Back to Basics: 3 Best Practices of Successful Facebook Groups

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Tune in today to hear Katie Allred and Kenny Jahng give you 3 best practices of successful Facebook Groups. You won’t want to miss this episode hearing from two leaders of social media with vast experience in Facebook Groups and social media engagement!
This episode is brought to you by Ramsey+, a money plan for real life. You can start a free trial of the Ramsey+ system over at daveramsey.com/ccwebinar




Speaker 1:                    Welcome to the Church Communications podcast. We want to help you become a church communications expert. We understand it can be a challenging and ever changing role because we’ve worked in the church too, which is why we built a community with over 25000 church leaders that are ready to support and cheer you on.

Speaker 1:                    Your hosts for the show are Katie Allred and Kenny Jahng, who want to help equip you to reach more of your congregation and community. This is the place where we’ll talk shop with fellow practitioners and professionals about what’s working, what’s not, and what’s next. Are you ready? Let’s get started.

Kenny Jahng:                One team that’s really investing in video-based small groups for churches right now is the Ramsey Plus team. They’re helping people all over the country, hosts Financial Peace University virtually. And now, Financial Peace University is part of a brand new all access membership to all of their best content, tools, and resources. So it’s called Ramsey Plus, and Ramsey Plus makes it easier than ever to give everyone in your church and organization the tools they need to budget, save, and take control of their money.

Kenny Jahng:                So you want to learn more about this system. It’s really flexible. It’s efficient. It’s cost-effective to bring all the content from Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University, and all the other resources they produce, to your community.

Kenny Jahng:                The Ramsey Plus team has been gracious enough to pull together a webinar to really serve our community, you, the people that are listening here and part of our church communications community. So all you need to do is sign up for the webinar at daveramsey.com/ccwebinar. That’s daveramsey.com/ccwebinar.

Katie Allred:                 Well, welcome church communicators from wherever you are. Wherever you are, we would love to know where you’re at. So actually, why don’t you go ahead and send us a tweet unless you’re driving, that would be dangerous. But if you’re not, you should send us a tweet @kennyjahng, @katiejallred.

Katie Allred:                 We want to hear from you, what you’re doing this week, how you’re serving your church, doing it well. But today we are talking about back to basics. So we’re doing, basically, some Facebook Group 101, basically the three best practices of successful Facebook Groups. Really excited about this. I think that often we jump the gun and just think that everybody knows how to run a Facebook Group. Maybe because we’ve been doing it for so long. I’m like, “Yeah, everybody knows that Facebook Group is stuff and new stuff. You just click things.” And so I thought, let’s go back to what it really is. So Kenny, why don’t you tell us what you think about Facebook Groups?

Kenny Jahng:                Yeah. And this is one of those things, Katie, like you and I live on the Internet. This is our vocation. And most of the place, there are people that don’t, even many church leaders are not living on the internet all day.

Kenny Jahng:                Now, so just to give you an orientation, if you have a Facebook Group, there is a couple of choices that you want to consider as you actually establish the group. So if you’re going to establish a new group, in one of the recent episodes, we talked about different types of groups that your church really should be experimenting with and opening. But you want to decide whether your groups should be private or public. Generally, Facebook Groups are private. No one else can see the posts unless they’re a member of the group. But when the group is public, anyone can join it. And while in private accounts, you can actually filter people from entering the group. There’s actually an apply to enter. If they have to enter, you can actually moderate it where you can reject people or you can accept them. You can actually even have them auto accepted and they go into the group automatically, but-

Katie Allred:                 Yeah, and you can have them answer questions, right?

Kenny Jahng:                Yes.

Katie Allred:                 That’s something that’s really important to have the answer some questions. So you’ll know that they’re actually a part of your church or whatever.

Kenny Jahng:                Absolutely. And those questions, you have to keep it simple. And you just want to ask them, so that it actually provides some sort of litmus test that they show interest in actually being part of the group. They’re not just like clicking, clicking, clicking, or it’s just some random people that accidentally got in. So yeah, private-

Katie Allred:                 Should you create a private or a public group, Kenny, I think is the question, what do you recommend?

Kenny Jahng:                Again, I think you start with private, for most things, because you want it to be a safe environment that you can actually moderate and see how it’s going. But there are topics, especially if it’s external community focused, that you might want to have public groups. But as a general rule, default is, start with private and see where it goes.

Kenny Jahng:                What’s the next tip, Katie?

Katie Allred:                 Keeping your group active. So people like to judge me and think that… It’s so funny. I can remember being told, I was not very good social media manager. But just in the last week, I did a post that has like 700 comments on it. So I don’t know if that’s good or not, but I feel like it’s okay. But how do you keep your group active? Is by consistently posting in the group. So that they know what to expect. So doing weekly threads is really important. Keeping those images and stuff very similar, so that people know what to expect is so important. And so, consistently posting.

Katie Allred:                 But then another thing is just by doing some fun posts. So your topic of your group may be pretty serious. But if you don’t do something that’s fun or interactive or whatever, the engagement will actually die down. And so, you want to keep it top notch all the time. And so, maybe you could do a post like, what was your Monday like, share Jif in the comments. Okay. Or it’s Friday, how you feeling? Share JIf in the comments or maybe something like-

Kenny Jahng:                Is it Jif or GIF? That’s the one you can post.

