When I first took over the communications at my church, I was excited but instantly overwhelmed. I knew that we needed to get up and running on social media (we didn’t have any social media presence until I swooped in earlier this year!), but I was plagued with indecision. As much as I wanted our church to be on social media, I also knew that I was the one and only volunteer who would be in charge of it all, and I wanted to be effective without giving my entire life over to the internet.
Eventually, I knew I just had to bite the bullet and start something. I figured Facebook would be the ideal platform for us to start on, and in this post, I’m going to explain exactly why. In fact, to this day, Facebook is the only platform my church uses, because it has been so incredibly effective for us, and can be used quickly and effectively without tiring out our volunteers (namely, me!).
#1 Facebook is the largest social media platform
I remember when Facebook came out, and I thought it was for ‘old people’ (which was actually anyone my sister’s age —so, uni students!), and I think I was about thirteen at the time. By the time I was fifteen and realised it was the latest and greatest thing, 71% of all adults were on Facebook. Now, ten years later, over 1.65 billion people have Facebook. That is HUGE. You probably found me because you were nosing around on Facebook or social media.
As small churches, our aim in choosing a primary social media platform should be to engage with our current church members and their friends. So, by choosing Facebook, we are choosing the platform that most of your members are probably already on, because it is the platform that spans the most age groups and has the most users.
#2 You can do so much more than just ‘post’
On other platforms such as Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat, all you can really do is ‘post’ about one thing or another. Twitter allows you to share links and photos, and Instagram and Snapchat allow you to share photos and videos, but Facebook does ALL of these things, and more.
On Facebook you can share articles, videos, photos, quotes, sound bites and practically any tidbit you can imagine to a page specifically for your church. You can have particular groups that you can post to, both privately and publicly. You can share live video. You can create ‘events’ that attendees will be notified about. The possibilities for engagement with your church and the people outside it are literally endless.
#3 You can have a special ‘business page’ for your church
I eluded to this in point two, but this is an infinitely handy point in my opinion. See, you can set up your Facebook page as a business, and add all sorts of features such as maps, links to your website and a whole information page. Facebook can act as a hub for fast information about your church, and is a whole lot easier to update than your website. For instance, if you were having an outdoor service and your plans changed because of rain, you can easily use your phone to update the church page and let people know of wet weather plans.
#4 You can create ‘groups’ for different church needs
Groups are private forums on Facebook that are infinitely handy when it comes to keeping your church updated. For instance, you could create a group for your Women’s Ministry, where you then post to the women, for the women, and invite just them to events! We have done this at my church, along with other groups for the Youth Group, and then another group for Parents of the Youth Group, so that we can quickly contact them.
#5 You can schedule your interactions and work while you sleep
I’ve talked about scheduling Facebook a lot in this post here, but I will repeat myself a little and say this: if you spend half an hour once a week scheduling Facebook posts, it will feel magical when you realise people on Facebook have been engaging with your church literally while you sleep. Scheduling social media is a time-saving wonder, and will make running your church Facebook account an absolute breeze.
I hope this post has been helpful for you! If you want more tips for a successful church Facebook page, you can grab my free Facebook checklist from my resource library here.