1. Why create a Facebook Page?
Facebook is such an incredible tool for any church that is looking to expand its reach, as well as create another landing page that is associated with its website. With over 500 million users, it would be foolish not to use this free platform.
I wouldn’t encourage you to utilize a Facebook page as your only means of connectivity, but I do suggest you use it as an additional connection that will compliment your ministry as a whole.
Keep your page active by posting at least 3-4 times a day. These posts can include encouraging words, announcements, creative videos, and even biblical references. Make sure there is information in your bio that showcases service times, your mission, and even a link directing people to your website. Signing up for Facebook is free, and it’s a vital tool for anyone who is looking to utilize social media for their ministry. Appoint 1-2 people to run your Facebook page, and make sure there are given the freedom to respond to people, ask for prayer requests, and even offer biblical direction.
2. Do we really need a Twitter account?
Twitter is another free social networking site that currently has almost one billion registered accounts, and is a pivotal platform to any church looking to make their mark socially. Just like Facebook, I would encourage you to appoint 1-2 people who can run your ministries twitter accounts, respond to people in a timely manner, and continue to share refreshing content on a daily basis. The more engaging content you push, the more likely you are to have people follow your account.
Not only is twitter a great social tool, but it can also be used as a real-time extension of your pastors voice during messages. Individuals from around the world get a small dose of wisdom from the tweets you choose to share to your followers. This is a great way to introduce individuals to your Church who have never been, or are looking to find out more about you. Take advantage of applications like HootSuite, or even SproutSocial to manage all your social networking accounts under one roof. Also, I recommend adding hashtags to compliment any series or events you may have (for example, #LifePointEaster). This also applies for Facebook and Instagram.
3. What’s the point of Instagram?
With over 200 million active users, Instagram offers a visual look into the day-to-day life of your ministry. Not only are you able to share beautifully filtered photos, but Instagram has recently made video sharing a new and exciting addition to their platform. Uploading videos during your weekly services, or community gatherings paint a unique experience for anyone wanting to stay updated no matter where they are. I would encourage you to have the same username for Instagram as you do Twitter and Facebook. This will keep everything streamlined, and it will make it easier for someone to find you when searching.
4. The Pastor’s Blog.
The Pastor’s Blog is always a good addition to your social game. This allows the pastor to share information from sermons and study-times that he may not have time to share during a sermon. This will keep people connected with him throughout the week, and also allow them to utilize his writings as a another means of Biblical digestion. Attach the blog to your church website, or make sure that the pastors blog has links that direct back to you.
5. Should we invest in an online campus?
Yes. Tools to launch online campuses are becoming cheaper and cheaper. And while many people have yet to launch these unique campuses, I believe the reason is simply fear of the unknown. You can sign up for sites like LiveStream or Ustream, and broadcast your services to the world. You can embed the online campus into your church website, or you can launch an entirely new site through awesome platforms like my friends at MediaSocial.tv.
The message of Jesus calls us to reach all nations for the sake of The Gospel (Matthew 28:19), and utilizing tools like social media gives us that extra push to do so in a digital format. I believe social media is not to be used by itself, but instead as an addition to the in person and ground zero ministry work you are already doing.