!and!more!than!50%!of!them!log!into!Facebook!on!any!given!day.!!Facebook!users!stay!connected!through!their!computers,!smartphones!and!tablets.!!When!making!purchasing!decisions,!or!decisions!on!joining!or!visiting!a!church,!many!people!will!rely!on!advice!they!get!from!Facebook!friends.!!Churchshoppers!will!visit!websites!before!they’ll!look!at!a!telephone!book!or!newspaper!ad,!but!more!and!more,!they!are!interested!not!only!in!information!but!interaction!before!they!even!attempt!a!visit.!While!the!first!users!of!Facebook!were!college!students!(nearly!1!million!of!them!by!December!of!2004),!the!numbers!of!people!over!the!age!55!are!increasing!by!leaps!and!bounds.!!Many!older!adults!are!finding!that!Facebook!is!a!great!way!to!stay!in!touch!with!children!and!grandchildren!and!friends!across!the!street!and!around!the!world.!!Because!Facebook!is!FREE,!it’s!a!great!tool!for!the!church!to!use!in!building!community,!evangelism,!mission,!networking!and!sharing!information!about!activities!of!the!congregation.!Will!a!FB!page!bring!people!to!your!church?!!Not!likely!…!at!least!no!more!likely!than!a!webpage!or!phone!book!ad!will!bring!visitors.!!Not!having!a!Facebook!presence,!though,!will!definitely!NOT!bring!people!to!church.!!And,!if!your!congregation!is!intentional!in!how!it!uses!this!and!other!social!media!for!building!relationships,!it!will!enhance!the!ministry!and!mission!or!your!church.!! !
  • 3. PAGES,!PROFILES!AND!GROUPS…! OH!MY!!There!are!three!basic!ways!that!people!and!organizations!can!interact!on!Facebook:!Profiles,!Pages!and!Groups.!!Facebook!is!clear!that!“profiles”!are!for!individuals!and!“pages”!are!for!organizations.!!Public!figures!are!an!exception!to!that,!but,!by!and!large,!the!rule!of!thumb!stands!true.!!By!Facebook’s!own!rules,!an!organization!cannot!have!a!“profile”!it!needs!to!create!a!“page.!!You!need!to!attest!that!you!have!the!authority!from!the!organization!to!form!the!page!…!in!other!words,!since!this!is!the!“official”!public!voice!of!the!congregation,!you!need!to!have!permission,!preferably!from!the!session,!to!create!the!page.!!That!page!will!be!linked!to!your!personal!Facebook!login,!and!can!be!linked!to!others!as!well.!!This!way!the!“page”!can!live!even!after!you!leave!the!organization!or!are!no!longer!responsible!for!the!Facebook!page.!!!Facebook!users!“friend”!people’s!profiles!and!“like”!organization’s!pages.!!But,!essentially,!they!act!similarly.!!Status!updates!and!wall!posts!will!be!pushed!to!people’s!newsfeeds,!you!!can!post!videos,!photographs,!documents,!links,!and!create!events.!!!A!group!is!not!necessarily!an!“official”!voice!of!an!organization.!!It’s!more!a!gathering!of!people!to!share!in!news!and!conversation!on!specific!topics!or!interests.!!People!can!start!groups!for!all!kinds!of!concerns!or!interests.!!They!can!be!public!or!private.!!Typically,!a!congregation!would!form!a!“page”!but!organizations!within!your!congregation!would!form!groups.!!“First!Presbyterian!Church”!would!be!a!page,!but!“FPC!Youth”!would!be!a!group.!!You!could!start!groups!to!be!discussions!on!specific!topics!within!the!church!(discussion!on!a!mission!statement,!for!instance)!or!to!reach!out!to!the!larger!community!(bible!study!on!Revelation!for!members!and!non!members).!!!When!your!congregation!has!a!“page”!on!Facebook,!it!can!also!create!“events.”!!This!is!a!great!way!to!publicize!your!event!both!to!your!congregation!and!to!the!friends!of!friends!of!your!congregation.!!Events!can!also!be!either!public!or!private.!!!!! !
