the Social Sidekick: Facebook Group Events vs. Fliers

I rarely print fliers anymore.  In fact, if it wasn’t for people who still have a desire to have a “hard copy” with all the details, I’d get rid of them completely.  But, it is what it is and I still do fliers that I hand out on Sunday mornings and at group.

Why do you have such disdain for fliers Tom?  I thought Youth Ministry is all about the paper fliers!”  Well, sort of!  Back in the day, fliers were the most useful way to get information out to parents. But, in today’s world, I have 3 very specific reasons for NOT desiring to do fliers anymore:

  1. I’m not very good at making them (just being honest)
  2. They often times get lost, thrown away or dropped somewhere between leaving group and their parents (who ultimately make the decision of whether or not their child is coming to events).  Thus we are just wasting paper week after week killing trees to print information that never gets to its intended targets.
  3. I’ve switched to doing so much Facebook Group Events.

imagesAll of the above points are important but #3 has the most relevance here because of the very digital age we live in today.  With almost 1.2 BILLION users and 95% of its users logging on daily (thanks http://newsfoom.fb.com/Key-facts for the stats), Facebook is the #1 Social Media site with your greatest opportunity for reaching all the people you want and more.

Because of this potential reach, I am likely to..

  • conserve paper, trees and money
  • have a greater opportunity to reach students and parents (by teens and parents simply liking or sharing your event or information, more of their friends (who may not be involved in your ministry) will have the opportunity to hear about it!  That sure beats you printing 100 fliers and having students “pass them out” to their friends.

“But what about all the teens leaving Facebook, Tom?  These events will be as meaningless as paper fliers soon.” 

Well, maybe, but regardless of whether or not they still use Facebook, I can always…

  • share my event to the parents so they know.  Fliers are for parents mostly anyways anymore, so sharing Group Event info to parents isn’t a bad thing.
  • link my Group Event page to my Twitter and Instagram account so that the teens and tweens can find it and know the info.  My Event Page is simply a bunch of info.

The bottom line for me is that utilizing Facebook Group Events are a far better use of time, resources and a better strategy for reaching more people.  I know we will probably have to use paper fliers for quiet some time.  But with Facebook Group Events, I feel far better reaching my target audience with the right information than I do with paper fliers.

Thoughts?  Experiences?  Post a comment below so we can all benefit.

Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at YMSidekick.com and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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