Facebook Pages: One Church Page or Many Ministry Pages
If you’re involved in church communication, I can almost guarantee that within the last month one of these things has happened to you:
•Someone asked if they can create their own Facebook page for a ministry.
•Someone didn’t even ask and you found out they created a Facebook page for their ministry.
In my humble opinion, you haven’t arrived as a church communicator unless you’ve caught a random rogue social media page lingering around the interwebs.
Two Facebook Strategies
We all know that Facebook and social media can be an excellent way to promote, engage and encourage your audience. But just as we approach any ministry decision with strategy and intentionality, we should do the same with social media.
There are two types of strategies you can use for Facebook pages:
1. Centralized strategy with one page that focuses on church-wide content, sharing ministry content on the centralized page.
2. Scattered strategy with a main church page, but also allows multiple ministries to create their own pages.
It’s very possible to use both of these strategies successfully. I’ve personally used both strategies and have found the centralized strategy to consistently produce better results.
Why Multiple Pages Is A Bad Idea
Here’s why my answer is almost always no to creating multiple Facebook pages for each ministry in the church:
•Difficult to promote: A centralized page gives you one URL to promote for engaging your church on Facebook. Instead of diluting efforts by promoting multiple pages, pour your energy into one Facebook page.
•Big responsibility to maintain: Is there someone who can daily commit to posting valuable content, monitor the page for comments, and represent your church and brand well?
•Hard for the audience to keep up with: A centralized page gives your audience one place to connect with you and be exposed to all that your church has to offer.
•Limits potential reach: As an example, our West Ridge Church Facebook page has almost 10,000 likes. When we share a status update about a ministry, the audience exposed to content that is larger than it would be if we had a separate page for each ministry that may only have a small fraction of that.
•Not a consistent need: How often do you need to engage your audience with new information? If it’s not more than three to four times per week, then you’re better off communicating that information on a centralized page.
How to Avoid Rogue Facebook Pages
So what do you do when a ministry has content they’d like to share, but you tell them they can’t create their own page? Give them a channel to communicate through your centralized page.
I’ve done this through allowing any ministry to submit posts on our communication request page. This social media request allows a ministry to post their suggested content and a requested post time. It’s then automatically sent to our social media team to edit and add to the queue.
This has been very successful for us. It allows us to have a consistent voice and strategy for how we engage people on social media and frees up our ministries to focus on building their ministry instead of spending a bunch of time managing social media.
I fully understand that every church DNA and culture is different and different strategies work better in some places than others.
Here are some questions we use to filter these decisions as a Creative Arts team on allowing a ministry to have their own page:
•Do they legitimately have a need to post more than three to four times per week?
•Is this a niche audience where there content would be very specific and targeted?
•Do they have healthy and sustainable teams and systems to manage the page daily?
•Will they stay accountable to our communications team on maintaining our social media strategy?
•Will they follow our standards for monitoring and response of any engagement happening on the page within 12 hours?
I do think there is often a place for separate pages for big ministries like kids and students. Having a unique culture and narrow age audience can allow you to get more targeted and strategic with that specific age group. They may also have needs that expand beyond one to two posts that could be used on a church-wide page.
A Successful Social Media Strategy
Here is my encouragement to church communicators, which ever strategy you choose to implement.
The stakes are too high to not take your social media platform seriously. It takes strong, consistent leadership with a vision for how you can use it for ministry.
As church communicators, we will constantly deal with the tension of having too much to promote and not enough time or bandwidth to promote with.
If you feel overwhelmed with how much your church has going on, then so will your audience. Everything that happens at the church isn’t of equal importance. Focus on the things that impact the most people and be a good steward of the limited bandwidth you have to promote.
You won’t build a following on social media by blitzing people with promotion. Promotion is only a part of what we do through social media.
Use your platform to create conversations, encourage your audience and engage them into the life of your church. Build the social media account that you would want to follow yourself.
From: http://www.churchmarketing.com web site. January 2015.
The above article, “How the Family Church Grows” was written by Phil Bowdle. The article was excerpted from http://www.churchmarketing.com web site. January 2015.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”