Young Life & Facebook

Facebook has over 800,000 users world wide.  It would be the third largest country in the world for today’s population.  We know “everyone” is on Facebook.  Which is probably true of your community as well.  Facebook as a resource and ministry tool can help promote and share what you are doing in your Young Life area.  Facebook’s privacy settings have been something of question over the last few years.  Be aware of your own privacy settings when interacting with Facebook.  You will need to feel comfortable about what you share on Facebook before you start to use Facebook as a social media piece in your Young Life area.

Important definitions:

  • Facebook Page – Pages are for organizations, businesses, celebrities, and bands to broadcast great information in an official, public manner to people who choose to connect with them. Similar to profiles (timelines), Pages can be enhanced with applications that help the entity communicate and engage with their audiences, and capture new audiences virally through friend recommendations, News Feed stories, Facebook events, and beyond.
  • Facebook Group – Groups let you share things with the people who will care about them most. By creating a group for each of the important parts of your life — family, teammates, coworkers — you decide who sees what you share.
  • Facebook Event – Organize gatherings, respond to invites, and keep up with what your friends are doing.

Facebook Pages – You should set up a Facebook page for your Young Life area.  Facebook pages are an easy communication tool to a wide audience.  It is an easy place for leaders, kids, parents and donors to connect with the Young Life ministry in your area.  You will be able to communicate both area wide information as well as specific club information.

Facebook Groups– In Young Life we have naturally tendency to bring groups of people together.  Facebook Groups act in the same way.  Facebook Groups are all about bringing a specific group of people together for a shared experience.  When thinking about Facebook Groups, think through the levels of security you want to have:

  • Facebook Open Groups – We suggest you use these for club groups and parent groups.  You want these Facebook Groups to be accessible to a larger audience.  You will want kids, leaders, and parents to be able to search Facebook and find them.
  • Facebook Closed Groups – A closed group can be a good leadership team piece.  Closed groups are able to be found by the search feature, but to be included by the group you will need to approved by the administrator of the group.
  • Facebook Private Groups – Private groups are not searchable in Facebook and is invite only.  It will not show up in the newsfeed.  By having a private group, kids can be honest and share prayer requests.  *Note – If there is only one leader for a Campaigner group, have another adult associated with Young Life in on the group too.  This provides accountability.

Young Life Facebook Groups you should have:

  • Club(s) Group(s)– Each club in your area should have their own Facebook Group.  Title the group with the word Young Life, the school(s) name and the school year.  You will want to recreate these groups each year.  A new group is like a fresh start each year to your club ministry.  You are able to reinvent the people engaged with your group each year.
  • Campaigners Group(s) – Each leader or group of leaders that leads a Campaigner group has a Campaigner Facebook Group for their group.
  • Leadership Team(s) Group(s) –  Make sure all leadership team Facebook Groups are closed groups.
  • Parent Groups – There are two options when it comes to parents in Facebook groups.  First option is to simply connect parents to the Club Facebook Group for that year.  The second option is to have a distinct group for parents, having kids and parents in different groups.  It is your discretion to use whichever fits you and your Young Life area the best.
  • Alumni Groups – What do we do with kids after they graduate?  By having a Facebook Group specifically for alumni we are able to connect and reconnect with these former Young Life students.  With many people putting their email (required by Facebook) and many people putting their cell phones (optional information on profile), we can use this group to collect information for alumni of any age.  This helps us stay connected to alumni for years to come.

Facebook Events – Facebook Events help us communicate and more importantly invite people to what we are doing in our Young Life area.  We use Facebook Events with – Clubs, Campaigners, Leadership Meetings, Fundraisers, Alumni Clubs and other Young Life events.  You might not personally be connected with every kid you want to invite to the Facebook Event.  So, what I do is invite the kids I am friends with and leaders to a specific Facebook Event.  Then, I text message the Young Life leaders and ask them to invite their Young Life kids to the Facebook Event.  Keep in mind when you are creating a Facebook Event, you must establish it as an “open event” if you want those people that you have invited to be able to invite other people to the event on Facebook.  People will have the option of RSVP’ing on the event page with a “Yes”, “No” or “Maybe.”

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