While creating a website for his local church, Kyle Cottington saw a market to help churches create and update their online presence. Church Edit was born, a company dedicated to helping churches with their websites. Here Kyle explains how to stay connected with Facebook
ChurchEdit founder Kyle Cottington
Don’t miss the opportunity to reach out!
Social Media can be a great way for churches to connect with members and those associated with the church.
Sometimes people fail to see how social media can also become a powerful evangelistic tool when used well. When we face the facts, here in the UK the average person spends over an hour each day on social media. Furthermore, according to the Telegraph, 80 per cent of Internet users aged between 35 and 44 are now on social media, so we can remove any misconceptions that social media is purely for teenagers.
There is sometimes a little bit of confusion over which option is best for your church, but ultimately it depends on what functionality you want your page to have, and how public you want it to be. To try and clarify, we will explain the difference between pages and groups and explain the various features.
A Facebook page is very similar to a personal profile page, but naturally is designed for an organisation or business. It is designed to be a broadcasting platform and is great for sharing what is going on, advertising and raising awareness. Your Facebook page is also a great opportunity to promote your church website. Adding links to the church website from your Facebook page will help increase traffic and give people access to the more detailed church information found on your website.
Facebook pages are public, can be found through searches and can be joined by anyone simply by ‘liking’ the page. Facebook also allows you to monitor a wealth of statistics with pages, from the number of new likes each week to the total number of people you’ve reached and much more.
This is a great way to check how effective your Facebook usage is and make changes if necessary. Having a main Facebook page gives your church a face, and allows anyone to search for your page, like it and then instantly be plugged into the life of the church. Furthermore, this page can be used to advertise events, share images/videos include any thoughts and quotes.
How to use Facebook effectively
Use good quality media – a Facebook page that is full of text is never going to inspire any engagement. Include quality images of church events and videos capture the life of the church.
Ensure that you post frequently (but not too frequently) – Ideally, try to post at least once or twice a day. Posts have a ‘shelf-life’ so be careful not to post in quick succession, as this will simply move your previous post further down the list, out of the way.
Post at a time when social media is the most active – statistics show that the highest traffic on social media occurs during the week between 1-3pm. Furthermore, engagement rises by almost 20 per cent on Thursdays and Fridays.
Set up events on your page – this allows you to invite people to events at your church.
There are tools on hand to help with scheduling Facebook posts, so don’t feel like you need to manually update every post at an appropriate time. Facebook has a built in scheduling system, or you could use a system like ‘HootSuite’ to schedule your posts. The real beauty in this is that you can set up an entire week’s posts in just a matter of minutes.
Allow people to post to your Facebook wall as this will encourage engagement. More importantly, ensure that any questions or queries are followed up promptly. Naturally, you will want to monitor this, so ensure that there are people on hand to keep an eye on things.
Monitor statistics and ensure that you are reaching people on a regular basis. Facebook will send you automated e-mails every week with an update on your so pay attention, don’t hit delete.
Use your page as a platform to share the good news. Church Facebook pages are a great way to capture the life of the church and put a face to the people, but let’s not miss the opportunity to reach out. Without being long-winded, your page is a great platform to share a simple thought for the day. This may seem really insignificant, but it may be the first time that someone will have heard of the goodness of God and even if it only reaches one person, it makes it all worthwhile.