  • 4. HOW!TO!CREATE!A!FACEBOOK! PAGE!FOR!YOUR!CHURCH!1. Sign%in%to%Facebook.!!If!you!do! not!have!a!personal!Facebook! profile,!you!will!need!to!create! one.!!Go!to! http://www.facebook.com!and!fill! in!the!form!and!click!“signup”!2. Scroll!down!to!the!bottom!of! your!newsfeed!and!click%on% “create%a%page”!3. Click%on%“Company,%Organization% or%Institution”.!!Choose!“Church/Religious!Organization”.!!Type!the!name!of! your!church,!and!check!the!box!saying!you!agree!to!the!Facebook!Page!terms.! Click!on!the!“Get!Started”!box.!4. Choose%a%profile%picture.!!This!is!often!a!picture!of!your!church!building,!a! logo,!or!an!image!that!represents!your!congregation.!!You!can!upload!an! image!from!your!computer,!or!get!it!from!your!church’s!website.!!Be!sure!that! the!picture!will!look!good!small,!as!this!is!the!image!that!will!accompany!all! posts!by!your!church.!!Also,!it’s!good!for!it!to!be!close!to!square.!!Facebook! may!crop!a!long!and!skinny!photo!in!a!way!that!looks!bad.!5. Don’t%invite%Friends%or%upload%your%list%yet.!!You’ll!have!a!chance!to!do!this! later!after!you!have!the!page!all!set!up,!looking!just!the!way!you!like.!!Just!click! continue.!6. Enter%your%congregation’s%website.!!If!you!don’t!have!a!website,!this! facebook!page!could!act!as!your!church’s!site,!so!don’t!worry.!7. Enter%a%sentence%or%two%about%your%church.!!This!is!not!a!place!to!say! everything.!!Make!it!inviting!and!interesting,!but!true.!!This!may!be!a!good! place!for!your!church’s!mission!statement!(assuming!it’s!less!that!250! characters).!!Click!continue.!8. Congratulations!your!Page!is!set!up.!!Now,!it’s!time!to!build!the!site!to!reflect! the!life!of!your!congregation!
  • 5. BUILDING!YOUR!CHURCH’S!! FACEBOOK!PAGE!Now!that!your!page!is!set!up,!you!will!need!to!add!information!about!your!congregation!to!the!site.!!Click%on%“Edit%Page”!to!begin!building.!!This!is!also!how!you!will!edit!information!in!the!future!if!needed.!There!are!a!number!of!areas!to!edit!or!build.!!You!can!see!them!in!the!column!on!the!left!of!the!page.!!Let’s!begin!with!“basic!information”.! BASIC!INFORMATION!!!Category:!Companies!&!Organizations;!Church/Religious!Organization!Community%Page:!leave!this!blank!or!add!a!topic.!!You!may!want!to!add!“Presbyterian”!User%Name:!!This!is!a!good!way!to!create!an!easy!way!for!people!to!find!your!church!on!Facebook.!!Facebook!provides!you!a!long!id!number!for!your!page,!but!you!probably!want!to!create!something!that!you!can!easily!publish!or!tell!people!in!order!to!find!you!on!Facebook.!!Once!you!set!this,!you!cannot!change!it.!!Also,!you!may!need!to!have!at!least!25!fans!or!“likes”!in!order!to!get!a!user!name.!!If!you!have!a!church!website,!you!may!want!your!Facebook!user!name!to!be!similar.!!Remember!that!there!are!hundreds!of!churches!with!names!like!First!Presbyterian!or!Westminster!Presbyterian,!so!you’ll!have!to!find!something!unique!to!your!congregation.!Name:!!This!is!the!name!of!your!page!as!you!set!it!up.!!This!is!a!place,!too,!to!consider!making!a!very!common!name!more!unique.!!For!instance,!instead!of!“First!Presbyterian!Church”,!you!may!want!“First!Presbyterian!Plainsboro”.!Founded:!Enter!the!year!your!church!chartered!or!leave!it!blank.!Address:!!Use!the!street!address!of!your!church,!not!a!post!office!box!or!mailing!address.!!This!is!what!visitors!will!use!to!find!you!on!Google!Maps!or!their!GPS.!!Facebook!also!allows!people!to!“check!in”!to!locations.!!If!you!have!your!physical!address,!then!fans!can!tell!their!friends!that!they!are!at!your!church!!About:%% These!are!all!ways!to!say!different!things!about!your!Description:%% congregation.!!Be!sure!to!say!that!all!people!are!welcome!and!General%Information:%% the!times!of!your!worship!services,!etc.!Mission:!!%Email:!!Go!ahead!and!leave!a!church!email!address.!!This!is!a!good!way!for!potential!visitors!to!contact!the!church.!!Don’t!leave!your!personal!email!here,!though.!!If!your!church!doesn’t!
