Is Your Church Social? Part 8: Facebook – It’s Just So Easy

Author: Kurt Steinbrueck  //  Category: social media, Social Networking

 

FacebookIn our continuing our discussion of Church Marketing within Social Media, we’ve started looking at social networking websites, specifically Facebook.  If you haven’t already created a profile on Facebook, either for yourself or your church, now is as good a time as any.  If you’ve got five or ten minutes right now, let’s do it.  It’s quick and it’s easy, but be warned…it’s also addictive.

So How Easy Is It?
You can setup a profile in Facebook for yourself in a matter of minutes.  There are about 5 or 6 steps to the setup process and Facebook will walk you through not only setting up your profile, but also starting to find friends right away.   Setting up a Facebook Page for your church is just as easy, maybe even easier.  So, if you haven’t setup a profile for yourself or setup page for your church, do it now.

Setting Up a Personal Profile:
If you want to setup a Facebook profile for yourself, follow these simple steps:

  • Facebook Profile Registration pageGo to http://www.facebook.com/
  • The signup is on the Facebook homepage.  Enter your name, email, password, gender, and birthdate.  (All this info is required.  If you feel uncomfortable having this info in your profile, you will be able to set your profile’s privacy settings later and can have information hidden.
  • Once you’ve created an account, you’ll start to find friends immediately.
  • One of the especially helpful features of Facebook is that it is able to interface with most email providers and retrieve your contacts list from your email account.  So, if you have a Hotmail or Gmail account, you can import your contacts list and add them as “friends”.
  • Next you will be asked for your high school and graduation date.  This helps you easily connect with former high school classmates.
  • As you have started adding “friends” to your profile, Facebook will show you some of your friend’s friends.  You may find additional friends from your friend’s friends that you can add as your friends.
  • Lastly you’ll be asked for the city you live in to further help you network with people in your area.  (Again, you can decide how much information is available and to whom that info is available in the privacy settings of your Facebook profile.
  • Once you have setup your profile, I’d encourage you to Edit Your Profile and add additional information, especially a picture.  Their may be a thousand people with your name in Facebook.  A picture will help your friends identify you.
  • If you are concerned about how much of your information is available, edit your privacy settings to the level of privacy you prefer.

That’s it.  Once you have your Facebook profile setup you can find more friends, write posts on people’s “Wall”, send emails, post pictures, and keep your family and friends updated on what’s going on in your life.

Setting Up A Facebook Page For Your Church:

  • Go to: http://www.facebook.com/business/?pages
  • Facebook Pages Registration pageClick the “Create a Facebook Page” button.
  • Select “Local” and choose “Religious Center”.  You can also select “Brand or Product” and then choose “Religious Organization. (Be sure to select the correct category as it is very difficult to change that later)
  • Enter name of your church.
  • Enter you email and create a Facebook account.  If you want, you can use your existing Facebook account.
  • Update your Page’s image and info.
  • Click “Publish”.  (If you don’t click “publish” people won’t be able to see the page.  So, if you want to work on the page a little before you go live, you can do that.)

Whoo that was hard.  Now that you have your church’s Facebook Page setup, you an add news, post pictures, customize your page with HTML and Flash, distribute your blog through the page, and more.

In the coming articles we’ll talk more about how you can use your Facebook profile and your church’s Facebook Page for church marketing.  In the mean time, spend a little time in Facebook, find your old college roommate, see what your high school friends are doing, and have some fun…just don’t forget to sleep.

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10 Responses to “Is Your Church Social? Part 8: Facebook – It’s Just So Easy”

  1. Robert K. Tompsett Says:

    When I attempt to start a new account for the church, Facebook detects my own persnal account and states that I can only have 1 account. Is there a diffrent avenue I should take?

  2. Nathaniel Says:

    @Robert K. Tompsett

    Are you using the same email address for the church site as you do for your personal email? That's probably the issue, just make a new email account for the church page.

  3. Kurt Steinbrueck Says:

    Technically, Facebook's terms of service say that you can only have one account. You can, however, create the church's Facebook Page under your account. Your account simply is the admin of the church's Facebook Page.

    So, you just login under your normal account and then create the Facebook Page.

    If you want to have a separate personal account for Facebook, then, like Robert said, you'll need to use a different email address to create that account. Like I said, though, that is technically a violation of their terms of service, so they could shut the second account down at some point if they wanted to. But the most likely won't unless you are harassing people. If you second account is just doing what most Facebook accounts do, then they most likely won't care…or even know. I actually know a couple of pastors who have two separate accounts so they can interact with their congregation with one and their family and old-friends in the other.

  4. Kim Says:

    Hello – I am wondering if it is possible to set up a regular FB account (not a "page") for our church, so that people can friend it and be seen by other friends, rather than simply "liking" it and not being able to find other members. Thanks!

  5. Kurt Steinbrueck Says:

    Unfortunately, no…well, technically no. Facebook's terms of service require that accounts only go to real individuals. So, you have to setup an account for a person and then they can create a Page for the church. Technically, you can try and setup an account for the church. It could get removed at any time, though.

    Another option is to have one person's account that serves as the church account, perhaps the Pastor's account. I've seen some people use their middle name or something else so they can have both a professional account and a personal account. That has less chance of being shut down by Facebook, but it is against their terms of service as well as they say they only want one account for each person.

  6. lazarus joseph Says:

    hi there kurt i just created a page in Facebook for my Church i added up all the required fields like photos and it is under my church web address but when i log in to my personal page i couldnt able to search for my church page that i created earlier please and you help me in this ……………Joseph

  7. Kurt Steinbrueck Says:

    Hi Joseph, This is probably just a matter of time. I'm not aware of any setting or specific delay to having a page appear in Facebook Search. I think you'll just have to wait this one out. In the mean time you'll have to send people to the Page by providing links in emails, on your church website, etc. and by sharing the page and posts on the page in your personal FB profile. You may also find that the more people who like the page and the more interaction on the page, the faster it gets listed. So, encourage your church members to like the page and interact on the page.

  8. Kathryn Treadway Says:

    Hi, I recently made my church a facebook page and I was wanting to keep post that arent specifically for the churches page off of the page. I've gotten some crazy pictures, songs, etc that friends have posted on their page showing up on the churches page and it doesn't look good for the church. How do I stop this?

  9. Terrie Says:

    I want to setup a facebook for my church that we can interact and post things on can I do this on a business page??? Because I tried it and it did not work for me.

  10. Ruth Curtis Says:

    i am trying to re set up a church page that was deacdeactivated . to a new page can that be done