What is a Facebook Page and Should Your Ministry Have One?

by Sr. Susan Wolf, SND on November 1, 2010

in Catholic, ministry, Uncategorized

Facebook is an online social networking platform that offers three ways to interact with people: profiles (usually for friends and family); groups (around any common interest) and pages (for businesses, schools, and organizations, in other words–real entities). Each of these ways to be present on Facebook is unique in design and functionality according to the relationships being formed. In this article I want to discuss the Facebook page and show you examples of how some ministry groups use a Facebook page to advance their mission.

A Facebook page is designed for anyone who is in an official position to promote a business, resource, service or product. Its purpose is to get attention and engagement from people. Pages are equally suited for a business and its products. So the NBA has a Facebook page as does each of its teams. This makes sense because there are fans that are interested in their team specifically and may or may not be interested in the organization as a whole. Translating this to ministry, it makes sense for a diocese to have a Facebook page and for each of its parishes to have a Facebook page or for a national organization to have a page and each of its regional membership groups to have a page.

If you want to attract more interest in your ministry, keep your members up to date and engage them on- and offline, then you may wish to consider starting a Facebook page. I have provided links below to ministry Facebook pages that I think do a good job of informing and engaging their fans. Of course, you must keep your Facebook page current and interesting if you want it to achieve your goals. See what you think.

Good examples of using Facebook pages for ministry:

Parishes:

St. Thomas the Apostle, Naperville, IL

St. Jerome Catholic Church, Largo, FL

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cincinnati, OH

Dioceses:

Diocese of Wichita

Diocese of Salina

Catholic Organizations/Ministries

Catholic Relief Services (Check out the Notes tab where they give the guidelines for their wall. (If you do not see the Notes tab click on the double arrow at the end of the tab menu and then click on Notes.)

Catholic TV

Religious Communities

Sisters of Mercy

Sisters of Notre Dame, Toledo, OH

Resource for this article: Facebook for Dummies (2nd Edition) by Leah Pearlman and Carolyn Abram.

Your comments and questions are always welcome!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Elaine November 1, 2010 at 10:33 am

At our last Patoral Council meeting we discussed the possiblity of doing a Facebook page. We have many questions on starting one and so this article will be valuable for us.

We are also considering developing a Technology Committee to work on things like this.

Jonathan Sullivan November 1, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Great article, Sr. Susan! And thanks for the great examples to take inspiration from!

I don’t normally use comments to self-promote, but I will be offering a free webinar on how to start a parish Facebook page on November 17 at 7pm (Central Time). More information at: http://www.JonathanFSullivan.com/-facebook

Sr.Maureen November 1, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Great ideas of different Facebooks from Parishes and Communities. I really like the one for the Sisters in Toledo…

Caroline Cerveny, SSJ-TOSF November 1, 2010 at 8:46 pm

I agree, a wonderful article! For those who are looking for additional information about Facebook check out – http://www.delicious.com/ccerveny/facebook . There are some helpful FB articles here!

Sr. Susan Wolf, SND November 2, 2010 at 6:50 am

Jonathan, thanks for sharing the information about your free webinar. That’s great news. I will be promoting it on my other social media networks.

Caroline, thanks for the link to more info on Facebook. Good resources.

Fr. Jeff Coning November 2, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Take a look at what the Vocations Office in the Diocese of Columbus with Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth.

Marc Cardaronella November 7, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Thanks for the examples Sr. Susan. What a great resource you’ve put together. I’ll check those out.

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