Thom Rainer offers some worthwhile thoughts on using Facebook in your mninistry.
- Give as much information as possible in the “About” section. Facebook offers several fields for you to enter information about your church—use them. Don’t make those interested in your church have to click away to your website and find the basic information of service times or location. Also, set up your church as a “Company Organization, or Institution” and not a “Business or Place.” Certain functionality is included in the specific categories, and the former is preferred for churches.
- Use correct graphic sizes. Avatars (or profile pictures) should be square and the cover images (header images) should be sized correctly. Visit this Facebook page for all the specific graphic dimensions. Well-done graphics allow you to make a great first impression with potential guests. Poor graphics do not.
- Remember your audience. Many of those who like and view your page will be members looking to stay in the know about what is happening at the church. But you will have potential guests viewing as well. Your content must appeal to both.
- Post appropriate content. This is related to the previous point. As with your church bulletin, not everything going on at the church needs to be on your Facebook page. I’ve seen everything from funeral arrangements to surgery updates on church Facebook pages. In most instances, those don’t belong on a church’s public Facebook page. Use private emails or church groups for those kinds of updates. Facebook page content should be of importance to both guests and members and be of great importance.
- Get permission to post photos of kids. Many parents have an aversion to posting pics of their children, so it’s always best to ask or make parents aware that there is the possibility pictures from events might end up online.
- Use Facebook events for major church-wide events. I’ve seen some churches add an event for every service, every week. This is not good. At all. Facebook events can be highly effective, so save their use for major ministry or outreach events.
- Encourage your members to share. Do not hesitate to ask members to share updates, promotional pictures, or events. It’s always better to have a few hundred people sharing a post rather than just your church page. As always, make sure what you are asking people to share looks good, is grammatically correct, and will be attractive to potential guests.
- Answer any messages or questions promptly. The only thing more frustrating than not being able to find an answer is asking a question only to have it ignored. When people ask you questions through the message app or in comments, answer them quickly and courteously.
- Monitor the page and stay current. You may not have major events or news to share each day, but someone (or a team of someones) should be checking the Facebook page routinely. Always be available to help a member or potential guest.