  • 6. have!an!email!address,!you!can!get!one!for!free!from!Google!mail,!yahoo,!or!other!online!mail!services.!Phone:!!Yes,!list!your!church’s!phone!here.!!Be!sure,!that!your!church’s!voicemail!is!working!and!gives!basic!information!about!the!church.!Website:!!This!should!list!your!church’s!website!if!you!have!one.! Be%sure%to%hit%“Save%Changes”%before%moving%on%to%other%areas!% YOUR!SETTINGS!Posting%Preferences:!!you!have!a!choice!regarding!which!identity!you!want!to!use!when!you!post!on!the!church’s!page.!!If!you!will!be!the!primary!and!“official”!voice!of!the!congregation!on!Facebook,!then!you!should!check!this!box.!!If!you!check!it,!every!time!you!post!on!the!wall!here!it!will!appear!as!posted!by!the!church.!!If!you!don’t!check!it,!your!posts!will!be!identified!as!coming!from!you,!personally.!!!!Email%Notifications:!!Click!this!box!to!have!an!email!sent!to!you!every!time!someone!posts!or!comments!on!the!congregation’s!page.!!If!you!don’t!want!the!emails,!then!leave!this!box!unchecked.! Be%sure%to%hit%“Save%Changes”%before%moving%on%to%other%areas!% MANAGE!PERMISSIONS!Page%Visibility:!!When!you’re!page!is!in!development!you!may!want!to!check!this!box,!so!that!people!cannot!see!it!until!you!are!ready.!!This!should!only!rarely!be!used.!!!!Country%Restrictions:!!There!is!typically!no!need!to!restrict!or!limit!which!countries!can!see!your!church’s!Facebook!page.!Age%Restrictions:!!Unless!you!are!going!to!have!“adult!only”!content!on!your!page,!there!is!no!need!to!restrict!the!age!of!people!who!can!see!your!site.!Wall%Tab%Shows:!!What!do!you!want!visible!on!your!wall?!!Just!the!postings!from!your!page?!Or!everyone!who!wants!to!post!on!the!wall?!!This!should!be!carefully!considered.!!If!you!are!using!your!page!primarily!to!share!information!from!your!congregation,!then!it!will!be!best!to!choose!“posts!by!page.”!!If,!on!the!other!hand,!you!want!to!have!a!more!“open!source”!page!where!all!visitors’!posts!can!be!see,!check!“All!Posts.”!!You!can!always!come!back!and!change!this!setting,!if!you!find!the!church!isn’t!being!well!served!as!it!is.!Expand%comments%on%stories:!!if!you!don’t!click!here,!long!comments!or!a!list!of!comments!will!not!all!be!visible!without!manually!clicking!to!expand.!!!Default%landing%tab:!!This!should!indicate!which!aspect!of!your!page!visitors!will!see!when!they!first!come!to!your!page.!
