Ask Darrel: How to Use Facebook Live for Your Church

Welcome to Episode 64 of the Ask Darrel podcast. On this episode we’re going to talk about Facebook Live and what it means for your church.

Facebook Live is here and I think it’s pretty good representation of the where social media is headed in the future. More and more we’re going to see social media networks push users to create more live content and move away from pre-canned content delivered via Hootsuite and Buffer.

So is this something your church should try? The answer is yes, and today we’re going to talk about best practices and why should try Facebook Live.

Listen to the Audio


Ultimate Resources

How to Use Instagram


Instagram and Kids: A Parents Guide to Privacy and Safety


The beginners guide to Twitter by Michael Hyatt


The Ultimate Guide for Everything Twitter




Twitter Analytics


instget.jpgMy Top Tweet




The Data Pack




Instaport – Instaport is an easy way to download and save all your Instagram photos to your hard drive. Why download your photos? Well, first it’s always good to have backup and second it makes it easier to use the photos for other projects.instaport.jpg





Social Print Studio – I used this create a giant post with my wife’s Instagram photos and turned out awesome. If you’re looking to print photos from your social meida accounts, then check it out.social-print.jpg



SocialBro –  I’ve just started recently using this tool and it’s really useful if you’re a Twitter power user. You can automate replies (not just DM) and analyze other users Twitter accounts. While it’s not a full social media dashboard like Hootsuite, it does have some really cool features.

ManageFlitter –

Bit.ly – This is an easy way to shorten links but keep them on brand. With Bitly you can shorten links and still use a custom domain name. For example, I use drrl.me for all my shortened links.bitly.jpg

Zapier – This a lot like IFTTT but a it has more professional grade features with more platforms you can connect to. If you use Salesforce or Basecamp, then this is the tool for you.zapier.jpg

Google PageSpeed Tools – Your church website has to be fast. The longer your website takes to load, the more likely it is that your visitors will go somewhere else. With Google PageSpeed Tools, you can test how fast your website loads and determine what you need to do to fix it. Google PageSpeed Tools will score your website and then give you custom recommendations on how you can speed up your church’s website.pagespeed.jpg

Moz Local Search – Moz Local Search checks how your church is listed on local search engines for Google, Bing and other services. You can verify to make sure your church name is correct along with your church’s address and phone number.moz-local.jpg

Google Webmaster Tools – Google Webmaster Tools lets you see how Google sees your church’s website. You can see which pages Google has indexed, what websites are linking to you and what errors Google is seeing on your website. You can also see what search terms people are using to find your church’s website as well.google-webmasters.jpg

Open Site Explorer – Open Site Explorer is a lot like Google Webmaster Tools, however I think it is a lot easier to use from a visual standpoint. You can see your top pages, domain authority and compare your church’s website to another church’s website.open-site-explorer.jpg

Uptime Robot – If our church website goes down, I want to be the first to know. With Uptime Robot, you get an email anytime your website goes and when it comes back up. I can’t tell you the number of times this has saved our team by alerting us of potential problems before they started.uptime-robot.jpg

Church Online – Are you thinking about an online campus? If so, the Church Online Platform is the way to go. It offers the ability customize the look, real-time chat and offer your viewers someone to pray with. There are similar platforms out there, but they can’t compare in terms of costs and features.church-online.jpg

Church Metrics – Church Metrics is an online dashboard that lets you track attendance, giving, volunteers and decisions. It gives you charts that help you track trends from your desktop or your mobile device. (You want an easy win with your pastor? Set up an account today.)church-metrics.jpg

Hootsuite Mobile App – Yes, you can use the official Twitter and Facebook Pages app to handle multiple accounts, but the Hootsuite’s mobile app is the tool of choice. Here’s a quick rundown of its features:

  • Multiple account management (Facebook, Twitter, etc…)
  • Scheduling of posts in advance
  • Geolocation search for nearby social media activity (read more that here)
  • Check-in with Foursquare
  • Manage your Hootsuite streams


VSCOcam – VSCOcam is the best photo editor on the iPhone. Not only does it come with built-in filters, it also lets you have fine grain control over editing your photos.


