Archives For Facebook

horizontal-infographic These days we are inundated with options regarding social media platforms.

One of the mistakes newbies make is to think they all accomplish similar things and are used by everyone in general.

Knowing what each platform has a sweet spot for allows you to engage appropriately and spend your time wisely as you invest in various social media communities.

Here’s my latest take on some of the social media platforms being widely used today in 2014-2015: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Flickr, Reddit, YouTube and others.
Social Media Home - Vertical

What would you add? What would you modify? I love hearing feedback and input on this kind of stuff. Please leave a comment below!



It feels like we just celebrated the New Year, and Easter is here already.  Of course it is actually a bit early this year on March 31.  But that only means we have to be on our toes to be strategic for Easter to be a way to welcome newcomers, casual attendees and friends / family that might be visiting from our of town.

One of the easiest tactics almost any church can utilize to spread the word about Easter Sunday services is Facebook advertising.

Not only is it affordable since you actually set the bid and budget caps for your campaign — so your expenses won’t go wild and out of control.

But Facebook advertising is extremely effective in reaching friends of those that are attending your church already.  This is where leveraging social networks for church outreach messaging is perfect.

FACEBOOK ADVERTISING ALLOWS YOU TO TARGET VERY SPECIFIC DEMOGRAPHIC GROUPS

Here is an example of an ad I set-up today for Liquid Church’s Easter Services.  You’ll see that I’ve been able to set-up 3 demographic factors — People who live in the US, live in NJ in particular and who are 18 years or older.

Facebook Advertising for Easter Demographic Targeting

 

The interesting part is that you have even more control of who sees your ad — I added two additional parameters to this Facebook ad campaign:

  1. People who are NOT already connected to Liquid Church’s Facebook page.  I am setting up separate messaging (ad graphics, headline, ad copy and click through URL landing page) for people who are already fans of our Facebook page.  This ad is for people who have not LIKEd our Facebook page already.
  2. Only people who have friends that are connected to Liquid Church’s Facebook page.  So, here I’m not just targeting anyone in NJ over 18 that’s not part of our FB page community.  This parameter adds the social element.  Our ad will show up ONLY if they have a friend that has already LIKEd our church Facebook page.

By adding these two filters, I can leverage the fact that anyone seeing this ad has a chance of already hearing about Liquid Church from their friend (or their friend’s FB timeline feed) or at least has someone they know that knows about Liquid Church (because they’ve already liked our page).  

In a way, this ad is helping to seed the “invite a friend” behavior we hope our own community members are going to carry out over the next week or so.

FACEBOOK ADS ALLOW YOU TO TALK DIFFERENTLY TO YOUR OWN COMMUNITY MEMBERS

If you’re following along, you’ll now understand that your ads for your current attendees (we can assume these are basically the people who “LIKE” your Facebook page) can be a bit different.

In fact, here is an ad set-up that is intended for people who already know about Liquid Church and is a part of our Facebook community today:

Facebook ad for easter services

Instead of a generic “come to Easter services” type messaging, we have the ability to help equip our own people to invite their friends and family.  This can be done by sending click throughs to a page on your website that has downloadable content to share with their friends.  What would you put there?  Things like:

  • Video invitation from pastor with social sharing or forward to a friend email link
  • Facebook cover image people can use for the week
  • 1-step tweet links like this one: http://bit.ly/clicktotweetabouteaster2013 (TRY IT!)
  • Social sharing friendly videos about Easter like this one called social media Easter

 

Are you using Facebook Advertising for Easter promotion?  What questions do you have about using Facebook Ads for church?

nils-smith CBConlineToday’s post is from Nils Smith, who is the WebPastor at Community Bible Church in San Antonio, TX.  As WebPastor he oversees the entire web presence of CBC including CommunityBible.com, mobile app, Online Church, and all future developments online. Nils is also the author of The Social Media Guide for Ministry.  Connect with him here: Blog | Twitter | Book // I’ve asked him to boil down what he does on Facebook for CBC Online to some key tips that any church on Facebook could really benefit from.

5 Tips for Churches on Facebook

church-on-facebook-tips

Continue Reading…

Today, Facebook is changing the design of the “pages” that most churches use to the “Facebook Timeline” format.  

I had a chance to sit down with Sean Coughlin of FaithStreet.com recently.  He has been gearing up for the transition for some of his church clients.  

So I asked him to share some tips that you can use right now to helping reach a bigger audience on FB.  Enjoy today’s guest post.

 

Here are 5 tips to make sure your church’s timeline is optimized to reach people on Facebook. 

(1) The change to Facebook Timeline happens on March 30th, so be ready!

Facebook says, “On March 30, 2012 your Page will automatically get the new design.” Right now, Facebook allows page users to edit their timelines in a preview stage, so take advantage.  If you haven’t made any preference changes, it’s time to visit the admin section today!

Facebook Timeline in Church Marketing
(2) Choose a beautiful cover for your Timeline.

Probably the most important feature of the Facebook timeline update is the “cover”. (The cover is the giant 851 x 315 pixel banner at the top of your new profile). Churches should make sure to choose a wide angle, high resolution photo to minimize distortion. Your church is your people, and studies have show that people engage with pictures of other people far more than pictures of places. A church we work with here in NYC, City Grace, has done a great job of creating a good-looking, welcoming covers shot. Check out City Grace Timeline and Cover here. 

