04 September 2012
Don't Be That Guy: Five Common Mistakes Ministry Leaders Make on Facebook
Facebook is a great way for ministry leaders to nurture relationships, build community, and share God's grace.
However, many ministry leaders don't make the most of Facebook either because of their lack of engagement, lack of focus, or focus on the wrong places.
Here are five common mistakes ministry leaders make on Facebook - mistakes which undermine the engaging ministry presence they want to develop.
Please, don't be that guy.
The Empty Profile
I love how people say, "I'm on Facebook" and you look at their profile and they haven't posted anything for a year. Being "on Facebook" is more than just having account. Its about interacting. Having an email address is worthless unless you send email. So is a phone unless you call. Your Facebook profile is for participating in community, and creating and extending relationships.
Now, I'm not one to say that if you can't keep it up, don't have one. Something is better than nothing. But if you have one, do something with it. Post something at least once a week and throw out some likes. Give your profile or page some life and meaning. And for goodness sake, get a profile picture.
All Church All The Time
This person only shares information about church. Their Facebook wall is like a church bulletin board. It makes them - and importantly, their ministry - one-dimensional. I don't friend you to get news about your church. I want to know about and connect with you. Church is one part of that. I can like your church page for the other stuff.
Share selective information about your church and share your other interests too. Let us see how your faith connects to your daily life - and see your church or ministry through your eyes. Give it a personal, humanizing perspective. I'm interested in what your church is doing, but I'm way more interested in how you yourself experience it.
The Over Poster
This person fills up your newsfeed with all kinds of pictures and random social media kitch like cat memes, ecards, or a little too much personal information. A bit of that can be fun, if its in your particular niche. However, it mostly just annoys people and it obscures the important content you want to share.
Share quality content, preferably, your own, with a clear and limited blend of topics. Otherwise, people will ignore or hide you, and you won't get anything across. Don't compete with yourself for people's attention. Stay focused.
Mixed Up Media
Even though Facebook allows you 63,000 characters for a status update, it doesn't mean you should use them all. If you feel compelled to consistently make long status updates, maybe you should start blogging. Start a Tumblr and link your posts to Facebook. Its also generally a bad idea to post many times a day - say, more than five times a day - and even that is a bit much. If that's your style, consider using Twitter for those updates and selectively share some of them on Facebook. Every platform has its own etiquette. Watch, listen, and learn it.
These people love to see their own posts and think that now that they have this great new social media platform they are suddenly a celebrity. These are the folks that create a Facebook page for themselves with they have, like, 300 friends. Really? Facebook requires that when you reach 5,000 friends you have to convert your profile into a page. When you get 5,000 friends, then you can have a page.
Remember to socially network with humility, honesty, and humanity. It's not all about you. That's the whole point of social media. It's about all of us together.