Horizon – Horizon is a video camera app with one goal; to rid the world of those horrible vertical iPhone videos. You know the ones I’m talking about. The kind that makes you think you’re looking through some sort of rectangular peephole. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Just ask any video professional, and then watch them start to tear up.


IFTTT – I like things that are automatic. IFTTT (If This Then That) let’s me automate a lot of my life. You can automate photo backups, your Buffer account, notifications and more. Recently, they released an iPhone app which let’s you automate actions on your phone. For example, let’s say you added a reminder in Siri but you also want email to yourself that reminder, IFTTT for the iPhone can do that. The possibilities are endless.


Feedly – There’s no way to keep up with every social media news site, but there is a way to put all those updates in one place. Using Feedly you can create a dashboard for all your news sources. You can also connect to other services like Pocket to save articles for later reading. (Bonus feature: you can hook up Feedly to Buffer with IFTTT to automatically tweet articles you save.)


Over – Over for me is the best way way to lay text over your photos. While there are other choices, Over provides the best selection of fonts and tools for creating art on the go for your church social media channels.


Giphy – Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m guilty of occasionally sending a friend or two an animated gif. I love them. I think they’re hilarious and they beat sending a normal text message. With Giphy you can search a large database of gifs or even create your own. Is it time waster? Yes. Is it fun? Sure.


Headline Analyzer – Coschedule has created an easy to way to determine whether or not your headlines have a chance to get the attention you’re looking for. With their Headline Analyzer you can test your headline and then see how you can improve it in order to drive more traffice to your site.


Coschedule – Coschedule is an social media management tool that talks to WordPress. It’s a good tool for scheduling posts, repeating content and thinking through your overall content strategy.  I’ve used for last six months and I like what I’ve seen in terms of results.


Skitch – Skitch is an amazing app that let’s you annotate images on the fly. With multiple ways to capture images (screen shot, timed crosshair, etc…) you can mark up images without having to open up Photoshop. I’ve used to make notes on design ideas, create screenshot tutorials and make wireframe markups.


Pablo – Pablo is an easy way to create social media graphics. It integrates with Buffer so it’s very seemless to share images across your social networks. While it’s not a workhorse like Canva, it does make image creation an easy processs.


Platform by Michael Hyatt – This book is great primer on building a platform. While it’s a little dated in its’ methodolgies, it’s still a good read for those just starting out.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk – This is the bible on social media. It should be required for anyone who works with social media. Gary gives very detailed explainations about what works and what doesn’t.

CRUSH IT! by Gary Vaynerchuk – This is book is along the same lines as Platform, however I think it’s little bit more timeless in its advice.

The Thank You Economy Gary Vaynerchuk – One of the best books on the power of social media. There are lot of real life examples on what it looks like to listen to your audience.

Mashable’s Facebook Guide

An Easy Facebook Guide For New Users

The Beginner’s Guide to Facebook

Master Facebook on iOS: the complete guide

Google’s Google Analytics Guide by Google

Google Analytics Guide by House of Kaizan

Guide to Google Analytics by SlingShot So

Hover – Hover is where I house all my domains. Why? Because they don’t try to upsell me and they have great customer service.

Unsplash – Unsplash has some of the most beautiful free stock photos on the internet. In fact, they’re so good that almost everyone I know uses them.unsplash.jpg





Death to the Stockphoto


IM Free

New Old Stock



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4 Ways to Make Your Church Facebook Page More Successful

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Social Media Weekly Brief for 5/29/15

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Why LinkedIn has the best business model in social media

What this means for your church: I think LinkedIn gets a bad rap for being for mostly executives and corporate types.  However, I think one reason why it’s a smart investment of your time is lack of anonymity and higher accountability. If a user posts something on LinkedIn it’s tied to their profile, which is essentially the user’s résumé. Plus, as the article states, they have a strong financial model.

What Senior Adults Can Teach You About Social Media

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In a world where “youth is king” it’s easy to forget about senior adults and what they bring to the table. More importantly, we can forget that senior adults can teach us a lot about social media. Here are a few examples:

What Senior Adults Can Teach You About Social Media

Age Is Not a Factor

I’ve written before about the growth of older Americans usage of social media. In August, more data was released showing that senior adults using social media is still growing at a rapid rate. If you think that social media is a young person’s game then you’re ignoring an audience that can be leveraged to help get out your church’s message. (more…)


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