(3)  Pin the posts that you want people to see first.

If you have a post that you’re especially proud of or just want visitors to see on your page first, make sure to “pin” it to the top of your timeline. This might be another great picture of some members, a recent milestone you celebrated or a campaign you’re running now. To pin a post:

  • Scroll over the upper right-hand corner of the post and click the pencil icon.
  • Scroll down within the menu and click “pin to top”
  • The post will now appear at the top of your timeline until you “unpin” it.

As TechCrunch recently reported, “The feature gives you significant control what visitors to a Page see first. Be sure to at least keep a link to your website pinned at all times, and rotate it with links to your apps and whatever else you want to drive the most traffic to or impressions of.”

(4) Post Pictures Wisely

As I mentioned above, newcomers and church members alike respond to pictures. Pictures generate more likes and shares than most other types of content, which means more exposure and an expanded “reach” for your church. Since pictures are powerful outreach tools, you want to get the most out of them, right? Here’s how you do that. Instead of posting an entire album, post one picture at a time. You’ll get more engagement per photo if you individually post them than if you post an entire album. Try posting 3 photos per week – one of Monday, one Wednesday and one Friday. This will create anticipation within your Facebook community and drive engagement.

(5) As an admin, make sure your church members (and your friends) “Like” the page

This was true for “Pages” and is still true for “Timeline”, the first step to using Facebook as a tool to reach new people is to make sure your church’s people “Like” the page. By simply inviting their congregants to “Like” their Facebook page, one church we work with here in NYC went from 35 “Likes” to almost 100 in less than a week and increased its “reach” by 495%. (reach is the number of people who have seen a post about your page, and yes, that four-hundred-and-ninety-five-percent!) You can invite your friends and fellow church members to join the timeline by clicking on the “Build Audience” tab at the top of the Admin panel.

Then, you can track your page’s reach, likes and how many people are talking about your church from the Insights box on the Admin Panel.

 

FaithStreet.comSean Coughlin is the co-founder and CEO of FaithStreet.  FaithStreet helps churches reach people using the Internet. Follow Sean on Twitter: @seanwcoughlin

It is amazing how divisive the topic of using social media in the church setting can be these days.

It’s being treated like a completely wild animal on the loose by some.  Some pastors’ take is to ban all social media and prohibit church staff and lay leaders from using Facebook and other social media — people in this camp position it as Satan’s work.

But what happens when social media becomes more than a fad?  But a new mode of communication like the telephone, or fax, or email, or . . .is it proper to ban it altogether vs. find some other creative approaches to address the concerns at hand?

I’m guessing the fundamental position on social media in the church is largely determined by how one perceives how and where the social web fits into the picture today and in the future.

Here’s one take that makes the bare bones basic appeal for the church to use social media.   On one hand, I’m surprised that such arguments have to be articulated out loud.  On the other hand, I guess the web 2.0 world has evolved so fast relative to other emergent technological innovations in communication that it can’t be addressed enough.

Check out this short video segment of a presentation on social media any why the church should embrace it. . . Continue Reading…

When the web started entering into everyone’s vocabulary, churches began to feel the pressure of getting on the web. Today, the web has become part of daily living, and it is a critical touchpoint to reach people before they physically enter your church doors.

It’s just a fact of life now: more people will visit your website first before they first visit your church.

But something new and old is happening. In one sense, it feels so familiar — just like the seismic shift we saw with the mass adoption of the web itself. But now it’s about something different — every church feels like they should be figuring out what to do with. . . Facebook and Twitter.

For those still sitting on the fence, it’s sometimes helpful to hear what others are doing. Some church tech companies are starting to share case studies and tutorials for how to approach the new social media platforms. Here’s one video webinar that you may want to watch: CLICK TO WATCH.

This presentation is aimed at medium-to-large churches, but it’s a good glossary intro for any sized church on why your church should be considering reaching out to those on the social media platforms.

Today, Facebook flipped the switch on Len Sweet. Apparently a “hater” reported one of Dr. Sweet’s Napkin Scribbles podcast links as “hostile.”

It goes to show you that the power of the press is certainly alive. It also shows how the Internet has democratized everything. The power of one can shut down a megaphone for Xtianity with one simple email. We are at the mercy of the Google’s, Facebook’s and Twitter’s of the world.

leonard-sweet-banned-from-facebook

Perhaps it is time to see the power of P2P networks and figure out how ‘the people’ can harness it for syndicating content via our micro-blogging venues. But that’s a whole different blog post.

Because of this one hater report, his iTunes podcast landing page URL actually got onto some of the major URL blacklist / spam lists for ISPs within hours — and it will stay blocked via various means until they do a manual review to wipe it off. (for example, tinyurl.com won’t allow you to create a shortcut URL to it because it thinks it is malware now).

Well in the meantime, here’s the actual podcast that got Len Sweet banned from Facebook and other places. Sit back and enjoy some censored content right now:

We won’t know what the original report had an objection to, but can you find anything in this podcast that might be deemed offensive or hostile?  Leave a comment below.