One way we make churches more attractive to guests – literally — is through curbside appeal: painting, landscaping, signage, and needed repairs. The same is true online with “webside appeal,” taking steps to make sure our online presence is enticing as well.
And, if you are thinking that your church isn’t on Facebook, you might be surprised!
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the most popular social media platforms for churches, but the emphasis should be on doing it well rather than doing it all. This month, let’s look at making your best impression on Facebook, still the most popular of the three.
Space doesn’t permit a step-by-step guide; wikiHow and others have that covered (tinyurl.com/wikihowFBpage). Here, we’re concerned with those steps to help both first-time encounters and returning visitors.
Ditch the unofficial pages. Earlier this year KRGV.com in Texas reported on a school district’s problem with Facebook. While San Benito High School had its own information page, they and local police fought for over a year to remove an unofficial page with almost as many followers featuring profanity in their posts (tinyurl.com/KRGV-Facebook). Or, search for Samantha Jespersen’s story.
When someone searches for your church on Facebook, searches with slightly altered information, or is associated with a Wikipedia article, an unofficial and unmanaged page can be created by Facebook, requiring the rightful owner to either claim or delete the page.
Incorrect or embarrassing information can be associated with a business. In the meantime, with little actual information, it gives the impression of a place that is neglected or abandoned. Facebook instructs you to click on “Is this your business?” on the page and follow the instructions.
Update the page and tabs. If you already have a Facebook page, how accurate is it? Include your pastor, services, website, and email. Regularly add and change out out-of-date pictures, such as a Christmas program that may still be appearing in April (facebook.com/business/bediscoverable). Use Settings on the page and select Tabs to edit and arrange the tabs you need.
Change the pin. I recently visited a page and first saw a post from 2018, then discovered more recent posts that followed. If you can post, you can pin a post to the top that will always be seen first; unpin by clicking the three dots in the upper-right of the post and choosing the “unpin” option.
Start a group page. Finally, consider putting your congregation more in touch with one another by starting a group page that can be used for privately communicating prayer and ministry needs (tinyurl.com/FoggFBgroups).
The Official Guide to Unofficial Pages on Facebook (Corporate Three Design)
What is an Unofficial Facebook Page? (Catholic Web Solutions)
10 Secrets to Being Awesome on Instagram for Nonprofits (The Balance Small Business)