Facebook is a great way to connect to your church members and have your church members connect to each other. Facebook can also be a great way to distribute church information, devotions, and articles. That’s because Facebook has applications which allow you to syndicate your church blog through either a Facebook Page or a Facebook Profile. If your church doesn’t have a blog, I highly recommend your start one. It’s a great way to communicate with your church members. Even if you don’t have a church blog, you can still use this feature to syndicate other articles.
Let your face(book) do the talking:
So, you have a church blog on your church website. Hopefully, some of your members check the church site regularly to catch the latest blog articles. Some of the more web savvy members may even have an RSS reader so they automatically get the new blog articles sent to their RSS reader whenever a new article is posted. For the members who have an RSS reader and have signed up to receive the church blog, syndicating your blog article on your church’s Facebook Page or your pastor’s Facebook Profile, won’t change things much. They probably would have seen the articles anyway, but chances are that most of the members of your congregation don’t even know what RSS means. Many of you reading this article may not know what RSS is.
RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” and it’s basically just a way to allow people to sign up to receive your blog posts (or other kinds of posts) automatically through an RSS reader. An RSS reader is a program either installed on a computer or found online that receives all the articles (or other media) that a person signs up to receive. It’s basically a way to just check one place to get all your articles instead of going to every website individually. For more information about RSS, please check out the article from the Christian Web Trends blog, “What is RSS” or their slightly more offensive article, “Not Using an RSS Reader? You Ignorant Time-Waster!”.
Why Syndicate in Facebook?
By syndicating your blog article through Facebook, you can make more of your congregation aware of the blog articles your are posting by having the articles mentioned in their Facebook Profile news feed. That way your members don’t have to remember to visit the church site to see the new articles, they are notified in their Facebook Profile and can just click the link to read the article. Also, but having the blog article titles showing up in your member’s news feeds, any of their friends who visit their profile will see the articles as well. So, people who are not even members of the church may see the articles and maybe even read the articles or visit the church.
Facebook has made it pretty simple to syndicate your blog articles through Facebook:
- Go to http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=23798139265&ref=s
- Click the link in the top, right of the page to add the RSS Connect app to either your church’s Facebook Page or your personal Profile. I recommend adding the application to both.
- Follow the instructions for installation.
- Once installed, adding an RSS feed to the RSS Connect app is as easy as entering a title, pasting the URL of the feed, and setting how often the feed should be checked. The app will do the rest.
- If you install the RSS Connect app in your Facebook Profile, add the blog feed to your profile tabs by clicking the “plus” icon tab near the top of your profile page (up where the “Wall” and “Info” tabs are) and add the My Blog/RSS app to the tabs.
If you have installed RSS Connect in your church’s Facebook Page, the blog articles should appear in a box on the page. If you have added RSS Connect to your personal profile and have added it to your profile tabs, the articles can be viewed by clicking the “My Blog/RSS” tab. The articles will automatically be updated on your Facebook Page or Profile whenever a new article is posted.
The Real Power of Facebook Syndication:
Having the blog syndicated on your church’s Facebook Page or your Facebook Profile is good, but the real benefit of doing this through Facebook requires one more step. When viewing the blog articles in Facebook you should see an option to “Share” the article. For any article, click the “Share” option and post a comment to your profile. This will add a comment to your profile’s news feed which will cause the comment to be displayed on all your “friends” profiles. You’ve now just put the blog article in front of every person who has signed on as a friend. It should be noted that this is done through your personal profile. So, if you have created a profile for a member of the church (possibly the pastor) which is serving as a sort of church profile, then you would want to use the “share” option for that profile. Also, remember that any other profile can do this as well, so all your members could use the “share” option and that would put the article in front of all their friends.
So, go ahead and give it a try. Syndicating blog articles can be a great way to distribute church news, Pastor blogs, sermon blogs, devotions, and other info. While RSS Connect can be used to syndicate can be used for your own blog(s), it can any other rss feeds as well. Perhaps your denomination headquarters produces a daily blog or devotion that is available with rss or maybe there is a Christian publication with a regular feed or a Christian blog, like the Christian Web Trends blog, that you’d like to share with your members. Perhaps…maybe even this blog 😉