All posts tagged: facebook

social-media

Part of what I do for Rancho Community Church is run our social media accounts. I’m a big fan of using social media as a tool to keep conversations going or spur them on. It allows people opportunities to share thoughts and comments that they wouldn’t have the opportunity to do in person. It really is another community, just like the many communities that make up the church – it’s just online.

Anyway, I’m always interested in how other churches utilize social media. What services they are using – and how they are using them. I’ve been a big fan of Saddleback, Crosspoint and others and kind of watch them for trends. At Rancho, we almost exclusively use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And we have accounts for both campuses (and our School):

Rancho Community Church (Temecula Campus / Main Organization)

Rancho Community Church (Murrieta Campus)

Rancho Christian Schools

So how do we logistically run all these (and more) accounts? For the most part I personally manage all the accounts… probably not the most efficient practice, but we don’t have many other options right now. I’ve given a couple other trusted team members access to our Facebook Pages and we have a couple volunteers that help with our Twitter accounts. I’ve created a couple graphics that show some of the flow (specifically with photos) of our social media sharing…

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Click on the image for a full size version

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Click on the image for a full size version

 

As you can see this is 100% mobile driven – that’s mainly for sharing photos. I’ve asked our staff and key volunteers to share photos each weekend and at any events that they are running. Any good shots are shared (with photo credit) starting with Instagram which starts a chain reaction to Facebook (page) and then to Twitter. If I have a bunch of photos that aren’t real specific, I’ll just share them on our Facebook page. Whenever we share photos online we use the tag, #ranchopix and try to encourage our followers to do the same. I’ll tag our photos with things like #worship #church #temecula #murrieta, etc. as well.

That’s just a quick overview of what we’re doing. We’re slowly building followers and communities online and as we engage more, the community grows larger. It’s an exciting and fun ministry to be a part of and I can’t wait to see how it grows even more.

If you need help connecting your Instagram to your Facebook Page – there’s a good tutorial here. Unfortunately you have to log in and out of Instagram to manage multiple accounts… however the good news is that Instagram remembers what each account is connected to, which makes it a bit easier to share across platforms – I only share to Facebook from Instagram.

There’s tons of tutorials on connecting your Facebook Page to your Twitter Account – here’s a pretty simple tutorial.

I’d like to think we’re on the front lines of this, especially for a church, however I know there’s always something new or a better way to do things. Please let me know what you’re doing to engage in these communities and what tools you are using. And if you need a hand with this stuff just reach out – I’d love to help in any way I can.

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I have a friend who’s just getting started with Facebook and I was thinking, “What one thing could I tell him to help ease his fear of being overwhelmed by Facebook?”. I immediately thought of Facebook Notifications. If you’re not careful, they can overload your inbox, mobile device, and suck you into hours of meaningless reading or deleting, or even worse, responding.

So, the very first thing you should do when starting out on Facebook is to manage notifications. I’m sure there’s good tutorials out there to do this, but here’s my attempt at a dummies version:

  • Login to Facebook
  • Click on “Account” (in the upper right of the page)
  • Drop down to “Account Settings” – this will open your Account Settings menu
  • Click on the “Notifications” tab & you’ll see a long list of things you can be notified of. Facebook has all these boxes checked (which means every time someone hit’s “enter” on Facebook, you get an email).
  • Un-check as many as you like (& make sure the Mobile check boxes are un-checked as well, most of us are using a mobile app anyway).

Wait a second! Now I won’t know when someone sends me a “birthday gift”!

Not to fear, just visit facebook.com whenever you feel like you’re missing out on the latest Farmville updates; they’ll all be there waiting for you. Now instead of  30 Facebook emails an hour, you’ll get only what YOU want. And you can go looking for what you want to see on Facebook.

PS – You can find me on Facebook here.

Photo courtesy of Kenny Grill

In attempt to get back into blogging, I’m just gonna tell you all about a cool new addition to Rancho Community Church. It’s our “Coffee Shoppe”.

