Facebook For Church – Free vs Paid Posts (Transcript)
This is Richard Chancy with 24toDouble, and this is it. This is the first live stream that I'm doing. We're actually testing a couple things today, and I'm going to give people just a couple minutes to get on here. Then I'm going to talk about some of the work we're doing with 24toDouble, but more importantly, about a product we're launching right now, and some of what I'm learning about Facebook, and the mentality that pastors and churches have when they are approaching Facebook. The big question is, do we keep doing stuff for free on Facebook, or do we go the live route? While we're waiting for some people to get on I will just kind of hangout.
If you get on and you see this in the background, everything that we do on Facebook streaming, Jerry and I both, we're going to download the videos and we're going to put them up on our site so that you have access to them afterwards. We know that a lot of people aren't going to come into the video, they're not actually going to see the video live. Some of you will come in late and those kind of things, and you'll miss something. We're going to take the video down, we'll leave it on Facebook obviously, but then we'll put it up on our site where you will have access. Not only to the current video you're watching, but all the other videos we do from a live streaming standpoint, as well as some of the other content that we create and kind of put out into the world of pastors.
A little bit about us…
Just so you know a little bit about us and what we do, we have a 24 month church growth program called, “24toDouble,” that's why the name. Jerry Lawson, the pastor at Cullman, Daystar Church in Cullman, Alabama is the primary communicator in that. He grew this church from less than 60 people to over 2,500 people. What we did with 24toDouble was we just kind of downloaded his brain. That's what 24toDouble is, and the really cool thing about it is it's a product that you can invest in, bring it into your church, and it skips a major step. The step, Pastor, is you having to learn everything and then teach it. We bring your team right into the room and teach this information to them right off the bat. It's not you learning then teaching. It's you sit down and learn with your group.
With that being said, let's see, because this is my first time on I see that there are a couple viewers on here. I have no idea how to tell who the viewers are. I'll just keep moving. What I'm going to talk about today, I've done something that may or may not be that creative, I've created these little slides. Now it would appear that these are for your benefit, and maybe they will be. They are largely for my benefit so that I don't lose my place in what I'm talking about. I will ramble on all afternoon if I don't stay focused. Hopefully you can see this, it would be nice if somebody could put in the comments whether or not you can read this URL, this 24toDouble.com/Go. Again, that's the site where you go and if you login or you opt in, immediately you'll have access to the other videos. I've already put a couple of things up there for you since this is our first video. If you went to the page there would be nothing on there because we haven't done a live stream. We've already done a lot of other videos.
Free Versus Paid Posts on Facebook
If you go to that page you'll see a few other things that we're making available to you right now, and I'll talk about a couple of those as we get in. Let's talk for just a second about the free versus paid mentality of Facebook for Church. I know that a lot of you have a Facebook presence, hopefully you have a Facebook fan page, and it's something that you're using to reach out into your community. Now, one of the big things I see going on with Facebook is that churches haven't really defined what they're using their Facebook fan page for. Instead of being an electronic steeple, the thing that people in the community see before they see your face pastor, you're using it as an internal communication tool. Which is okay, you just have to realize that if you do that then sometimes people that are not in your church are seeing what's going on in your church and it doesn't make any sense to them.
I would highly encourage you if you're not, if you want to do internal communication. Number 1, have a separate page for that. Number 2, just have Facebook groups. In fact, the church that I attend has a lot of different Facebook groups for different things, for different volunteer groups have different Facebook groups because the communication. You don't want to be communicating to everybody about everything. You want the communication to be laser focused. Back to this idea about free versus paid. Now, when we think about free we think, “Well why would we do the paid portion of Facebook because the free thing is free? Facebook was developed as a free platform, and I think that's the way it should be, it ought to be that way, they shouldn't be out here trying to make money off of the church,” and that kinda thing.
I get that, but even though Facebook started as a free platform, anonymity starts with the idea that they have to generate income in order to stay alive. The blessing for you and I, Pastor, on the free side is that there's a paid side that is funding the ability to have the free side. Here's what I want to challenge in this call, is free is not free. Somebody's got to take the time, somebody's gotta put information out on the site, and they've got to take their time to be able to do that. Somebody in your church, whether that's a paid staff, or an intern, or volunteer has to take the time to be able to do that. Now, I think if we began to see, even volunteering, if we see that as an exhaustible resource. People are volunteering in our churches, they absolutely want to know that what they're doing is working. Sometimes with the free methodology, that is just really hard to do. Especially if you're not doing a good job of tracking it. There is a cost associated with it and I'm going to get to that in a later slide.
