Churches & the Facebook News Feed: How Can You Leverage It?

Churches & the Facebook News Feed: How Can You Leverage It?

February 8, 2011 by

In our last piece, we looked at why it’s important for churches to leverage the power of Facebook’s news feed. There was a lot to discuss and think about, but now that you’ve come to terms with its importance, let’s dive right into ways you can start getting the most out of the news feed.

1. Ask Questions
Even if you just want to announce something, share a link, or post a video, ask a question first. People love to give their opinions and will quickly post comments.

Example: Who do you think we should support? The church approved a 10% increase in the missions budget at last night’s meeting.

It’s also worth asking questions without tying them to an announcement or link of any kind. This is a great way to get valuable feedback as well as interactions to increase your page’s reach.

Example: What topics would you like Pastor Tim to cover at youth group this summer?

2. Give Them Something To Do
People might love your post but not think to “like” it. So ask them to, letting them know it helps your outreach.

Example: Hit “like” to spread the word! Our annual Harvest Party is next Friday at 7. Come join us for games, candy, and free pizza! [Link to web page or online map]

3. Mix Things Up
Don’t be afraid to go off topic. People don’t talk about the same thing all the time, and neither should you.

Example: Only 8 days ’til Christmas! What’s your favorite Christmas tradition?

4. Hold Facebook “Events”
There are a lot of possibilities here. Something we’ve done with success at Logos is getting an expert or author to spend an hour on Facebook answering questions about a given topic. We have our fans post questions for him or her throughout the week. Then we hold a live conversation between the expert and fans for an hour on a given date. This might be worth doing occasionally with a pastor or youth leader, geared around a particular topic or message (Editor’s Note: Hmm, sounds a lot like our recent office hours idea, which you can do outside of Facebook).

Another option is Facebook photo “events.” For instance, offer a nice Bible to the member that uploads a photo depicting the most meaningful outreach activity with your church page tagged in it. Or hold a youth group photo scavenger hunt, having the teens upload photos of obscure activities throughout the week, again with the church page tagged.

Believe it or not, having a meaningful Facebook presence is really as simple as engaging people on a personal level. All the extra bells and whistles waste time and money. And they often come across as cheesy marketing ploys that shouldn’t be identified with the church anyway.

Just take a minute to think about where people are at and engage them there. As you do, more and more people will find out about your church and hear the life-changing message of the gospel.

Post By:

Stephen Smith


Among other things, Stephen Smith oversees social media for Logos Bible Software, where he makes sure the personal, friendly nature of the company doesn’t get lost behind organizational barriers. He engages users to help them get the most out of their bible study experience and personal walk with the Lord.
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5 Responses to “Churches & the Facebook News Feed: How Can You Leverage It?”

  • Jill
    February 8, 2011

    Great ideas! Thanks for this series.


  • Christine
    February 8, 2011

    Thank you for this!! I am helping manage our Facebook page and love the idea of tagging photos. It’s sometimes hard to manage a Facebook page with a larger organization that’s large enough to have a lot of stakeholders, but small enough that there aren’t clear lines of who’s in charge of what. Sometimes we’re hesitant to be really proactive with Facebook–or any communications, I guess–because it realistically can’t be passed by every stakeholder’s desk and still come out this year, but we don’t want a stakeholder to be upset by something either, so we end up veering on the side of caution, which usually means we stick to broadcast mode rather than conversational.


  • Matt
    February 8, 2011

    When you are talking about church pages for tagging, it doesn’t appear facebook allows you to tag organizations only people is there a way around this?


  • Stephen Smith
    February 8, 2011

    Matt, when a fan navigates to your Church’s Facebook page, they can choose “photo” from among the sharing options across the top of the wall (http://screencast.com/t/s4Yxr4e88j). At this point, they choose which photo to upload, can say something about it, and hit “share.” The photo will appear both on the wall and under the photos tab (http://screencast.com/t/luEFql2hHq2).

    Hope this helps!

    -Stephen


  • Bryan Person
    February 14, 2011

    Excellent series, Stephen! I actually came across the series while on a hunt for churches that are effectively taking advantage of NFO on their Facebook Pages … namely by creating content that is meant to engage and generate discussion (which leads to it spreading across more News Feeds).

    Most of the church Facebook Pages I’m finding so far are largely using Facebook as just another “marketing channel,” largely broadcasting announcements/aut0-cross-posting tweets, etc. Instead, they’d be wise to to follow the tactics you outline above that take advantage of the social and conversational nature of Facebook, including the EdgeRank algorithm itself.

    The best example I’ve found is LifeChurch.tv’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/lifechurchtv

    I’m impressed by their mix of content, the way they ask questions to engage their fans, and their use of video, including exclusive content for that community. It’s very well done.



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