How do I set up a Facebook page for my faith group – and why should I?

The great thing about social media is that it’s… social. It not only connects people who are already friends, it allows you to have conversations with people who you don’t yet know, but who share common ground; or to discover common interests that help you to connect and build a relationship.

In fact, the main thing that social media does is open up conversations. Last time we discussed social media, we looked at a few of the top ‘platforms’ that you might want to consider using. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to check one or two of them out. If you have, let us know what you want to know by emailing elspeth.paisley@faithaction.net – and we’ll attempt to answer your questions in a series of articles here.

This time we’re plunging into the world of Facebook and will explain how to set up a Facebook page for your faith group. How often have you wished you could quickly let all your friends – and their friends – know about an event that you’ve got planned, without spending time and money on invitations, postage, flyers, banners…? Or hold an informal philosophical discussion at the drop of a hat? How often do you wish you could easily keep in touch with someone who is an acquaintance, without having to have a reason to pick up the phone? Or wish you could break down commonly held misconceptions about your faith by showing a short video or series of photos about the life of your faith group or your meetings?

According to Statista, Facebook was actively accessed by 5.2 million women and 5.5 million men in the UK alone in January 2017, with highest usage among 25-34 year olds. So it clearly has the potential to get your message across to a huge number of people.

But before we get started, here’s a few questions you need to consider and make sure you can answer before you set up a page for your faith group.

  1. Who do I want my page to speak to?
  2. What five things could I put on my page in the next week (could be photos, invitations, thoughts, questions…) to speak to these people?
  3. Am I able to engage with conversations on behalf of my faith group?
  4. Am I able to check in regularly (preferably daily) to see if any new comments have been added?
  5. Do I want others in my faith group to have some admin rights to the page?
  6. How will I manage complaints or adverse comments that get posted on my page?

Note also that while anyone can create a Facebook page, only official representatives can create a page on behalf of an organisation or public figure.

How to create a page:

  1. Go to facebook.com/pages/create and click on the appropriate page category (most of our members will fall into ‘Company, Organisation or Institution’ or ‘Cause or Community’)
  2. Click the drop-down menu to choose a specific page category (e.g. Religious organisation) and add the name of your faith group
  3. Click ‘Get Started’ and follow the on-screen instructions. You’ll have the option to add a cover image (like a header for your page), a profile picture (usually your faith group’s logo) and a short description of your group that will help people to know what you’re about. This will also appear in search results when people look for you online, so it needs careful thought. You can also create a ‘username’. Choose something that is memorable, simple and helps people to reach and message your page.
  4. Think about the actions that you’d like people to take when they reach your page. Do you want them to call you? Visit your website? Send you a message? You can add specific buttons for people to click to take these actions.
  5. Post your first welcome message, then…
  6. Invite all the members of your faith group to visit and ‘like’ your page.

Once you’ve done all this, set yourself a reminder to check in daily and make use of the five things you thought you could post by adding one a day for the next five days…

Let us know how you get on!

About Elspeth Paisley

Elspeth is FaithAction's Head of Communications.