We live in a fast-paced, online, digital world. Gone are the days of effective advertising with the yellow pages and flyer mailers. If you are not online, you may as well not exist. So, why should your church, with its limited budget, pay for a website instead of use a free platform like Facebook?
We get this question a lot and we totally understand the instinct to conserve resources. We also know how important it is to control your branding, easily update and change your website, and have a team of digital experts who care about your ministry (and can either teach you how, or will manage your website for you) on your side.
Here are 5 things to consider before you opt out of a personalized website and head to a Facebook only online strategy.
1. Facebook branding is prominent.
No matter what, you always know you are on Facebook. The logo is at the top of every page, and sprinkled throughout. Your ministry’s mission, vision, branding and logo will always be secondary to Facebook.
2. Congregants and Visitors must have a Facebook account to engage and easily navigate around your Facebook page.
Have you ever tried to navigate around Facebook when you are not logged in to your account? It is not easy. Every second click, you are prompted to create an account to “see more.” There are many people who do not want a Facebook account. When they run into the first pop-up, they close the tab and move on to the next church in the search results. Your users must be persistent to stay through the barrage of sign-up forms to find what they are looking for on your page.
3. Facebook does not have customer support.
Worship Times does. You can call us on the phone and speak to a real human who knows about your ministry. We also have a digital support ticket option, where again, a real human will respond to your inquiry promptly. There is a Learning Center filled with videos so you can learn more about all of the features of your website at your own pace.
Of the countless times I have reported an issue to Facebook, I have never, ever received a response.
4. Facebook algorithms inhibit how many people will see your posts and events.
Say that you are good with all of the above. All of your people are on Facebook (and follow your page), you don’t need the support, and it doesn’t matter if the Facebook branding is all over everything. Did you know that only 5.5% of your page Followers will see any given post? Take a look at the number of people who follow your page. Do some math… only 5% of your followers will see any given post.
And this is where Facebook is no longer free. Facebook makes its revenue off of advertising. There are advertisements in the right hand column and cleverly hidden within your feed. If you want to increase the number of people who see your posts, you have to pay. You also have the opportunity to select who sees your promoted post, which is no small task. One wrong click and you are paying to promote a post to people in another state or country. It is a mess of a rabbit hole and a huge waste of money.
Granted, the more people from that initial 5% who engage with your post, the more people Facebook will show the post. That is where posts go “viral.” Lots of engagements lead to more people viewing the post. Without a committed group who will like, share, and comment, your posts will always hover around that 5%.
5. Facebook changes all of the time.
The last thing is that, it’s true. Facebook changes all of the time. You finally learn how to create and schedule drafts from your page, and then you’re not allowed to do it that way anymore. There is a new way to create and schedule your posts. Or your admin page display completely changes. (Anyone else see the new black background display and think, “What just happened?”)
Since you do not control the technology, you have no say in how it changes. That is partially true of any technology, websites included. However, with a Worship Times website, you will never be surprised by a change and you will never have to navigate that change alone.
If you are concerned about cost, please know that we personalize your plan for you. There are a wide variety of options and price points depending on what your ministry needs. We build everything from basic one-page landing pages to incredibly complex multi-page, multi-tiered projects.
The key to what we do is that we get it. We know what it is like to be part of a church community. Worship Times is a company founded by web designers, seminarians, and pastors who are dedicated to the success of your ministry.
To get started, let us do a free website review for you. Don’t have a website? That’s okay, too! Fill out the form and we will be in touch. We look forward to partnering with you!
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