As you seek to make a gospel impact on the internet, you are undoubtedly using Facebook as part of your strategy. If you aren’t, then you should be! But Facebook offers several different ways to have an online presence. There are personal Facebook accounts. There are Facebook groups. There are Facebook pages. So which should you be using for your church or ministry?
Personal Facebook Account
If you are on Facebook in a personal capacity, you probably already have one of these. This is the account that you sign into to share updates and photos and cat videos with your friends. You might have thought of creating another Facebook account for your church or ministry. DO NOT DO THIS!
When you are logged into Facebook with your personal account, you can create pages – you can create these pages for a business, celebrity, special cause, etc. This is what you should be creating for your church. With a page, you can designate other Facebook users as administrators, remove them as administrators, and things like that. To maintain the page, you will log into your regular Facebook account, then navigate to the church page and update it acting as the page. Instead of people becoming “friends” with your church, they can like the Facebook page for your church. While there are many good reasons why your church might want one or more Facebook groups, every church should have a Facebook Page.
Do not create a Facebook group as the primary FB presence of your church – make sure you create a church FB page. But in addition to a page, your church may ALSO want to make use of groups. Facebook offers several options for groups: public, closed, and private.
– Public – Anyone can find a public group and see the discussions and postings in the group. This might work in situations where churches want to engage people from the larger community in discussions of societal issues, etc.
Closed – Anyone can find a closed group and see who is in the group, but they cannot see the discussions and posts unless they are invited/approved for membership in the group. This type of group might be a good choice for a small group or ministry within the church.
Private – No one can find the group or see who its members are unless they are a member themselves. This type of group might be a good choice for internal church communications between team members – for example, a group of church deacons or elders. These teams of people are often officially voted into their respective offices and are often not open just anyone to volunteer for during terms. So a private group might be the right choice to provide a safe environment in which these teams can share information and discuss issues and concerns.
Your church should have a Facebook page. In addition, many churches will find good uses for Facebook groups. Just make sure to set the privacy to the appropriate level when you create the group.
Do you want to learn more about Facebook pages and groups, as well as about churchwide strategies for social media usage? Watch for future posts dealing with these topics.
How is your church currently using Facebook? Tell about it in the comments section below.