Our church has recently been looking at its online communication, as such here’s a collection of thoughts about how to use a Facebook group for a church:
Probably best to get our heads around the difference between a Facebook page and a group. In the words of Facebook:
Pages allow real organizations, businesses, celebrities and brands to communicate broadly with people who like them. Pages may only be created and managed by official representatives.
Groups provide a closed space for small groups of people to communicate about shared interests. Groups can be created by anyone.
The suggestion being that a Facebook page is focused around news or content about an individual / organisation, while a Facebook Group can involve anyone starting conversations. In fact, if it helps think less of a Facebook Group, and think more of a forum where people meet and discuss maters relating to the groups chosen subject area. For example someone posting about a computer setup may not be welcome on a Knitters group.
Now, I’m aware that many churches have a Facebook Page, I may post some ideas about how to use Facebook pages one day, but for now here are a few ideas for Churches who have gone done the Facebook Group route.*
- Ask questions about church events, housegroup programmes, meetings, etc. Be prepared for negative feedback, and be prepared to just accept and not be defensive.
- Encourage conversation, encourage people to say what they think, encourage people to share links they feel other people in the church may enjoy.
- Fiec.org.uk suggests having a Facebook group for each group within the Church, so a group for youth leaders, worship groups, preachers etc. If you have one group, theres no reason why at least some conversations could be as part of a greater group.
- Just had an event at church? Get people to upload and share their photos!
- Work on shared documents together.
- Share Facebook events on the group – invite everyone on the group to the event!
- Ensure you have administrators to ensure that conversations remain civil, and any controversial topics are avoided . Get the group admins chatting on Facebook to each other to make sure you all “sing from the same hymn sheet”.
- If there are any controversial topics that people are banned from talking about, make sure that its clearly written on the group, so people have a chance of knowing about in advance!
Is there anything people would like to add?
*Personally I believe if you are to have one or the other, then you should have a Facebook Page, see churchmarketingsucks.com for a bit more information.
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