  • 7. Posting%Ability:!!This!allows!you!to!choose!what!kind!of!content!your!visitors!can!post!on!your!page.!Moderation%Blocklist:!!List!any!terms!you!can!think!of!that!you!would!want!to!block!from!your!site.!!Typically!you!would!leave!this!blank!unless!you!find!yourself!with!a!problem!of!some!sort.!Profanity%Blocklist:!Here!you!can!choose!the!level!of!censorship!for!profanity!on!your!page.!!!Delete%Page:!!Do!not!click!here,!unless!you!want!to!permanently!delete!your!congregation’s!Facebook!page.! Be%sure%to%hit%“Save%Changes”%before%moving%on%to%other%areas!% PROFILE!PICTURE!This!is!where!you!go!to!add!or!change!a!profile!picture!that!represents!your!congregation.!!! FEATURED!In!order!to!build!connectivity!on!Facebook,!your!congregation!can!“like”!other!pages.!!Up!to!five!of!these!links!will!appear!on!the!left!navigation!bar!of!your!congregation’s!page.!!To!begin,!you!can!“like”!the!presbytery’s!page!or!PC(USA)’s!page.!!! RESOURCES!If!you’re!looking!for!help,!this!is!one!place!to!look.!!There!are!helpful!articles!and!links!here!to!help!you!build!your!page!and!its!effectiveness.! MANAGE!ADMINS!As!the!person!who!set!up!the!page,!you!are!an!“admin”!to!the!site.!!This!gives!you!access!to!all!the!settings!as!well!as!the!ability!to!post!as!your!church.!!Think!carefully!about!who!else!you’d!like!to!make!an!administrator!of!your!site.!!The!pastor,!the!clerk!of!session,!other!staff!members,!elders?!!You!want!to!balance!accessibility!with!the!ability!to!speak!with!a!unified!voice!when!posting!and!using!Facebook!as!your!congregation.! INSIGHTS!As!your!page!is!used!more,!this!is!a!good!place!to!keep!abreast!on!new!users!and!the!growth!of!the!site!itself.!!Use!these!statistics!to!set!goals!for!your!congregation’s!Facebook!presence!!!! !
  • 8. IT’S!NOT!ABOUT!“MARKETING,”!IT’S! ABOUT!“RELATIONSHIP”!Often!congregations!will!say,!we’ve!got!a!Facebook!page!but!it!doesn’t!do!us!any!good.!!Just!having!a!page!or!merely!posting!information!about!your!congregation’s!programs!or!worship!times!assumes!that!people!will!come!to!your!page!to!find!out!about!you.!!While!that!may!have!be!true!of!the!Yellow!Pages,!and!it!is!somewhat!true!for!your!congregation’s!website,!Facebook!is!a!“social!network”!and!it!requires!interactivity!for!it’s!effectiveness.!!Building!a!relationship!is!what!Facebook!is!about,!not!broadcasting!information.!!!So,!how!does!a!congregation!build!a!relationship!on!Facebook?!!! 1. Post%regularly%…!every!time!you!post!something!to!you’re!your!congregation’s!wall!it! gets!“pushed”!to!the!newsfeeds!of!those!who!have!“liked”!you.!!But,!the!newsfeed! is!very!crowded,!and!yesterday’s!or!this!morning’s!posts!are!quickly!buried!and!not! seen!anymore.!!Plan!posts!throughout!the!week!(at!least!one!per!day!for!even!the! smallest!of!congregations).!!Use!a!tool!such!as!Hootsuite!(Hootsuite.com)!to! schedule!your!posts.! 2. Post%links%to%interesting%and%related%articles,%photos%or%videos.%%Don’t!just!share! what’s!going!on!at!your!church.!!Sharing!news!of!other!congregations,!the! presbytery,!pastors!of!neighboring!congregations,!the!local!food!pantry,!or!other! missions,!etc.!!is!a!great!way!to!stay!connected!and!show!how!involved!your! congregation!is!in!the!larger!Church.!!It!also!keeps!your!congregation’s!page!active! and!shows!you!are!a!congregation!with!vitality!and!effective!mission.! 