How Churches Are Failing Facebook: Programs Over People

How Churches Are Failing Facebook: Programs Over People

March 23, 2016 by

Our board member Mark MacDonald recently shared how churches are often guilty of misusing their Facebook pages in his blog post, “Seriously church, stop using Facebook this way.”

“When I ask most pastors which is more important: your people or your programs; almost 100% say ‘people, of course.’ But when I look at church Facebook pages, I often see only reminders of programs. To the outsider, it’s almost like you care more about programs. That’s a shame.”

Rather than merely promoting your church or offering generic announcements, you can impact people on a daily basis.

MacDonald compares church Facebook content to TV. No one watches TV for the commercials (except maybe the Super Bowl). They watch for the entertainment.

“Why do people pay for ads if people tune in to watch the entertainment?” MacDonald writes. “Because, along the way, people see and respond to the ads. The 80% allows the 20% to work.”

Yet too many churches aren’t doing that.

“A lot of churches have decided to use their Facebook page to scream ads (announcements, reminders, etc) at their followers. When they need to develop wholesome entertainment that attracts (and keeps) their followers; and then insert the occasional ‘ad.’ More people will respond to them since more people will be engaged with your page. And you’ll be more likely to attract the unchurched too.”

We usually don’t think of our church content as “entertainment” or “ads,” but it’s a fair comparison. How many of our Facebook pages are overwhelmed with promotion (ads) for the next event? How much are we offering content that actually shares our message and engages people (entertainment)?

People spend so much time on social media and churches should take advantage of this platform to connect with people where they’re at. Offer inspiration instead of just information. Make 80% of your content quality content—and let only 20% be the dates of the next deacon meeting.

Here are a few ideas of what could be your 80%—content you can post that shares your message:

Offer inspiration instead of just information.

Rather than merely promoting your church or offering generic announcements, you can impact people on a daily basis.

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Offer inspiration instead of just information.

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Ruthie Flaa


Ruthie Flaa is a college student trying very hard to survive her final semester before graduating in the spring. She enjoys writing so much that she’s majoring in it.
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