How is Facebook working out for you? Seeing results? Yes, no, maybe so… Facebook has been for a while now and still is, the “social media giant”. Most churches use Facebook now. What is an effective church Facebook strategy?
When churches first started to use Facebook more a few years back they were using it in a very basic fashion. An occasional event update, thought or verse of the day, and maybe some pictures of the last outreach. These, of course, are good things to share as a church on Facebook. Are you still just doing these things? You should be doing more now!
Facebook has increased its functionality, features, and offerings. Everyone can take advantage of this now. There is a lot you can be doing now for more effective church Facebook strategy.
The Facebook landscape has changed in recent times. It is more competitive. Thousands of organizations and businesses are competing for visibility on Facebook. It costs money now to get the most out of Facebook in some instances too.
What should be your end goal as a church be in using Facebook? What is a proven church Facebook strategy that will help you reach more people? How can you communicate with your members better?
Let’s unpack some proven methods and healthy Facebook strategy.
1. Church Facebook Strategy – Be Consistent
First things first. We have all heard the expression, “if you are not going to do something right, then don’t do it at all.” I do not think this saying holds true in all areas of life, but in this area it does. If you set up a Facebook page and only post something every now and then it is actually going to hurt you more than help you. You will give people the impression that you set one up for the sake of doing so. You will also insinuate that you do not care about relevantly or genuinely communicating with people.
Now the good news is that you do not have to always be posting content all the time. Research and evidence show that you should not be posting more than around once a day. Posting several times in a day or fanatically will cause people to become uninterested or even write you off completely. They do not want constant updates from the same person all day long.
You need to be consistent. Have a time in the day you can dedicate to posting something. Stick to this time or schedule. Becoming disciplined in all aspects of life is a good thing. The same applies here and consistency will yield good results as you will become more visible. Your Facebook friends will start to rely more on your posts and will be awaiting your every post too.
This leads me to the next couple points. Not only do you need to be consistent, you need to be posting things of substance and that are engaging.
2. Church Facebook Strategy -Use Media
Lots of photos and as much video as possible is great for your church Facebook strategy. Posting lots of candid pictures will help you engage people. It helps to make you come off as authentic, reduces apprehension, evokes emotion. As we know, a lot of people will not visit a church for the first time because they do not know what kind people they will come across during a service.
For people who are new or newer to your church, this will help them become more familiar and feel more attached. Take photos of life change, ministry activity, and of your staff that people will actually connect with at your church. This takes people inside of the life of your church.
The more video the better also. Nothing too long. Nobody wants to watch a full-length movie. Video can often be more powerful than photography. People will get to experience your church more this way.
With the nature of limited attention span and how people prefer to communicate on Facebook, you may not want to stream a whole sermon or service. Do a shorter video of an encouraging word for the day, video snippets of your last youth event, and more things of the like.
You can “go live” on Facebook now. Churches are seeing great results by doing this. Asking people to send prayer requests in real-time. Getting to interact with those people right then is powerful. Other members may also tune in at that time being able to encourage people more than they may have been able to do so at an actual service.
This church Facebook strategy takes people inside your church before even visiting. PR Journal put out a great article in 2014 about what fortune 500 companies and non-profits top 3 Facebook strategies were: 1. Openness and Disclosure (showing what goes on within the organization). 2. Access (allowing customers to reach out and interact with a company). 3. Positivity (making the experience enjoyable and pleasant for the customer), so don’t just take my word for it.
3. Church Facebook Strategy – Build Your Brand
Lastly, build your brand for your church Facebook strategy. Your church has a unique vision, identity, and hopefully a positive perception from membership as well as your local community. What are the things your church does best? Always be pointing to what you do best when you share on Facebook.
Share or allow trusted members to share testimonies on your Facebook page too. Businesses do this online all the time to gain trust with their prospective clients. Why shouldn’t you do the same with prospective visitors/members? This also illustrates what God is doing at your church and creates excitement.
The neat thing about doing this is that when a testimony is posted, people can comment on that post then that person’s friends see that comment too. This takes your church viral if you Ask your members to share what they love about your church on your Facebook page. Their friends and followers will see that too.
Make sure your logo, specific colors, and messaging is present on your Facebook page also. Your Facebook branding should also be consistent with your church website branding. In doing this, it promotes that you are valid, consistent, and makes you a memorable organization.
You want to be viewed as valid and want to be top of mind when it comes time for someone to want to visit a local church.
I hope this was helpful and you start doing some of these things right away. After all, this is at the end of the day about reaching more people for Christ! I know I left out some other ideas for good strategy too.
Please share with us something different or effective you have done. For more on social media, check out this infographic on increasing your facebook reach.