Facebook for your Ministry

I get asked all the time by pastors and church leaders about Facebook. Most are at the point that they are seeing the need, but are having trouble taking the first step to get started. I repeatedly assure pastors that Facebook is one of the most effective means of communication available for ministry. Why? Because its based on “Permission Based Marketing”. When you ‘friend’ someone on Facebook, or ‘like’ an organizations page, you are giving them permission to market to you.

I’ll conceded that face-to-face is the best way to communicate, but what Facebook provides is a way to communicate in a non-invasive manner. This is what I’ll explain here.

Let’s create a hypothetical situation that happens in our churches every week (Hopefully!). New family comes to visit the church. They are welcomed at the door, introduced to a few people and made to feel welcome. Before they leave, they fill out a welcome card giving you their name, address and phone number. Ok Pastor, Now what?

Traditionally, they’d be added to a visitation schedule and someone would follow up with them either with an in-house visit, by phone or both. Their information would be added to a mailing list and for years to come they’d continue to receive your newsletter and special event mailings. If that person is local, that is great, let’s continue to let them know what is going on at the church. What if they were from out of town visiting? Do we really want them on the mailing list for years to come?

[quote]Let me suggest a system of how to use that visitor information in an inexpensive, non-intrusive manner.[/quote]

Add a field on your visitor card asking if that person is on Facebook. Monday morning, when you review the cards, find them on Facebook and send them a friend request. Now you have made a connection with that visitor and they can be included in your church’s posts and updates about upcoming events and things going on. They can then choose what communication they want to receive.

Now the next step is actually utilizing Facebook to keep things updated and such but we’ll get into that in a later post.

How is your church using Facebook and Social Media to assimilate visitors??