Facebook Fails: 8 Common Mistakes that Churches make on Facebook
The digital revolution is here, and it’s not going away any time soon. Consider these incredible statistics.
Pew research reported that 96% of adults in the U.S. own a cell phone, and 81% own a smartphone, which means they have access to the internet and social media 24/7.
Basically, we walk around with a personal computer in our hands all day, and this access to the internet has changed the way we do everything.
But one thing has not changed: the mission of the church is still to reach people with the gospel and make disciples of Jesus Christ.
You are called to reach the people in your city and your community. And according to another study by Pew Research, thousands of those people are online on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
If your church is going to obey the command to “go into all the world”, you need a digital presence. And since 71% of U.S. adults are active on Facebook, your church Facebook page is a great place to start.
The point of having an engaging and robust Facebook page is to give new visitors a place to get a feel for your church.
In this post, we’re going to talk about the 8 most common mistakes that churches make on their Facebook pages. Take a look and see if your church is making any of these mistakes.
Every Facebook page has a section where you can include basic info about your church. It won’t take you long to do this, but it’s important to take a few minutes to put down a few key points about your church.
This is not the place to paste your entire doctrinal statement or list every ministry in your church. Just include a short statement about who you are as a church. Maybe a values statement or mission statement. Then, one statement with a clear invitation for people to visit your church.
This is important. Don’t assume that they will know you want them to visit. Ask them.
Last thing: make sure your address and phone number are updated here.
Make it simple and sweet. Give the most important information and let them explore from there.
You’ll want to make sure that your cover images, profile images, and other images are sized correctly for Facebook. And this can be difficult, because Facebook is always making changes to these dimensions.
Canva has free templates to help you create your Facebook banner and profile photo. Just upload your photo to one of their templates, customize with their online editor, and download the new file.
Most often, churches use their logo for the Facebook profile photo. Then, for the Facebook Page banner, they use a graphic with their church’s mission or a graphic from their most recent sermon series.
Whatever you decide to use for those images, makes sure you take a few extra minutes to get the dimensions right.
If you’ve created a page for your church, you have the option to post upcoming events.
This is an amazing way to keep your church family updated on what’s coming up on your church calendar. People who show interest will get automatic reminders leading up to the event. Plus, they can easily share the event with their friends and invite others to come with them.
If you have a recurring service (like your weekly worship or small groups), you probably shouldn’t put that on your calendar. But special events like Christmas and Easter should definitely be posted. You might also post about special outreach events or fellowship opportunities.
When you post an event, you’ll need three things: image, title, and description.
Most churches have screen graphic that will work for the image. Keep the title simple. Just include the name of the event or holiday. Then, for the description, write 2-3 short sentences describing the event and inviting people to attend.
This is probably the most common mistake on the list. Many churches have a Facebook page that is routinely ignored for long periods of time. It’s impossible to get real engagement and traction with your Facebook page if you don’t pay consistent attention to it.
We recommend posting at 2-3 times a week to your church page. That may seem like a lot, but there are a lot creative resources to help you find ideas for posting and engaging your church and community.
If you want some inspiration (and help getting started), check out the free social media pack that we created at ProChurch. You can also get free Scripture verse graphics from the Bible app and free “Verse of the Day” graphics from FaithLife.
There are even services like Social Fuel that can help you schedule your posts for the entire month, so you can take care of all the work at one time and not worry about it for the rest of the month.
Maybe you don’t have time to post 2-3 times a week. That’s fine. Even once a week is better than nothing. The big idea here is to focus on consistency.
If you’re not asking for reviews, you’re probably not going to get them. And if you do happen to get a review, there’s a good chance it will be a negative review.
So ask your church family to leave some good reviews. Potential visitors will check those reviews, and good reviews give people a look into the lives that are being changed at your church. They’ll see real people who are worshipping, connecting, and serving through your church.
The solution here is probably not going to be a one-and-done announcement. Try making this announcement once a quarter or once a year. Ask your congregation to leave a review and thank those who have already done so.
People are using Facebook not just for information, but also for communication. So make sure you have someone assigned to respond to messages sent to your page.
If you don’t respond to these messages, you’re basically ignoring the guests to your page. Imagine how rude it would be to invite someone to your house and then ignore all of their questions.
When people go to your Facebook page, they can actually see how quickly you reply to messages. Facebook clearly posts this information publicly. So they learn something right away about how much value you place on their visit to your page.
If possible, try to get your responses down to a few hours (rather than a few days). If you like, you can even set up an Automated Response within Facebook.
Remember, there are real people on the other end of the message. These are people who took the time to visit your page and send you a question. Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with them.
You have to be intentional about engaging your church family here.
For some posts, you can simply include a quick message to your church family: “Please like and share.” For more important posts (like event announcements), you make this request publicly during their services. Just ask your church family to share the Facebook post about an upcoming event.
If your church does a live stream, this is another great opportunity for your church to like, comment, and share. And once again, don’t be afraid to ask people to take their phones out and share the livestream during the service.
Many churches give a live announcement about this every week. They put it on the screens before service begins or in the bulletin as a reminder.
This engagement is especially important when there are special events. When people interact with your posts, it boosts its relevancy and can be seen by more people.
This is probably the most important tip on the entire list. If you can get your church family to help you with this one, you’ll see huge results in your outreach and church engagement.
Facebook has a check-in feature for people who are attending your church. When someone checks-in, they’re doing multiple things at once.
They’re encouraging other members and regular attenders to be engaged in community.
They’re letting all of their friends know that they love your church.
And they’re giving everyone who sees the post your church name and address.
That’s a lot of benefits from one simple post! So how do you get people to check-in?
First off, you can put it on a pre-service slide. Simply ask people to check-in.
You can also put up a sign in your welcome area that says, “Check-in for free coffee.” Providing a simple incentive for checking-in is enough for most people to help out.
Keep in mind that most of the people who attend your church are happy to be there. They would probably love to tell people about your church. They just need a little encouragement.
So how is your church doing? Are you guilty of any of these Facebook fails? Did we leave anything out?
Let us know in the comments!