We opened it up two weeks ago and it was a HUGE hit. Apparently we’ve been planning on a coffee shop for years, it just never got traction until now. But we’ve got it open now and it’s amazing what is happening: People are connecting. There’s just something about having food or drink and a place to sit, an area to hang out that attracts people.

Photo courtesy of Kenny Grill

One of the strangest things that we noticed when we first came to Rancho Community was that the place seemed to “empty out” when the worship services ended. People just disappeared. At first, Jen and I thought maybe it was a fluke, or maybe we were weird, but after talking with people and staff members, we realized that this was really an issue. There was really nothing “to do” after church – nowhere to go or hang out. So people naturally filed out, picked up their kids and drove away.

Photo courtesy of Kenny Grill

This brings me to the point: I believe that people need a “place” to congregate, to connect. And I also believe that “if you build it, they will come”. Creating space designed for people to connect is crucial. I mean, it’s not as important as say, preaching the Gospel, or baptism – but it is an important piece of the puzzle when building a church and making connections, at least in our culture. We have this desire to connect, but we also have this thing about space and comfort levels – especially in Southern California where we don’t even talk to our neighbors. But…

When we create space for casual connections, such as a coffee shop, people are naturally drawn to it. Connections happen, which turn into conversations, which are the building blocks of relationships.

I’m excited to see that Rancho Community is embracing this idea, and I’m excited to see this little idea grow and be an anchor for connections at our church.

On a more technical level, here’s some of strategy behind the launch:

  • I used this amazing graphic as inspiration
  • I also used the “Coffee with a Cause” (great concept!) from that graphic. It was a last minute idea to help keep the “Global Impact / Missions” project in front of our congregation throughout the year.
  • We basically cut our outdoor “Info Center” in half using printed backdrops with the logo, color, and photos of our Peru missionaries.
  • The Coffee Shoppe proceeds go to support the work in Peru (church planting, missionary training, micro-businesses).
  • The shop serves Seattle’s Best Coffee (a Starbucks product), along with muffins & donuts.
  • Right now it’s open before and after all Sunday morning worship services (8, 9:10, and 10:45am) – with plans to open during many other services & events throughout the week and on the weekend.
  • Follow the Coffee Shoppe on Twitter @coffee_shoppe for updates and coupons
  • Join the Fan Page on Facebook

Special thanks to @Kenny_Grill of Kenny Grill Photography for some awesome photos (there’s more on Facebook).

Well, the blog is takin’ a hit. I just can’t seem to find the time to write much here lately – so, another mind-dump update:

