Our Facebook page was established primarily to build a stronger sense of community in our 875+ family congregation. Our community is made up of a diverse range of age groups and of temple members that come from different walks of life. That diversity and age range is amply represented on the page. Our Facebook page finally provides us with an online venue to bring everyone together. Facebook provides us with the chance to meet our congregants "where they're at" and where they're spending their time online, so as to maximize our outreach efforts. The page allows us to promote upcoming temple programming in a much more timely fashion than our bimonthly bulletin, and it allows us to follow up on events with photos and video shorty afterward. We're able to use the site to share an incredible array of photos and video, which give viewers a taste of all aspects of Temple Solel. Equally exciting, for us, are the stats which indicate that viewers of the website are taking the time to log on, and have the interest in exploring these multimedia offerings.
What kind of successes have you achieved in using this technology so far?
Since the page's inception in April, we count 274 (and rising) fans of the page. Our fans cover the full range of diversity and ages of temple membership from the young to seniors, and also represent prospective members and allies from around San Diego, Israel, and other parts of the world. Another indication of our success are the weekly statistics that we receive from Facebook, offering objective evidence of the fact that our fans are coming to the site, and visiting often. Their experience on our page is not a passive one. They are actively engaged in following links, watching video and photos, and commenting on our various postings. We also have data indicating that our Facebook page is serving as a portal to our Rabbi's Etanu blog to college students and the wider community. We have already begun experimenting with facilitating online discussions on the page, and are continually brainstorming new ways that we can use the page to build a stronger sense of community within the temple.