Social media allows churches to go where the people are. Since most churches in the United States are small, with 90 percent of churches having fewer than 350 members, they need to make the most of their limited resources. If that describes your church, then you want to adopt a social media strategy that’s both efficient and effective. Rather than trying to do everything, commit to doing a few things well.
Here are four tips to help you make the most of your church’s social media:
Make the Most of Your Church’s Social Media by Knowing Your Audience
To create an effective social media strategy, you need to know your audience. This includes both your current audience (who you’re reaching now) and your target audience (who you want to reach). Those may not be the same people. Data is key to knowing your audiences: their ages, where they live, where they work, and the social media platforms they use. Create audience personas (or avatars) to help you get to know both your current members and those you want to bring into your church. A report pulled from your church management software (ChMS) should be able to give you insights on the people you currently reach in your congregation.
Make the Most of Your Church’s Social Media by Knowing What to Say
Social media has changed the way people communicate. When you post on social media, keep in mind that people both in and out of your church can see the posts. You want to engage with them and create a sense of community. When someone comments on a post, comment back. Some of the kinds of posts you can create include the following:
- Promote an upcoming event
- Share a quote from Sunday’s sermon
- Share a Bible verse
- Ask for prayer requests
- Share book recommendations
- Share stories from volunteers
- Ask questions
- Share a testimony (with permission)
Make the Most of Your Church’s Social Media by Choosing a Platform
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the number of social media platforms available. A Pew Research Center survey shows that Facebook and YouTube are the top two platforms, while Twitter and Instagram are also popular. Ninety percent of millennials use social media, and knowing the platforms they use will help you know where to spend your efforts.
Make the Most of Your Church’s Social Media by Creating a Schedule
Coordinate your church calendar with your posting schedule. Make sure you post consistently. Experiment with different days and times to find out when your members are most likely to be online. If you are just getting started, try posting to Facebook two to four times per week and to Instagram once a week.
FellowshipOne church management software can help you gather the data you need to know about your members so you can effectively engage them on social media. With this information, you will know how they want to interact with you. Chances are good that your church already has a social media presence. Make the most of your social media presence by knowing your audience and your message, by choosing an appropriate platform, and creating a posting schedule. Your congregation trusts you, and by following you on social media, they are giving you permission to be part of their daily lives. Show them you value their trust by posting things that are relevant to them and then respond in a timely fashion. With a strong social media presence, your church is better prepared to impact your community and fulfill your mission in today’s world.