Church Facebook Pages: A How To Guide
If your church has a Facebook Group as its main presence on Facebook, you REALLY should change over to use a “Page” (previously known as a “Fan Page”). Here are some of the benefits:
- You can’t use a GROUP for Outreach! Facebook shows updates to your Fan Pages on the newsfeed of users who have liked the page. Group interactions show up only to members of the Group. This means if you post something on your page, one of your “fans” likes this, then their entire network of “friends” will see that they Liked that status update!
- You will get more “likes” than people joining your “group” because the “like” is not seen as a “committment” like “join our group” is…
- Pages can be customized further with photos, groups cannot.
- Once you get 25 Fans to “like” your page, Facebook allows you to register a “vanity URL” for your page. So instead of some long drawn out URL, you can simply use something like http://facebook.com/ChurchBuzz
- Facebook pages are able to be viewed by users who are not members of Facebook and more importantly your content can be indexed by the search engines including Google!
- You can connect your Facebook Page to Twitter. Just visit this page and you can connect any of your Pages to any Twitter account: http://www.facebook.com/twitter/
- Facebook will measure and report on the traffic generated by your status updates on Facebook Pages, but not on Groups.
- Facebook Pages have more flexibility in the “apps” you can use with them.
So basically, groups should ONLY be used for “internal discussion type groups”… committee groups, leadership groups, internal discussion groups. Anything where you want to “connect” with your membership and use the power of social media to help promote your efforts MUST be done with a Facebook Page!
Start at the (difficult to find) “Create Facebook Page” link! And then watch this little video… 🙂
What to name your Church Facebook Page
Well, you will want to match it up to your church website domain name if possible. This assumes your website domain name is something that makes sense. Don’t register your Facebook page as an abbreviation for your church or some internal “code word”. So if your church name is
First Church of Dallas
It would be ideal to have “FirstChurchDallas.org” as your website domain name and your Facebook page to be called
“First Church Dallas” or “FirstChurchDallas” to match…
BUT before you name it, make sure the “vanity URL” that you will want to register (once you get 25 fans) is available, but just typing it into your browser address bar as:
Once you launch your Church Faceboook Page
Ok, so once you create your page, you will want to:
- Create a page or write up a blog entry on your church website about how users can help to promote your church by using Facebook. Encourage users to LIKE and COMMENT on status updates from the church.
- Add any other status updates you want for news of happenings in your church that week/month, etc.
- Post a link to this blog entry to your Status on the New Church Page so it is the first thing your “early adopters” will see…
- If you had created a Facebook Group – announce the new page to all the members of the old group, asking them to LIKE the new page and telling them the Group will no longer be used.
- Announce it to your own network
- Email friends with a link asking them to like it
- Get out the word any way you can. 🙂
Once you have 25 friends:
- Visit this page: http://www.facebook.com/username/ to choose your Facebook “username” or Vanity URL. MAKE SURE to choose the Page you want to set the username for properly!
- After a few weeks, close down the old group by removing all members of the group, then remove yourself and the group will be closed down.