Facebook for Your Congregation:The Whys and Hows
The bottom line is this… “We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we do it.”–Erik Qualman (author of Socialnomics: How Social MediaTransforms the Way We Live and Do Business)
OLD MODEL of church communication: One Way Street People don’t want to be talked AT, They want to be talked WITH.
If not…here’s why they should be:• EVERYONE is on Facebook. (Or…nearly everyone…)• It’s FREE• It’s FUN• Did I mention everyone is on Facebook, it’s FREE and it’s FUN??!!??
“Your congregationneeds to be a voice,have a voice, in the social mediaconversation. If you ~Anne Winfrey aren’t talking tothem, someone else
Oh no, Not the “E WORD!” Facebook is a way to Facebook is a way toevangelize to your current evangelize to your future congregation. congregation.
Ideas for HOW to Use Facebook in Your Congregation• Use Facebook to communicate to your congregation quickly and effectively• Use Facebook to share photos of special events (people LOVE to see photos!)• Use Facebook to share videos• Use Facebook as a connection and prayer point• Use Facebook as an invitation• Use Facebook to increase your staff’s visibility in the congregation• Use Facebook to have some fun• Use Facebook to celebrate successes• Use Facebook to rally the troops• Use Facebook to Evangelize (yes, I said the E word again)
What NOT to do with Facebook in Your Congregation• Don’t forget about it!• Don’t ignore people’s questions!• Don’t over-post or I will personally send you to Facebook jail• Don’t be cheesy, you’re not a salesman• Don’t use Facebook to get on your soapbox• Don’t let people be rude or disrespectful• Don’t forget about people’s privacy
DON’T WORRY You will make mistakes. If you are sincere about helping yourcongregation, the authenticity will show and your mistakes will be forgiven.
• Don’t let this be a stumbling block! • If you feel so inclined, you can set out “rules” Let’s Talk on your Facebook page About • Use common senseFacebook and • Ask permission, if possible, when posting pictures or videos Privacy • Let your congregation know about your social media policy (Do you have a social media policy?) • Check out the ELCA’s Facebook page guidelines (http://www.facebook.com/notes/evangelical- lutheran-church-in-america/facebook-page- guidelines/128793396556) • Read “Social Media and Congregations: Strategies, Guidelines, Best Practices and Resources” (http://www.elca.org/Who-We- Are/Our-Three-Expressions/Churchwide- Organization/Communication- Services/Resources/Web-Ministry/Social- Media.aspx)
Facebook for Your Congregation, the Super Awesome Extras EditionPicasa App (pictures): http://apps.facebook.com/picasauploader/ • Click “Insall Now” button • To install the Picasa Uploader, you must have Adobe AIR installed (follow instructions on the page to install Adobe AIR)Poll App: http://apps.facebook.com/my-polls/welcome • Click “Try it free” button • Follow the instructions, it will lead you throughBirthday Calendar App: http://apps.facebook.com/BirthdayCal/Event Calendar App: http://apps.facebook.com/_calendar_/Bible App (called YouVersion): http://apps.facebook.com/YouVersion
Other Facebookish Thoughts• Think about making a social media plan in advance, perhaps even make a calendar of what you are going to post and when in relation to upcoming services and events• Schedule Facebook messages via HootSuite• Get familiar with other social media platforms (Twitter, YouTube, blogs) and link them to your Facebook account• Learn how to read your Facebook analytics page, and pay attention to it• Use private Facebook groups for: • Youth • Bible study • Mission trips• Use a QR code to get people to your Facebook page• Use social media in worship or education