Katie Allred:                 Yeah, is it Jif or GIF? Yes, fight down in the comments. I’m just kidding. People love that kind of stuff. They want to talk about Comic Sans, is it terrible or is it great? So creating some stuff that is like, I don’t know, fun content, like what do you love on your pizza? It may not make a lot of sense to your overall strategy. But it does because it allows the other content that is more important to come to the top. And so, creating that kind of fun content will actually keep the other stuff relevant.

Kenny Jahng:                Absolutely. And actually at the end of the day, what it is, I think, Katie, is that it’s humanizing your organization. People have relationships with people, not with institutions. No one says, “I have a relationship with the institution.” So you want to make sure you’re humanizing it with those types of things. And those common elements that everyone experiences together are the things that people chime in and they feel like, “Oh, we’re in it together.” So…

Kenny Jahng:                Okay, the third down to basics, back to basics thing that we have to talk about is control. You need to, actually, at the end of the day, have some responsibility. You can’t just spawned these groups and just let them spin out of control. You want to control things that are posted inside the group. So you want to share the… First of all, it’s church-related and that the people who are overseeing it are… only the administrators of the group are the ones that can post to it. Those are the things that you might actually consider.

Katie Allred:                 Yeah. So turning on just approval, requests or whatever for each post that is helpful. Is it more work on your end? Yes. But it is pretty helpful. And then, maybe just getting a moderator team, getting a few people you trust to read those posts before they’re put into the group really helps. And then too, create some rules. And not just rules of what they can’t do, but what they can do, like tell them what. They can expect. And they will try to live in those boundaries.

Kenny Jahng:                Absolutely. Absolutely.

Katie Allred:                 So just like in normal relationship, when you start a small group, you set a tone. And so, you got to set a tone, what’s this group going to be that? Is it going to be fun? Is it going to be serious? What are we going to talk about? Those kinds of things.

Kenny Jahng:                Yeah. Well, at the end of the day, what you want to do is you want to give them boundaries, so that they have freedom inside the rules that you’ve posted. And so, I think that’s great. So again, if it’s a group for your church, you want to make sure that you’ll have the same culture, same values, same rules of engagement. You want everyone to make sure it’s safe for everybody, that it’s respectful for everybody. And so, that’s why you just want to have some administrators.

Kenny Jahng:                And again, the last thing there I think is, as Katie said, you want to have a team there. This is a fantastic volunteer opportunity, a fantastic volunteer opportunity. Because it’s so flexible, it’s remote, and it doesn’t take that much. And people are on Facebook anyway. And so again, that’s something that, I think, you just want to encourage people. That sometimes they look at these things as ominous, and it’s just another job to do. There’s so many ways to involve people, and it just becomes life serving. And your ministries flourish as a result.

Kenny Jahng:                Well, that’s it for today. That’s the back to basics. Those three, I think, pillars of things that you should think about when you’re having a group. And if your group isn’t doing well, it’s out of control. You’re getting a lot of spam in the group, et cetera. These are the things that you might want to review with your team to see, hey, how can we Institute some of these basic best practices in managing our Facebook Group? You just want it to be an welcoming extension of your church community to new people in the community, even before they step inside your church building. So…

Kenny Jahng:                Well, Katie, that’s a wrap up for today. The last episode in our podcast series is an interview. I’m looking forward to seeing what you have in terms of discussion with our friends over at Dave Ramsey. I know Tim is the brand’s ambassador, basically, for the organization. He’s a brilliant guy. And that last episode I think is going to be sweet. I’m looking forward. I wish I was part of that conversation. That thing, when you’re scheduling that conversation, hopefully we’ll be able to share far and wide and share the wisdom of what’s behind the Ramsey brand.

Kenny Jahng:                Katie why don’t you share with everybody as we sign off for today, just the best way they can get in touch with us and learn more about Church Communications.

Katie Allred:                 Yeah, you can go to churchcommunications.com. You can go to church communications.com/group and join the group. We would love to have you. It’s such a great fun community. If you’re not already in it, you should subscribe to the podcast. Subscribe to our YouTube channel. That seems to be growing a lot these days. And we’d love to just hear you in the group. So go ahead, get in the group, and tag me in a post to be like, “What’s up, Katie [inaudible 00:11:03], what are you doing right now? And I’ll be like, “I don’t know, I’m eating some Cheetos. What are you doing?” I can’t wait to here from you. We love to answer questions. Honestly, it is the joy of my life to help serve churches. I think Kenny feels the same way. So why don’t you just message us, let us know. Can’t wait to hear from you. And we will talk to you again next week.

Speaker 1:                    Thanks for listening to the Church Communications podcast with Katie Allred and Kenny Jahng. If you liked our show today and want to learn more, you can join our Facebook Group with over 25000 church leaders. Simply search for Church Communications on Facebook. And if you liked today’s episode, please consider subscribing and leaving us a review. It’s the most impactful way you can help us reach more church leaders and equip them to become better communicators for the church. And finally, don’t forget to check out our website at churchcommunications.com. Thanks for listening.


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