It’s fascinating to see how social media has evolved in a short amount of time. You’ve probably seen movie trailers, service-oriented businesses and even major companies put their Facebook information in their commercials and advertisements. You’ve likely noticed billboards, magazines and other print advertisements now contain information to guide readers to Facebook fan sites for the respective organization they’re advertising for. But, what advantage does an organization have to send you to their Facebook page rather than just sending you to their homepage? Community.
Facebook, specifically, is a unique platform where advertising and community intersect. By sending readers to a Facebook fan page, an organization is doing so with the hope that the person will become a fan and either Like or Share that page with their friends. This activity creates community by:
- Announcing to users’ friends that they’re a fan of the organization and provides links to the fan page and its posts
- Encouraging communication and discussion on the fan sites’ Wall
- Establishing a targeted list of individuals specifically interested in receiving future news and updates from the organization
So, how can a Facebook fan site, or even adding Facebook promotion capabilities (Like/Share buttons on your website) help your ministry? It’s almost guaranteed that members of your congregation are already part of the Facebook community — finding old friends, exchanging ideas and planning social events. By introducing Facebook to your ministry, you can begin to extend the sense of community you’ve created in your church to the Internet by giving your members a place to discuss church activities, special events and sermons and lessons they found moving and inspirational.
In addition, your members will share your ministry’s Facebook page with their friends through the Share, Like, and even posting functionality which increases your visibility to their friends and might ultimately bring new visitors and members to your church.
Does your church have a Facebook page? Tell us about it in the comments and how it’s utilized to create community in your congregation.