Now, the paid side may be something you've never considered. In fact, I'm getting ready to launch a Facebook for church training. We've already launched it to our membership list, but we're getting ready to launch it to the world called, “Facebook Ads for Church.” I'm going to show you how you can use Facebook ads to reach the people in your community. Which brings us to the second of my wonderful slides. The second thing, the learning curve right? The learning curve is, what does it take to get ramped up on the free side of Facebook? What does it take to get ramped up on the paid side? Now, let me just tell you about the most frustrating thing about our friends at Facebook, they are constantly changing things. When I say they're constantly changing things, I mean daily. While we're shooting the video for this new training we're putting together, in the middle of the video they change where the menu buttons are. Completely frustrating.
Track What Happens
The learning curve with Facebook is never ending. I want to tell you this, on the paid side of it there's a platform called, “The Power Editor,” that they use to run ads. That's where you go when you set everything up. Now that Power Editor, it does change from time to time, but here's the bottom line. You can track a dollar spent, and you can track what happens. If you're trying to collect email addresses and build your list, if you're trying to get people to your church, there's a way to do all of that. It's very, very empirical when it comes to the data that you can get out of it.
Now, you can do that on the free side as well, the challenge is we don't tend to track things on the free side because when things are free we take them for granted. We've got a lot of free, so we just don't spend the time to be able to track things. Your volunteer, or your staff member, or your intern is spending a lot of time doing stuff and they don't know if it's working, you don't know if it's working, every now and then somebody will come into a meeting and say, “Well, Billy Bob got baptized last weekend and he heard about the church from Twitter.” We're all like, “Hey, let's keep doing the thing on Twitter because Billy Bob got baptized, and that's worth it.” It absolutely is, it makes a world of difference for Billy Bob.
The challenge is the return on that investment. What it could be if we were leveraging not just the free side of it, but also the paid side of Facebook? The learning curve on the free side is constantly changing. You'll find this in any form of social media, you will find that the organic search, the organic way that people find you is like magic, right pastor? None of us believe in magic, but it is like witchcraft trying to figure out something that works today, it absolutely will not work tomorrow. In these paid platforms on Facebook, and Twitter, and Google, they work because it's a business model. We've just got to be able to go into that business model and say, “What makes sense for us for a return on investment?”
How Far Is Your Reach, Pastor?
Okay, Reach is the next thing. Reach, the definition of reach in Facebook is how many people did we put your ad in front of? How many people saw your post? We get really excited when we see a big number there, right? We think, “Oh wow, look at all the impact that we're having there.” The challenge is that reach that may be people that are just searching for something that you happen to put in the title of your post. If they're not within 10 miles of your church pastor, 15 miles of your church, 20 miles of your church depending on what kind of city you're in, it doesn't matter.
Reach absolutely means nothing if you aren't reaching the people that God's called you to reach that are within a geographic specific location where they could actually come and benefit from your church. Most likely, you are not going to change somebody's life from a blog post, or from a video that you stick on Facebook. What we need to do is we need to be able to use things like live stream, drive people into …. I'll say this over and over again, you'll probably hear me talk about this every time. You've got to build your email list pastor, you've got to start. This is the least amount of commitment that you could get from somebody to start a relationship. When you go to that page right there and sign up, what it means for us is that you're giving us permission to add value to you overtime. That's it.
I tell you that to say you need to be looking at ways to build your email list pastor. If you don't already have an email service provider like MailChimp, or Aweber, or even the big ones, Infusionsoft, that kind of thing. Now is the time to start building that list. When you have a list, just imagine, if you have a list of 3 or 4,000 people that are within 10 miles of your church and you decide to have a big fall event and you can email those people and invite them. Do you think you'd get a return on that investment? Absolutely you would. That email is just permission to add value to people. You've got to give them something that's worth something. That's why on this page you'll go and one of the things you're going to see right after you sign up is how you can run ads to friends of people that are fans of your page in your church.
Facebook for Church Targeting
Let's say your fan page has a couple hundred likes on it, right? You posted something, people in your church said, “Oh, that's a good article,” and they liked it. You can run an ad to the people that are friends with those people on Facebook, which is a whole lot of people, right? Which doesn't make a lot of sense until you realize that you can shrink that group of people geographically down to 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 miles of your church. Now you've got a list of people that are 1 degree of separation from the people in your church, that you can run an ad to. You can just tell them things that are important to them, right? We talk about that in the Facebook training, about really understanding the core at the core level, the people that God has called you to serve.
If you go to 24toDouble.com/Go and sign up, you'll see the link to that. There's another video on there that's about how to setup a weekly page on your site so that anytime somebody comes to that page they're going to see what's coming up in your church. Whether that's a new sermon series, or big event that you're doing, or children's ministry event, whatever it is. Also on that page is a free video that shows you how to do that.
Okay, so I talked about reach a little bit, now I just think I covered targeting to a degree. Targeting is basically just that, we're going to go out and we're going to find an audience that's close to our church. Again, you don't have to have people that have liked your page, you can just say …. hey, I built a list for Jerry's church a couple days ago, just kind of testing out this methodology. I want to say that they had 31,000 people that were within 10 miles of their church and their city is like 15,000 people. There's a lot of people, and the age demographic we used was from 20 to I think 45. That's the demographic of people they're trying to reach, which that's a pretty wide demographic.
