Whether you personally love it or hate it, Facebook has a tremendous reach across the globe. Facebook has 2.91 billion monthly active users, and 79% of monthly users are active daily. So with all these people on the platform, how can you target the right ones as a church?
You don’t want to ignore the potential of reaching this massive audience with your message of hope. Although organic page reach is limited, you can target people through ads and see a huge return on investment.
In this podcast, we’re going to cover what you need to know about Facebook targeting for churches including the basic types of audiences and when and how to use them.
Table of contents
What is Facebook Targeting for Churches and Why Should You Use It?
Facebook can be a great way for churches to connect with members and reach out to people in your area. You can share updates and events, as well as encourage people to join your community with a church Facebook page.
In addition, you can target specific groups of people with Facebook Ads. For example, you can target Facebook users who live in your geographical area or who are interested in Christian music. As a result, Facebook can be an effective way to reach out to potential new members and build your church community.
The Different Types of Facebook Targeting Available
When it comes to Facebook targeting for churches, there are three main audience selections: core audiences, custom audiences, and lookalike audiences. Let’s talk about each of these.
You can adjust the criteria for your core audience to be broad or well defined by parameters such as:
- Location: limiting the scope to your nearby geographical area
- Demographics: age, gender, job title, education, etc.
- Interests: interests, hobbies, likes
- Behaviors: prior purchases and device usage
- Connections: you can include people connected to your Facebook event or page or exclude them (if your focus is finding a new audience)
If you’re featuring online events in your ads, the location may not matter. But if you’re hosting a local event or service you definitely want to limit the geographical area to people who are within a reasonable driving distance. You also want to be careful about limiting your audience too much. Facebook typically recommends you keep your audience between 1,000 and 50,000 people.
With custom audiences, you can target people who have already interacted with your church, whether in-person or online. This can include people who have used your app.
Custom audiences can also include people who visited your website. With Meta Pixel (aka Facebook pixel) installed on your website, you can create a custom audience that is tailored specifically to your church website visitors. (Here’s how to install a Meta Pixel.)
This ensures that your ads are being seen by the people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer. Not only does this save you money on your ad spend, but it also helps to increase your conversion rate.
Another way to create a custom audience for Facebook targeting for churches is to upload your church’s email list from your CRM or email service provider. Facebook will then match the email addresses on your list with the corresponding Facebook accounts.
This is helpful for scenarios when you want to target your ads directly to people who are already familiar with your church.
Lookalike audiences are created by finding people on Facebook who share similar characteristics to your current members or those in your custom audiences.
This method is highly effective for reaching people outside of your current reach who are likely to be interested in what your church has to offer!
To create a lookalike audience, you need to have a current list of members or a custom audience. Once you have this list, you can upload it and Facebook will create an audience with similar traits and interests.
Here’s the link to the step-by-step process for creating a lookalike audience.
The Key Questions for Facebook Targeting For Churches
Knowing these audience options exist, the two main questions you need to answer before setting your ad are:
- Who are you trying to reach?
- What do you want them to do?
If you’re specific about your goals for each ad, then you can create more effective ads.
Consider the “customer journey” or funnel as it relates to your church. Generally speaking, there are people who have never heard of you before, people who may have casually interacted with your website or social media, and people who are attending your church.
If you’re trying to target people outside of your church, you may want to run an ad promoting:
- A community event such as a Fall Festival – perfect for the entire family.
- A popular holiday service such as Christmas or Easter weekend.
- A felt need such as coping with depression, anxiety, marital problems, or financial problems (that links to a landing page where you can collect their info and provide a resource).
Summing Up Facebook Targeting For Churches
Churches need to be strategic about their Facebook targeting if they want to see results from their advertising spend. By understanding the options available and thinking through the key questions, you can create ads that reach the right people with the right message.
When done correctly, Facebook targeting for churches can help you to increase your reach, grow your church, and make a lasting impact in your community!
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