  • I’m about become an Uncle for the first time in my life.
  • Jen and I are about to celebrate 9 years of marriage & 15 years of being together! I don’t deserve to be with such an amazing woman, seriously.
  • I got myself a Blackberry Curve to replace my 2 year old Treo 755p. Moving from Palm to BB, was not too hard, in fact I really like my BB. There’s a lot I like, like: Bluetooth tethering that actually works (most of the time), Ubertwitter, Sprint Navigation, Google Mobile Apps, Facebook for BB, Pandora. What I don’t like: having to pull the battery out (per Sprints advice) every day or two to reset the phone – huh? And when it restarts, it takes like 2 minutes (maybe I’m just picky). Also, it has those “Windows” kind of hic-ups – you know, when the little hour glass appears & spins around for minutes at a time…
  • I’ve been working on ideas for a new logo for Rancho Community Church since the day I started there. After 6 months, I finally found something and everyone (that I know of) is really stoked about the new look. Here’s the old logo:
    OakTreeLogo002
    And the new one:
    Vertical Style Color
  • I posted this (and other versions) to a flickr group for some feedback and found out that it made it’s way over to churchmarketingsucks.com, which I think means that it doesn’t suck. I just thought it was cool that it made it on their front page (along with another piece of art I did for our Missions team).
  • The logo is really cool to me because it says a few things: Notice there’s five squares that make up the cross. Those are our “five brands”, or five areas that as a church, we are focused on: Connecting Lives, Teaching Truth, Building Families, Helping Others, Recovering & Restoring. Each color represents a different “brand” and each brand has it’s own logo (depicted here). The squares in the shape of the cross also convey a feeling of ancient-modern; the ancient cross with a modern spin – it speaks to Rancho being a multi-generational church. Also, the multi-colors is also representative of multi-culture, which Rancho has as well – and will undoubtedly grow more and more. All that to say, I think it works well.
  • School is ramping up, getting ready to start in a few weeks. I’m helping with the planning of our Teacher Orientation week – which I’m stoked about. I had this crazy idea of getting Dan Cathy (yes, he Twitters) from Chick-fil-A to come and speak (he’s the COO, from Atlanta). I talked to one of our local Chick-fil-A marketing people and she put me in touch with Andrew Cathy, Dan’s son – and long story short: he’s scheduled to come speak one day during our orientation week! I’m so stoked & can’t really believe it. We’re going to have our entire staff (church and school) attend his session, and I can’t wait.
  • Miles, my son, is going to be turning 7 in about a month and I can’t believe it. Seems like just last year we were changing his diapers. He’s going to be heading to First Grade at Rancho Community; all day, five days a week – for the first time. We are so proud of him – he’s such a good boy. I’m trying to be more intentional with him, praying for him, sharing things with him to build his character, teaching him about things, like appreciation for music, the Bible, kindness, selflessness, helping his mom & sister – it’s so much fun being his dad. I’m so thankful for him.
  • Macy… oh Macy. She’s so cute and (can be) so sweet. But she gives us a run for it. Being a dad to a daughter is a completely different ballgame than begin a dad to a son – at least for me. She’s a good little girl, very intelligent, but she pushes the limits too (me and Jen joke that maybe we just don’t remember how hard Miles was when he was three). I’m trying to learn how to be the best dad I can to her, and for her. I’m praying for patience & wisdom. Today she reached her “level 3” at swimming lessons – she can almost swim by herself at three years old. We were so proud of her today!
  • Got to spend some time with my brother, James, a few weeks ago – that was really cool.
  • I’m going to facilitate a community class, sponsored by Rancho Community, on social media. It should be a 6-10 week class familiarizing people with things like Twitter, Facebook, blogging, and all that goes along with that. It should be a fun way to build some new relationships outside the walls of the “church”. Anyone local interested in being a part of that? I’m gonna need some speakers too… Anyone?
  • Oh yeah, and… we’re in the middle of designing, developing, and beta-testing a new website for Rancho Community (almost forgot about that little project). Working hard with Daniel Murphy on this project – and it’s HUGE. Should be live in a couple weeks if all goes well.
  • I need to delegate some of this social media, publicity, marketing – whatever you call it. Right now I am managing about 4-5 Facebook pages, the church blog, the school website, helping with the church website (above), and five twitter accounts. Luckily, I have one volunteer helping with one of the Facebook pages… any more volunteers?

Well, that’s all for now. How are things going with you?

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I saw this idea over here & thought, what the heck – I’m not blogging much and this is a good idea for a post.

  • I like my kids’ imagination (that’s them as Jedi Knights)
  • I like my job
  • I like living in Temecula
  • I like Twitter
  • I like Facebook
  • I like Wii
  • I like that Conan Obrien is the host of The Tonight Show (I can go to bed an hour earlier now)
  • I like good design
  • I like good photography
  • I like the beach
  • I like people (really, I do)
  • I like epic movies
  • I like walking with my wife (anywhere)
  • I like playing drums
  • I like playing guitar
  • I like to strategize
  • I like to cook
  • I like to have friends over
  • I like it when the kick & snare are really tight & loud
  • I like the internet

What do YOU like?