How are churches using Facebook?

How are churches using Facebook?

Everyone seems to be jumping on the Facebook bandwagon these days. I know you’ve heard about Facebook now reaching over 250 million users, and it’s still growing. I’m particularly glad to see that many faith-based organizations and NPOs continue to refine the way they use Facebook to communicate, connect and call others to action.

As usual, though, every step in marketing and outreach needs to have a purpose and a plan. Some organizations are doing that better than others. Here are a few tips and a few pages you might want to check out:

1) Activity: Does a page or group still exist on Facebook if no one is there to see it? Nah, it’s not an existential question, but it’s an important one. If Facebook is going to be a primary tool in your outreach plan, you have to work it! As I’ve been researching, I see that the majority of pages and groups are undernourished and dying on the social media vine. Just like anything else in marketing, creating a Facebook community takes time and effort. Post faithfully and post items that are cool, relevant and interesting, including audios, videos, photos, and more.

2) Groups vs. Pages: This is almost as common as the chicken vs. the egg question. A great article at Mashable gives you all you need to know. Since personal vs. professional identity is tricky and key, and groups are limited to 5000 members, I would suggest churches set up a page. Pages are also indexed by search engines, helping your marketing.

3) Be authentic: Alas, I say this a lot on this blog, and I’ll say it again: The most active pages are the ones where members, visitors and leadership are posting real needs, testimonies, events and study questions. It’s not just about what you are serving for Wednesday night supper. 😉 Along these lines, as your profile picture, use a pic of PEOPLE, not your church. People use social media to connect with other people, not a building.

You might want to look up some of the faith-based orgs we’ve listed below to see how they are using Facebook. (If the organization has a public page, I’ve provided the link. Otherwise, I’m providing the link to their public web address where you can connect.) Yep, yep…there are others, and we’ll be highlighting those in future posts.

* The Bridge UMC, Huntsville, AL
* The Church at Chapel Hill, Douglasville, GA
* First Baptist Church, Belton, TX
* NewSpring Church, Greenville, SC and webcampus
* Crossover Church, Tampa, FL
* Bible-Study, this is just a group from all over who uses Facebook for
prayer and Bible Study (search under Bible-Study)
* Bible Study out of Frisco, TX (search in Facebook under Bible Study and
TX)

In addition to these, what other faith-based organizations are using Facebook to connect, communicate and call to action? Leave us a comment and let us know!

–Lee