Utilizing the Facebook community to grow your church’s real-world following, as well as spread the word of the kingdom of God, is a powerful means to a worthwhile end. However, without a knowledged background in social media marketing, it’s easy to both miss out on a large portion of your target demographic as well as turn away potential new members of your church. It is very easy for a church to focus only on its current members and neglect to think strategically about how it can reach people that are not currently connected to their church.
This is a big mistake!
Four out of every five people considering attending your service will investigate your web presence including your social media pages like Facebook before ever walking through the door and it’s important to demonstrate to them the value your church can provide.
Here are 3 ways to make sure your church isn’t only preaching to the choir on Facebook
1. Create Engaging Content
The single most effective way you can engage with new people is by generating and providing good content. Delivering a “scripture of the day” to everyone’s feed, while seemingly a standard practice, creates a lack of originality. Furthermore, many users are already posting scriptures each day and this can appear as nothing more than spam. Instead, post more relevant information, such as pictures of recent church events and services or even videos of sermons or stories of life-change.
Creating original content that provides value shows the commitment of your church to connecting with the community in a much deeper manner than regurgitating passages of the Bible. Here are 3 simple but creative ideas for posts you can use that will resonate outside of your current members.
One of the best parts of creating this unique content is that your current followers will be more likely to share it on their personal Facebook walls. This viral, grassroots, method of reaching new people is the ultimate method of increasing your following. By not only posting content that people find valuable enough to share, but is also interesting enough to draw the attention of your follower’s friends, people will be likely to trace the post back to you and “like” your page, thus allowing you to directly connect with them in a more regular manner.
2. Stay Regular
While quality posts are obviously the biggest factor, it’s also crucial to make these posts often. Maintaining a consistent flow of quality content keeps your church fresh in the minds of both current and potential attendees. It also shows that your church is serious about their web presence and has the resources necessary to keep on top of its social media. Generating original, and interesting, content is especially important when attempting to attract a younger demographic to your church.
Young people can be especially turned off when they witness outdated or faulty attempts at social media marketing. It is better to post consistently once per week with great content vs a ton of posts one week and nothing for weeks or months. Facebook provides a free scheduling tool that you can use to plan your posts for weeks or even months.
Another aspect of appearing competent in the social media is being able to interact with followers more than in the form of regular posts. Having church volunteers or, preferably, pastors able to check the page daily and immediately respond to questions, suggestions, or other comments on the Facebook page goes a long way towards connecting with the community. If a potential church member finds your page and sends a message, perhaps requesting additional information, quick responses are not forgotten. Ideally, a pastor with a smart phone would be able to keep on top of every interaction, demonstrating their willingness to be a personable member of the community and not simply the man giving the sermon each week.targeted at an older crowd that cares little about Facebook.
3. Assemble A Team
For an all inclusive approach to updating and maintaining your church’s social media presence, consider constructing a volunteer team of qualified church members with the ability and time to adequately represent your church. A church with a moderate following should be able to find a skilled writer, photographer, graphic designer, and other media professionals in their flock.
Encouraging these members to work together and generate regular, interesting, and engaging content can take much pressure away from the pastor or church staff. However, because humans are not perfect, it’s also suggested that a carefully selected volunteer is placed in charge of the team. This individual would be responsible for organizing and structuring the actions of team, as well as be accountable for any problems or unusual situations that arise.
The final step that is important for anyone attempting to utilize the advantages of Facebook is checking and understanding the analytic reports. Facebook does a fantastic job of providing a great deal of information tracking, as well as demographic and statistical reports, for your perusal. However, to an unfamiliar mind, this data can be entirely overwhelming. Having a member of the team or staff capable of comprehending these reports, as well as realizing how to adapt practices and actions based upon the data, will vastly improve your church’s ability to stay relevant and best reach the community at large, whatever your spiritual or community goals are.
1. Take a close look at your Church’s Facebook over the last month or two.
2. What percentage of posts would connect with someone that didn’t attend your church.
3. Start taking steps this week to improve in this area.
Need more help? Check out our FREE Social Media Tune-up Guide for Churches.
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