Recently I noticed that one of my friends kept posting on Facebook to rave about an amazing product. I was intrigued. She said this product transformed her life and offered to tell me more about it. But as I continued reading, I realized there was more to the story. Turns out my friend recently became a distributor for the product. My enthusiasm evaporated. I even felt a bit manipulated.
Has that ever happened to you?
Sales messages bombard us everywhere we turn, so we approach them with a healthy dose of skepticism. Often, we know early in the sales pitch that we’re going to decline. We’re just waiting for the right time to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Directly Asking People To Church Can Be Tough
The same hesitation is also present for many people when invited to a new church. Their immediate inclination is to feel guarded and come up with an excuse not to go. If they’ve had a negative church experience or never seen the benefits of a loving church community, this trepidation is even stronger.
Fortunately, there’s a great tool that helps spread the word, without putting anyone in an awkward position: Facebook check-ins. They're the perfect way to tell people about a church in a non-threatening way. Your members can send their message out into the world and let their friends approach them to learn more when ready.
A "Soft" Invite To Church
So, what exactly are Facebok check-ins?
Facebook check-ins are a simple way to tell your friends about the places you've visited. Once posted, your friends will see your check-in in their News Feed. Check-ins provide all the information a potential first-time visitor needs to know, including your location, ratings, and a link to your Facebook page. If a check-in is viewed on a mobile device, clicking the map will even bring up driving directions.
Facebook check-ins allow the friend who sees them to initiate the conversation. They allow your friends to choose whether they'd like to learn more or not. They’re the opposite of those awkward church invites that sometimes put people on the spot.
After seeing your repeated check-ins, a friend may casually ask where your church is located. One may want to learn more about the music. Another might even ask you to pick them up next Sunday.
A Natural Way of Sharing What You Care About
Check-ins aren’t just great for the friends who see them, they’re also a natural way for your members to share their experience at church. Your members will enjoy posting them because they know the check-ins won’t trigger skepticism. Instead, their check-ins will spur curiosity and casual follow-up conversations.
We often see church members post check-ins with creative comments that represent their own personality. If the church member loves the worship music, they may make a comment about it with their post. Other times they may tag a friend who was with them, sharing the check-in with even more people in the process.
Facebook check-ins are an incredibly powerful way to build your community. They disarm any defensiveness or awkwardness, and they open the door for a comfortable conversation about your church when friends are ready.