Targeting is one of the most beneficial parts of the paid side versus the free side. With the free side, you can't do targeting. You don't know if your messages wound up in front of the right people or not. With the paid sides, you can run an ad to 42 year old men that live within 3 miles of your church, or 10 miles of your church and run a very specific ad. A 42 year old man has a lot different questions going on in his mind than a 25 year old man, or 28 year old woman, right? You can get that specific with your message to those people. Targeting is huge, right? Targeting is huge. That alone is worth making the jump from just the free stuff, to doing the free stuff and doing the paid stuff.
Why Is It So Important to Track Your Spending?
You ready for some tough love, Pastor? A few years ago I was building a church in Texarkana, Texas. I used to lead church construction projects. I woke up one morning, I can't remember what was on my mind, I think it was we spent 5 or 6 hundred bucks on a dinner the night before with the church, and some of the team, and that kind of stuff. I woke up the next morning …. there's nothing wrong with that, there's nothing wrong with taking people out, and dining with them. For some reason I woke up that morning and it hit me, every dollar that we make or spend in this church construction company comes from somebody's sacrificial giving, right? They sat at the table, they ate dinner, and they talked about how they go to the next level in giving.
I know that a lot of your people in your church haven't done that yet, but for the people that do it's important that we remember that when we're spending money whether it's on an intern, or a staff member, or a free volunteer, that we are spending influence, we're spending energy. We have to be able to know if we're getting a return on that investment. That's why it's so important to track. Even if you just stay on the free side, I'll promise you there are ways we track everything with 24toDouble. I promise that there are ways for you track that. In fact, we will track the number of people that watch this video, the number of people that click through on this link, 24ToDouble.com/Go, I know I'm hammering that. We'll track the number of people that hit that page, and the number of people that opt-in. Then we track people's response and visits to the page, all that kind of stuff.
Then we put pixels on your computer that will circle back and you'll get other opportunities for free stuff from us on Facebook. We do all of that because tracking is basically good stewardship. It's not just important that you get people to give; it's important that you get people to give, then you take that money and you change people's lives with it. You reach that un-reached people group, which is people that are within 10 miles of your church that are super church resistant. All they need to know pastor, is that you are a real person. Does that make sense? Sometimes video is the way to do that, just like what we're doing right now.
The bottom line is the comparison between free and paid, and the cost of free versus paid. We talked about this earlier, that even the free still costs something. It costs somebody's time, it costs wasted time, it costs ministry influence when you could be doing something that is worth a lot more and is going to have a bigger return on investment. There absolutely is a cost to the free stuff. Not saying that you don't do it, I'm saying that you do it, but you couple it with the idea of doing paid advertising so that when you are going to do a big event. In 24toDouble we teach pastors to do 4 big events a year and to use those big events to give people a because for inviting their friends to the church. That's what people need most of the time; they just need a really good reason to invite people to your church.
We want to use Facebook for church combined with building an email list to be able to run ads to people that don't know about us yet, send emails to people that do but haven't come, and get our members to invite their friends to the church. The free side is definitely a way to do that, the paid side will help you go to another level. Here's the last thing I'm going to tell you about this, Pastor. A lot of you, I know you're doing some form of marketing. In fact, I sat in a marketing meeting the Easter before last with a church, and they talked about spending $18,000.00 on a postcard drop. As they kept talking I'm listening, for some reason my mind just grabs numbers. As they kept talking, I kept hearing numbers and then I sat down and I finally just said, “Hey, am I hearing what you're saying right? You're looking for a 4% return.” “Well yeah.” The company that they were sending postcards out said, “You're going to get a 4% return. You're going to send this out to 18,000 people, you're going to get a 4% return.”
You and I pastor know that only about …. if you're killing it for a retention rate you're only getting about 1 out of 4 people that visit your church to come back. Now our 4% gets cut by 75% so we're looking at 1% that will come back another time. When I look at the investment that they were spending I'm thinking, “Surely there is a better way to spend $18,000.00.” It may not always be this way, but right now Facebook is definitely something that you and your team should sit down and consider. If you go to this page, 24toDouble.com/Go and sign up, we'll send you an email about the launch of this Facebook Ads for Church. It's a really inexpensive way to learn this platform. I rolled it out because we get so many questions about it that it just made sense for me instead of just trying to one off and making it sound like it was the snap of the fingers. It made a lot more sense for us to create a product around it, and then offer it to you guys to be able to share with your church and hopefully learn how to do this.
I know that there weren't a lot of people on here today, but this is an exciting piece of technology. In one of the future calls I will direct you to some training that I will create for you to show you how to turn these calls into email addresses in your city. Hopefully, that will be a powerful training. I think we're onto something. Let us know if we can be of any service to you and I do appreciate you being on with us today, thanks.