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Over the past several weeks we've been looking at church marketing in social media. We've looked at using video sharing sites, like YouTube and GodTube, and now I'd like look at using social networking sites, specifically Facebook, currently the number one social networking website and third most popular social media site behind YouTube and Wikipedia. When looking for places to market your church, Facebook has a pretty big audience.

So what is Facebook?
Facebook is a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family, and coworkers. The site provides a variety of features to facilitate communication between people as well as between organizations and people. Some of these features are news postings, chat, article distribution, photo sharing, and video sharing. With Facebook's design, you can share information, pictures and videos quickly just by posting the info or media to your profile. That information or media can then be shared with all your "friends" or "fans" automatically.

The History:
Originally Facebook started out as an online college "facebook" at Harvard University created by then Sophomore, Mark Zuckerberg, in 2004. More than half the students at Harvard had joined up within the first month. Considering that response, Facebook was opened up to all the Ivy League schools and then to pretty much every college and university in the US and Canada within a few months. In 2005 Facebook expanded to include high schools and finally in 2006 Facebook was opened for anyone over the age of 13.

Other than the fact that I find this history interesting, I wanted to share the history of Facebook to demonstrate the explosive growth and prominence of social media to demonstrate its value to church marketing.

Who's Using Facebook?
In its first 2 years, Facebook grew from half the student population of Harvard, to a major of all college students in the US and Canada. Since then, according to Facebook's statistics page, Facebook has grown to more than 130 million active users. It is the 4th most trafficked website in the world, and it is the most trafficked social networking site in the world.

Here are some other interesting facts about Facebook:
o More than half the Facebook users are outside of college
o Over 85% of college students use Facebook
o The fast growing demographic are people 25 years and older
o Facebook is also international with 35 translations currently available

So, who is using Facebook, a lot of people, probably a lot of your own congregation, and certainly a lot of people who you would like to bring into your congregation. In short just about everyone.

Facebook can be a great means of communicating with your congregation. It can also be a great way market your church and help your church members tell others about Christ and your church.

Over the next couple of articles, we'll be looking at various ways to use Facebook for church marketing as well as church communication.

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