This is part 2 of a 5-part series on using Facebook for churches.
Now that I had the staff learning to embrace Facebook (all at their own, individual paces), it was time to develop communication strategies for the church as a whole. Here they are:
Staff Goal: use social media to make a difference in real people’s lives.
Communications Department Goal: connect and promote—cut through without cutting in.
How the Communication Department Uses It:
- Mass Communication: We have a church Facebook page that we use to post upcoming events and initiatives. I encourage staff not to re-post/share those, but to “like” or comment on them when appropriate.
- Individual Communication: Anyone who indicates that they want information exclusively over Facebook gets their information that way.
How Staff Uses It:
- Individual Communication: We’ve found that some of our volunteers like to communicate via Facebook, so we’ll message them that way, as opposed to email or phone calls. Some staff do random check-ins and set up meetings through Facebook, too.
- Transparency and Encouragement: Pastor Mike has turned this into an art form. He simply posts about his day, thoughts and highlights life moments that are encouraging and uplifting to those who follow him. He’s our most popular Facebooker, and this just might be why.
- Conversation Starters: Pastor Al, our senior pastor, is the best at this. He likes to pose questions that let other people talk it through, rather than him doing all the talking. It’s a great way to engage Christians and non-Christians to dialogue together, and it helps people in our church understand each other better.
- Meeting Prep: Derek, our executive pastor, looks people up on Facebook before he meets with them because it gives him a snapshot of things that have been going on and issues they may be wrestling with.
Disclaimer: If you don’t have a sizeable core of your congregation on Facebook, your strategy might be more evangelistic in nature, which is great! I would simply encourage you not to use your account as a soapbox. Instead, really strive to connect with people and build relationships.