Reader Response: More Fabulous Facebook IdeasHave I mentioned lately that I love my readers? And do you know why? You are all so much smarter than me! You come up with great questions, creative ideas, and information – and it’s totally inspirational. So there – feel the love and...thanks for being you.
This gushiness comes as a result of some super responses to last week’s post “Eight Ways to Use Facebook…and Build Community.”
Diane, a lay person from Avent Ferry United Methodist Church in Raleigh, NC wrote, “We were ice-bound a week ago and had Facebook Church for our congregation. Great stuff!” When I inquired further about what “Facebook Church” might look like she responded that someone (I presume the pastor) posted music from YouTube, prayers, scripture, a meditation and questions to contemplate. How’s that for a creative use of social media? That’s definitely a high-five idea.
Melinda from First United Methodist Church in Albany, OR asked a very logical question – “How do we set up a “donate” option to our non-profit Facebook page?” Let’s thank Dr. Google for the answer: “How To: Add a ‘Donate Now’ Button to Your Non-Profit’s Facebook Page.” Word has it that it worked.
And finally, the ever-forward thinking Rev. Karen Hernandez of Living Hope – Kuna United Methodist Church in Kuna, ID sent along three really helpful hints. Here is her verbatim response (with minor edits):
“I have a couple of other page administrators at Kuna UMC, but I'm the one who does most posts. (Our secretary does the ‘daily bread’ scripture reading/reflection posts each day. I do virtually all others.) I've stumbled upon at least three more crucial pieces you didn't mention:
1. TIMING – When we post matters almost as much as what we post. FB stats allowed me to see when posts get viewed more often. For our community, posts need to be between 8 and 9 a.m. OR between about 5:30 and 8 p.m. on weekdays. A midday post is a waste of time for us because it goes unseen. The ‘schedule’ option allows us to enter these posts far in advance or up to 30 minutes before they appear on our page.
2. IMAGES – You mentioned using pictures, but I do a LOT of conveying of info in images. To make this a good use of time, the images/slides we use as pre-worship announcements now double as FB posts. Cesie’s note: please be sure you’re using images with permission. Google images are usually copyrighted. I suggest using Flickr.com (after you search for an image go to license: all creative commons) or try pixabay.com.
3. TAGGING, then SHARING to Spread the Word About your Congregation – My congregation has happily allowed me to tag them once each month in an advertising image. It's our biggest mission/ministry push, so they've been wonderfully gracious about it! FB lets me tag up to 50 people in one image, so I tag 50 active members in this image every month. Tagging gets more attention and broadens the audience. Info images make it easy for me to share our events with the community on things like the local ‘Buy/Sell/Trade’ page, our city page, local ‘Paying It Forward’ page, etc. I also urge church members to save these images on their phones, then text them to invite friends to join us (Christmas Eve worship is a prime example of this).
I may have become a little obsessed with doing Facebook well, but this free advertising is serving my church and community well, too!” See Kuna’s FB page in action right here.
So now do you see why I’m pouring on the love? Thanks to Diane, Melinda, and Karen for helping to write today’s post. It’s all about being part of the community. Facebook can be one important piece of building that connection within your congregation and with people beyond your church’s walls. Don’t miss out on it.
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past decade, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over $2.5 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. Today she posted on Facebook about her very important breakfast. Just to make you hungry. She served as the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation; she is available to consult with churches in Oregon and Idaho. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.