LinkedIn or Facebook which is better for Ministries?

It seems like every industry is trying to figure out what social media is best for them, and where to put their resources to receive the best return, and it’s no less important for Ministries!  One of the biggest differences may be the large budgets some industries have for this effort.  Many ministries, including mine, operate on a small budget and any social media effort is left to the leaders to accomplish in their spare time.  If the goals of increased web exposure, desired growth, and success are the same, then it’s perhaps more important for ministries with limited resources to be sure they are making the right decisions.  The purpose of this article is to discuss different features and benefits of LinkedIn and Facebook for ministry.

Goals

It’s important to know your goals in order to make the decisions of what type of social media is best.  Goals might include things like gaining loyalty, growth, exposure, followers, selling products, advertising events, etc.  You then might want to determine who your target audience is, and where they spend time.  If you are selling a book, who might buy it, where you will get their attention, and how they are most likely to buy it.  I’m sure you can spend too much time with this, but I’m also sure most ministries are not currently spending enough time here.  The business slogan “failing to plan, is planning to fail” also applies to ministries.

Private vs. Professional

Most users would say Facebook is for personal use, and LinkedIn is viewed as a trusted place for professionals to use.  Most Facebook users post ‘family’ type photos, share ‘family’ type activities and events, and many spend time playing the games.  Many professionals do not use Facebook, and if they do it’s to communicate photos and stories with their family members and close friends.  It’s true that a ministry page can gain the attention of loyal followers but no one else will see the content if it’s not “liked” or “shared”?  A congregation’s use of a facebook page to keep in touch with members might be great (if it’s frequently updated), but that page will not likely be seen by new or prospective members.  For a healing ministry, the followers might not be as connected with the ministry or each other.

Number of Users

Facebook clearly has more users, but do more users make it more beneficial?  Of course it depends on the ministry, and where their target audience might frequent.  Its clear many people spend a lot of time on facebook, but who are they and what are they looking for or at?

Facebook Fan Pages vs. LinkedIn Companies Pages

Both Facebook and LinkedIn have pages that ministries can use.  The Facebook fan pages allow members to post web links, and like pages so their network will see them.  LinkedIn company pages allow followers to recommend products and services and add their comments to recommendations so their network will see them.  This can add a great visibility to your ministry services, products, events, and even needs.  Facebook and LinkedIn groups that choose to be public can be seen by anyone on the web, and both can add to your search engine optimization and visibility.

Ease in Management

Since many ministry leaders also manage the pages, this may be an important factor to consider.  Facebook fan pages don’t permit specific content control that can cause headaches for the administrators.  LinkedIn includes moderation tools in their groups that allow the administrator to choose who can post what.  Administrators can add group managers to help them moderate the group discussions, including approving new discussions, deleting unwanted or inappropriate comments and flagging promotions.

LinkedIn Groups

The LinkedIn groups remain one of their unparalleled benefits.  There are LinkedIn groups for almost any interest, and anyone can start their own group.  The discussions allow everyone to share their insight, knowledge, experience, and values giving many group members the benefit of a huge knowledge base.  You can ask questions, post articles of common interest, announce events, etc.  The group discussions are not limited to small status update boxes as in Facebook, and users can choose immediate, daily, or weekly updates to new postings so they can stay on top of discussions through email.

Conclusion

You don’t have to choose only one, if you plan correctly, both Facebook and LinkedIn have many benefits for ministries.  The important choice is not which one to spend all your time on developing, but how much time you should spend on each one.  Linked4Ministry is admittedly a little biased toward LinkedIn, but still committed to helping you use both to “extend your reach into the kingdom”.

As always, thank you for reading Linked4Ministry.  If you are new here, the best way to receive all the new posts is to subscribe for e-mail updates at the top right.  If you have been following Linked4Ministry and find it helpful, please consider sharing it with other ministry partners that it could benefit.  It’s easy to do by clicking on the following buttons, and it’s OK to click more than one !

Blessings,
Bill Bender
Linked4Ministry & Anothen Life Ministries

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2 responses to this post.

  1. I had wondered the same things. I have been on several sites, taking up WAY TOO MUCH TIME to cultivate the relationships. I have also found http://www.christianslikeme.com to be a great place as many Christians are on that site and it is growing also. Thanks again for your insight.

    Reply

  2. […] = 'none'; document.getElementById('singlemouse').style.display = ''; } We make Fan PagesLinkedIn or Facebook which is better for Ministries? if (top!=self) { window.location = […]

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