Church Facebook Page Public vs Private?

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Looking for peoples thoughts on the pros/cons of using our Church Facebook page set as private or open (public). What are the benefits of private?

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Since COVID19 we are using our church Facebook page more often to keep members up to date with news. There is some discussion to the option of going "private" as that will allow pictures and news of a more personal nature to be posted but that also can limit our church being open and inviting to the community.

Personal items that are directly focussed on our church members are emailed to those in our membership.

Thoughts?

Admin

Hi Arnie. Good questions to consider. I have seen many churches keep their main Facebook page public and then create "groups" that are closed, and thus a more safe place to share pictures, personal info, etc. 

An example, if your church is called Grace CRC, your Facebook PAGE could be called Grace CRC, and you could then create closed groups that church members would join, i.e. Grace Family, Grace Youth Ministries, etc.

Just some thoughts. Would welcome others thoughts as well. 

Staci

Thanks Staci and Bryan...since my FB knowledge is limited I am forwarding your information to our FB admin who moderates what goes on teh church FB page and possible she can delve int teh "groups" within our church FB page...that might sound like an option for us.

 

Thanks!

Guide

Hey Arnie, I think you're referring to a Facebook group instead of a page. A page is always going to be forward-facing, anyone can find your page, see your posts, and follow/like your page. A group, on the other hand, has the option of being public or private. The benefits depend on how you're using your group. If the group is meant to be for members of your congregation, where you share more congregation-centric information, like prayer requests, having a private group (but visible) would be what I recommend. If you're hoping to use your group as an outreach tool ("Free stuff" that people can post, or a "Mom's in X city" group), you would definitely want a public group that anyone can join. It all depends on your intention.

Admin

Yes to this! Thanks Bryan. 

Thanks Bryan, i'm evaluating yours and Staci's response. As you can tell I have some things to learn yet from the Facebook side....I did not know that our church (which has a FB page to indicate happenings in our circles) that now looking at Staci's note we van also have groups that are private within that page ....I will forward what I've learned to our FB admin...she is the only one who updates our page and even though we have a public page, no one except the admin can update it.

We have both a public FB page and a private FB group. That way we have two layers of communication. The public page is great as the face of the church--someone interested in checking us out can see the things we do and get a feel for who we are. I use it to forward the kinds of community notices that would normally go on our bulletin board or in the bulletin. But when we really want to talk with each other about how we're doing, or share a photo that people don't want to be seen publicly but they know their church community would appreciate, we use the FB group. I really appreciate having both. We didn't start the private FB group until the lockdown, and it has turned out to be one of the best changes we've made.