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How To Use Social Media For Churches

How To Use Social Media For Churches

Is your church on social media?  Part Two (find part one here)

Your church may already have a social media presence, but is it enough? How can a church reach those in need, their local community, or their own congregation?

It’s not possible to reach every single person you hope to, however using social media gives you a better chance in reaching more people than you could offline. Social media gives a church more opportunity to reach its members, the people in their community and those searching for more to life. It’s a way to engage directly with these people in a manner that they’re comfortable with, where they are and in their own time.

Social media for churches can mean becoming known in the local area, and becoming a place that people are talking about… “Hey what’s going on at XXX church?” are the types of conversations that could start from posting on social.

Just watch any group of people, young and old – many are spending their time looking at their phones or mobile devices. The majority will be on Facebook or searching the web for information. They are searching for something significant. Something that gives them substance and a meaning. If a church can get in front of them in their place of ‘go-to’, it can be a step towards growing the church and seeing lives changed.

How can a church use social media to engage and reach the community?

Where do you start?

Not all churches have the resources to be on every social platform that’s out there. In fact, unless you’ve got a dedicated marketing team that has time to do social, it can be hard for any organisation to spread themselves over all the social media channels. But for churches, as we mentioned in our previous post, social media is often the first thing to be dropped when there’s not enough time in the day. Therefore, it’s good to establish what platforms would work for your church, establishing where people are hanging out, and then focusing on these platforms to grow an effective community.

This could be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube … the choice depends on where your church audience is most likely to be. Then when you’ve established what channels will work best, use the strengths that lie within your church team. Are they creative? Are they good at photography? Do they enjoy writing?

Each is a specialty for a social media platform. Use your teams strengths to build a profile and start engaging with your audience.

 

Start engaging

Once you’ve chosen which platforms to use, it’s important to be active on them. Most churches will have a Facebook page however it doesn’t look good for anyone searching for local churches to land on your page and find that the last post went up over a month ago. In today’s society, people are on social and that’s where they expect to communicate. That may be through an image, a blog post, a quote or bible verse – but they want to see engagement on social media and if it’s not there, they will move on quickly.

There is so much content online that it’s easy for someone in one swipe to be on another church Facebook page, instead of yours. If you’re not familiar with how social works or have tried to stay away from it as much as possible, it’s not time for that to change – or to find someone that can do it for you! It’s important to meet the people where they are.

Churches are not called to sit inside and keep riches for themselves – no, they are called to go and make disciples of all men (and women!). Therefore, it’s time to use social media to spread the gospel, to invite others to Sunday services and midweek meetings, it’s time to bring the children into Sunday school and to youth groups and whatever else you have going on in the church throughout the week.

use social media to grow your church and to spread the gospel

Talk to people through the church pages and posts, create posts that ask questions or invite comments or feedback. Be proactive in your approach for every post that is delivered. And more importantly, when people do react, take time to respond to each individual – show love, care and attention. If you’re not sure on what type of content to post, try looking a few other church social profiles. You’ll get an idea of whey content people are engaging with, what works well for a church and how you can adapt their ideas to help you grow your audience.

 

Don’t wait until it’s too late

The church needs to grow. There are people everywhere we go who haven’t heard the good news so it’s your time to make a difference and to show that there is more to life. Your church could be in front of those people on a daily basis if social is handled correctly. You could provide the answer to their problems, if you are there to listen. By being active on social media on a daily basis, you can give hope to a searching crowd. Nothing will kill your online presence more than an inactive social media account. Set up, engage and be proactive – and keep going with it.

Reach our to your community with social media. How can churches use social media effectively?

It’s a lifeline

Social media is a lifeline to your community and one that needs to be used and exercised if you want your church to thrive and to grow. It’s not about conforming to the ways of the world but it’s about being diverse in the ways that you reach out. Promoting events and showcasing news about the life of the church only enhances your presence and draws people to a place that’s active and on fire for God. Does your church have something to shout about? Do you want to be a lifeline to your neighbours? Use social media to communicate.

 

Get started with Facebook

Facebook is the place to start when it comes to social media for churches. It’s the most common, most expected and most sought out place for a church to be found, other than a website. If you’re not already on Facebook, this needs to be a priority. From there, a church and its leaders can engage with other church groups, which is a fantastic way to promote your own church page and get people engaging with your content. Facebook is a place where [most] people have a presence, so it’s a brilliant way to let your congregation know what’s on that week. It’s also somewhere to give study notes, to share a countdown to an event, to offer prayer, to give inspiration or motivation, and a place where people feel safe communicating.

 

People love visuals

young people love Instagram. How can you social media in your church to outreach While Facebook is the most popular platform for churches, Twitter is slower to catch on and only approximately 13% of churches are using Instagram but still highly effective for those who do use it [well]. However Instagram is popular place to be and especially for the young at heart. Do we want to see youngsters in our churches? They are not the church of tomorrow, they are the church of today and they need reaching as much as anyone else. Integrating an Instagram strategy into your church marketing could be a brave step to take but so worth it. Instagram users tend to be active on a daily basis. The engagement rate is high and relatively easy to maintain once you’ve set up. 65% of Instagram impression ads are video content, you can use that! Your pastor could do regular 1 minute snippets, the youth group could give matchstick testimonies, you could include a clip from Sunday services.. there are many possibilities and ways to get creative. From there you can promote charity events, mission news, your weekly church diary, bible verses and images from the life of the church. Instagram for churches is a positive step forward in reaching an audience right where they are.

