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Add sizzle to your church’s Facebook page

By Tr

For some people, “tech savvy” may simply mean knowing that “app” stands for “application.” However, beyond the lingo, apps are a great way to enliven your church’s Facebook page. Before you go app crazy however, understand there are hundreds from which to choose. Most cost something, and many are corrupt. Here are several free Facebook apps to consider. Each reaches people in different ways.

Twitter
Even if you have resisted Twitter or are unsure of its usefulness, give “tweeting” a try. It is a great way to send quick messages to a group of people, like your congregants. Twitter is the perfect way to let interested people know:

  • The youth group enroute from the weekend retreat is 30 minutes away from the church.
  • Remember: there is only one service today at 10:30.
  • (Name), a member of the congregation, has died, and details on services will come.

Here’s how you join the Twitter community:

  • Go to www.twitter.com and click “Join today.”
  • Choose your user name — ideally something with your church name in it. Twitter will let you know if the name you’ve chosen is available and even suggest alternates.
  • Invite people to follow you. You can browse categories of people or organizations you want to follow.

Post your Tweets to Facebook using the Twitter app:

  • At your Twitter Profile Settings, fill in your name, location, Web address and a short description of your organization.
  • Click the bar that says, “Post your tweets to Facebook.”
  • When cued, sign in to Facebook and connect your accounts.

Picasa App
Suppose your church has a spring carnival and you want a quick and easy way to upload the photos into a library. You can post them on Facebook by creating a photo album and adding photos, but this process takes awhile. The Picasa Uploader app streamlines the process:

  • Choose “Install Picasa 2 or 3.” (Choose either Windows or Mac.)
  • Click “install the plug-in.”
  • Launch Picasa and install. Make sure you choose “Display the button.”
  • Select the Facebook button and click “Add.”

Poll App
Perhaps you want to take an informal poll to see how many congregants would like to move the Sunday morning contemporary service 30 minutes earlier. Poll for Facebook enables you to create a poll and send it to your church’s Facebook friends.

  • Give the poll a title (for instance, “Your opinion on Sunday morning worship time”) and add introductory text to explain why you’re conducting the poll.
  • Be sure to click the box if you want people to be able to see the poll results. (You may not.)
  • Login to your Facebook page and, when cued, create responses for your poll. These can be ordinary (“Very much,” “Somewhat,” “Not at all”) or fun (“You bet!” or “Not a chance!”)

Your poll will give you feedback on a topic and engage your Facebook community.

Birthday Calendar App
Today’s Calendar app will enable you to display all your church members’ birthdays in a calendar format. The profile picture for each birthday celebrant will show up on his or her special day. Visitors to your Facebook page can easily wish others ”Happy birthday.” For this to work well, you must first select all the Facebook friends.

Event Calendar App
The Event Calendar app works similarly to Facebook events pages. Each event you put on the calendar will have an informational page with contact information, time, location and event description. The key difference is that this app allows you to display the events graphically.

Bible App
This YouVersion Facebook app lets users browse specific passages of Scripture. Users can choose the translation they prefer. Invite friends to share this app. This is a great way to share the gospel.

Integrate one or two apps onto your church’s Facebook page and then seek responses from your Facebook friends. Remember: Like Facebook and websites, apps require regular attention, or they will serve no purpose.