You’ve probably heard that your Facebook Page should focus on community and engagement, not announcements.
It’s harder than it seems, though. If you’re an event-driven church, you may feel yourself pigeonholed into merely sharing events and posts highlighting your next chili cook-off. You may be pressured into sharing specific ministry’s announcements because the leaders see social outlets as nothing more than a digital bulletin board. You may even feel lost as to what constitutes as “community” and “engagement.”
It’s okay. You haven’t done anything wrong. These feelings and actions of others are completely normal. It’s easy to run a Facebook page as a bulletin board. It’s much, much harder to run it as a digital manifestation of your church. The transition from digital bulletin board to digital ministry is a long one, but so worth it. Here are three ideas you can implement in your social strategy to begin the transition process:
- Ask for prayer requests. Consider choosing a day (perhaps Sunday or Monday) when you ask for prayer requests. Ask followers to leave their request in the comments below, then make sure to reply with an appropriate scripture reference. Remember, Facebook’s algorithm offers a higher organic reach to posts with photos, so consider creating a graphic to coordinate with your post. In fact, I’ve included a few digital freebies to use at the bottom of this post. Keep a running list of prayer requests so you can send to your senior leadership!
- Ask questions. Ask simple, quick questions once or twice a week in a Page post. Response to questions can range in number, so make sure to keep trying week after week. Vary the types of questions from “churchy” to “secular.” A few examples could be, “What is your favorite worship song we sing together,” “What do you prefer – the smell of Pumpkin Spice Latte or hot chocolate,” “What is a must-do holiday tradition for your family.” Respond to every answer! When your followers see you reading and answering other’s, they will be more likely to offer their opinion as well.
- Allow private messages. If you look at your Facebook page as the digital face of your church, then it is imperative to allow private messages. Some people are more confident to ask for help when “hiding” behind their keyboard. You may be surprised with the number of lost and hurting people who write to your church via messenger. If you receive questions or comments that are beyond your level of expertise, request contact information (email and/or phone) and connect them with a pastor or ministry leader.
These ideas are just a few ways to kick-start the community on your page. However, there are plenty of other ways you can connect with you audience. How do you encourage community and engagement on your Facebook page?