f_tips-300x300Lets start off with the fact that I strongly believe you need to be on Facebook. Even though the statistics might prove otherwise at times, there is much more than statistics to Facebook.

In a previous Facebook post on arnehulstein.nl, I used analytical data from several sources to determine that only 0.4% of the Facebook fans  of a brand actually visit the brands’ Facebook page and that only 0.02% of Facebook fans visits one of the tabs that is put on a Facebook page. However, there is a much more important reason to be on Facebook. And this is especially true for Christian organizations and churches, as the connection that we make with people is more of an emotional bond than a bond that has mutual gain as a basis.

People spend a a great deal of their time on Facebook. They come there to share with their friends. To talk. To hang out. Basically, they are not spending time with Facebook, they are spending time with their friends. That is the reason why commerce on Facebook failed, but also why Facebook works well for our type of organization.

“It was like trying to sell stuff to people while they’re hanging out with their friends at the bar.” That was the reason why large retailers closed their shops on Facebook. And that is a great analogy. As Facebook is very similar to hanging out at a bar, or at the coffie place after church. People share stories, jokes, have fun, play games, exchange thoughts. People are there together. Nobody walks into a bar to buy a suit and neither will someone go to Facebook to do the same.

However, relationships are built at the bar. People will get to know each other. They will exchange stories, ask questions and when the time comes, they will refer others to the people they have met. Or bring them into their ‘safe place’ to share their experience. That is the power of Facebook. Building that relationship and making it easy to bring others into that as well.

Six things to do on Facebook?
<li><strong>Be personal</strong>
Do not just create an account for the organization. Build your presence based on your people and gather them to be the pillars of your Facebook page.</li>
<li><strong>Be personal</strong>
Talk to your visitors and your ‘fans’. Be genuinely interested in who they are, what they care about and what you can do for them. Do not push your church, your organization or even push Jesus. Build a relationship. Things will grow from there.</li>
<li><strong>Be inquisitive</strong>
There is a reason why people like you. There is a reason why they like your page. Find out why. NEVER assume you know! Rule of thumb, if you have not asked and they have not answered, you do not know.</li>
<li><strong>Be relevant
Once you have found out why people like you, you can be relevant to them. You can share with them what they care about. There is a fair chance that they are not interested in you pushing your events, your causes, your abbreviated sermons. Keep that in mind. But the only way to find out, is to ask!</li>
<li><strong>Be sharable</strong>
If you are relevant, you can become sharable. That is the point where what you communicate resonates with your audience so well, that they want to be a part of it. And they want to show that they are a part of it by sharing it with their friends.</li>
<li><strong>Be available</strong>
The key to it all. You have to be available. People need to be able to talk to you and get an answer. Not just your biggest donors or your most devoted church goers, but everyone. Because it is like that bar scene. If you only talk to your biggest friend, none of the others in the bar feel pulled towards you. Even though you might be offering something they want. If they feel ignored, they will ignore you.</li>