3. Comment%on%posts%and%on%other%people’s%walls.!!When!someone!posts!on!your!wall! or!comments!on!your!post,!be!sure!to!respond.!!It!doesn’t!have!to!be!long!or!deep,!a! mere!“thanks!for!sharing”!goes!a!long!way!to!build!community.!!Stay!positive!in!your! comments!…!particularly!if!someone!says!something!that!seems!like!a!complaint,! don’t!get!defensive,!but!that!them!for!their!input!and!give!more!information!if!it’s! needed.!!Commenting!on!other!people’s!status,!particularly!if!they!mention!the! church!or!people!associated!with!the!church,!is!also!very!important.!!! 4. Ask%questions.!!Questions!encourage!people!to!share!their!thoughts.!!Asking!a! question!like!“what!are!you!thankful!for!today?”!or!“what!are!your!favorite!advent! traditions?”!or!“do!you!say!grace!before!meals!with!your!kids?!“!is!a!great!way!to! start!building!conversation!and!dialogue.!!Try!to!make!the!questions!relate!to!what’s! going!on!in!the!life!of!the!congregation.! 5. Take%polls/surveys%or%quizzes.!!There!are!polling!apps!you!can!put!on!your!page,!but!it! doesn’t!have!to!be!that!complicated.!!You!might!ask!for!people!to!post!their!favorite! hymns!or!praise!songs!in!a!comment.!!Tell!them!that!the!top!four!hymns!or!praise! songs!that!get!the!most!“likes”!will!be!used!during!worship!next!month.!!You!might! also!ask!trivia!questions!about!the!congregation!or!theology!or!the!Bible!….!The!first! one!to!comment!with!the!correct!answer!could!get!a!free!download!from!iTunes!of! their!favorite!Christian!song.!!Use!your!imagination!…!look!to!see!what!other! organizations!are!doing!to!build!traffic!and!interest!in!their!page.!
  • 9. 6. Encourage%people%to%post%photos%or%videos.!!Whenever!the!church!has!an!event,! encourage!people!there!to!take!pictures!and!post!them!to!the!congregation’s! Facebook!page!…!or!post!to!their!own!profile!and!“tag”!the!church!in!them.! 7. Create%events.!!Use!the!event!app!to!create!events!for!your!congregation.!!They! could!be!“real”!events!like!the!hanging!of!the!greens!special!service!or!“virtual”!like!a! day!of!prayer!for!the!congregation,!or!season!of!giving,!etc.!!Be!sure!to!invite!people! to!the!events,!and!to!encourage!others!to!invite!their!friends!! 8. Think%about%your%Facebook%page%as%“being”%church,%not%just%getting%people%to% “come%to”%church.!!Create!an!event!for!a!“virtual”!Bible!Study.!!Use!the!page!to! encourage!prayer!and!reaching!out!to!those!in!need.!!Consider!everyone!who!“likes”! your!page!or!sees!you!on!Facebook!as!a!child!of!God.! 9. Plan%Facebook%“campaigns.”!!Plan!times!of!the!year!when!you’re!going!to!have! specific!goals!for!Facebook.!!Use!the!themes!of!worship!seasons!or!preaching!series! to!plan!your!campaigns.!!Goals!could!be!to!increase!our!“likes”!by!a!certain!number,! or!to!post!and!comment!every!day.!!! 10. Yes,%it%takes%time.!!Some!Social!Media!experts!have!given!the!rule!of!thumb!of!an! hour!a!day!for!building!your!social!network!effectively.!!I!don’t!think!most! congregations!will!need!to!spend!that!much!time,!but!30!minutes!three!or!four!times! a!week!seems!reasonable!for!even!the!smallest!of!congregations.!!Building! relationships!take!time,!making!friends!takes!time!and!energy!in!real!life!as!well!as!on! Facebook.!!But,!once!those!relationships!are!formed,!they!are!valuable.!!We!don’t! witness!the!love!and!compassion!of!Jesus!Christ!through!ads!or!marketing,!but!we! can!be!great!and!powerful!witnesses!through!relationships.!!!