Have you ever been confused about whether to use a church Page vs church Group on Facebook? No, they aren’t the same thing, and you should probably know the difference before you jump in.
The further you get down the path of using either a church Page vs church Group on Facebook, the harder it gets to switch over. So begin with the end in mind. Here are the pros and cons of each:
“Pages allow real organizations… to communicate broadly with people who like them.” -Facebook
- Pro: unlimited number of fans/likes
- Pro: you get analytics that show how many people have seen your page and interacted with your posts
- Pro: only admins can post to your page
- Pro: you can pay to promote your posts or place ads
- Con: you can pay to promote your posts, which you may need to do because…
- Con: only about 15% of your fans will see your posts [2018 update: the Newsfeedpocalypse has reduced this even further; even people who have ‘liked’ your page may not ever see your posts in their newsfeed unless you pay]
Whether or not you use Groups, create a Page for your church. You’re going to need it.
“Groups provide a space for people to communicate about shared interests.” -Facebook
- Pro: everyone gets a notification about every post in the group
- Pro: can be made closed (private) or even secret
- Pro/Con: every member can post to the group
- Con: group posts do not show up in people’s feeds for their friends to see (I’m open to correction on this point)
- Con: when your group reaches a certain size, Facebook turns off some group features
The clear advantage of Groups is that everyone in the group gets notified. Every time.
How to Use Them
Here’s an example of how you might use them differently:
- As soon as you confirm God’s call to plant a new church, create a secret Group to start a prayer team – send regular updates & prayer requests
- When you hit the ground and start interacting with people in the community about the new church, create your church Page even if you have to use a placeholder name like “the Sheboygan Church Plant” – complete all the ‘about’ information and start posting lots of events and great content
- When you recruit the first several families to your Launch Team, create a closed Group – communicate regularly about vision, mission, events, etc.
I’ve had many planters successfully use their Facebook Page instead of a website in the early days of their plant. I’ve also seen church planters start with a Group only and regret it right before the Grand Opening. At that point, it’s really hard to switch, so choose the right tool for the right job.