 

Have a marketing strategy in place

As with anything you that effects other people, there needs to be a policy and your social media is no exception. Planning out a strategy of how to use social media effectively is a key to its success. By implementing the above points and using a designated person(s) to take care of your social, you’ll be able to see effective church growth and a channel for communication taking place. Take the time to understand what the different channels do and the value they can provide and establish which ones will work for your church. Not every church is the same, and not all platforms work for every church. Once you’ve started planning and putting those plans into action, ensure that you monitor the results and be sure that what you’re doing is worthwhile. The idea behind social media is to be social, is that what you’re achieving and if not, how can that change for the better?

For each channel you choose to work with, create a goal or purpose for using it and measure the results that come from it on a regular basis. It can be quite eye opening when you look into the analytics of a social media account to see what posts or content have the most engagement and what is attracting people to your profiles. Engagement is the key to growing an online presence. And finally, be sure to promote your online channels on any offline content; newsletters, notices, on the church notice board outside, flyers and event promotions – wherever you have a chance, share your profiles. You want your audience to engage with you, so they need to know where and how to find you online. Stay up to date with how to grow your business online and create brand awareness with the KJP Creative community newsletterThe most important step for any church using social media, is to not let it slip or fade away. Where there is a presence, it should be a good one. It’s better to have one or two profiles and do them extremely well, than to have six or seven and for them to not mean anything or provide value.

Use the people in your church who can do social media well, who understand its importance and who have a passion to see it used properly. If the task if given to someone who doesn’t enjoy it, the job will not be done to a high standard. As churches, we should be aiming for excellence, not ‘it will do’. God always gives you the best, He wants the best for all His children, and as a church we should be providing the same in terms of value to others.

 

If this has got you thinking about a social media strategy for your church but you’re not sure where to start, KJP Creative have a passion to work with churches and Christian organisations and would love to help. Get in touch to find out what we can do to get your church on the social media map. Blessings, Karen. PS. You can also grab our free downloadable 2020 social media awareness days calendar to help you get organised with social.

2020 awareness days calendar free download

6 Reasons Why Churches Should Use Social Media

6 Reasons Why Churches Should Use Social Media

Is your church on social media? Part One

If you want to reach more people, you have to be where the people are. Fact. That is relevant to businesses large and small as well as churches – of any shape and size.

Often the church gets left behind because it doesn’t see the need to be like other organisations or businesses, by being online or on social media, or even without a website in some cases, but in fact as society evolves and more people turn to technology, the church is left in an open space of not reaching out in effective ways to grow and build their church.

If you take some time to Google ‘why should churches use social media’, you will be bombarded with case studies and reasons as to why the church should be online. It may even be too much for you comprehend but in the society that we live in, it’s important to get a grasp and understanding of how important social media is to the life and community that our churches are within.

So why should a church be on social media?

Your church needs to be found

6 reasons why churches should be using social mediaWhen people are searching for a church, gone are the days where someone will look in the yellow pages or local newspaper to see what churches are in their area. A person is 95% more likely to turn on their computers or mobile device and Google ‘churches in my local area’. From that point on, it is down to what they can source online as to where they may end up on a Sunday morning.

They may find your church through the website listings, they may even find it through a relevant Facebook post, but a website and social media work together to build an online presence where the church is reachable and attractable to those they want to reach out to.

When planting a new church, a church needs to dedicate time to ensuring they can be found on the map. This means including SEO (search engine optimisation) into website copy, speaking the language of your audience and building an online foundation of what your church is about so people can experience before they try. (this is a whole topic on its own really, so feel free to get in touch to find out more about SEO for churches)

Social media and websites do not compete for attention, they work together to build a customer’s journey and experience and to build relationships.

When a church can be found online, it allows a person to experience what the church is about before they even decide to make a visit. The more they can find out online either through a website or a social media presence, the more they will know if it is a place they feel called to. Social media provides customer experience, a reason to want to find out more, and gives an open invitation to all those who are seeking.

Churches on social media can have influence

Putting time into building a social media strategy for your church is so worth its time. Often it’s the social media marketing that gets left behind when a church runs out of time, money or resources but how many more people could you reach if a strategy was laid out to specifically grow the church and target people in this way?

We are called to help and serve others, to influence and be salt and light – how can we do that if we’re not connecting with the world? How can we know what influences are attracting our young people, what issues are surrounding our community and what emotions people are feeling if we are not right there seeing it with them? It’s about supporting a hungry and hurting world in a place where they feel safe and secure. If people realise that there are churches there ready to help and get stuck in, they’re more likely to take a step of faith to come into the building on a Sunday (or any day of the week for that matter) and start connecting with you.

Church, be where the people are

People are on social media. You only have to walk past the bus stop, look in a coffee shop, stand in the university canteen to see that a large majority of people will have their heads down in their mobile devices or laptops. People are hungry for information, people are searching for answers. If the church can get out in front of those people and provide the answers to their questions and show care and attention to detail, they will respond. People are crying out for life support – and we as a church should be there, ready and willing to dive in and help. We can’t wait for people to walk through the church doors, we need to step out, be a beacon of light and invite them in. These invitations can come through the tactfulness of a social media post, a Facebook campaign or even network groups where relationships and trust can be built.

6 reasons why churches should be using social media - are you ready to have an impact on your community?

Social media can build relationships

Why are you on social media (personally)? It’s to connect with friends, to check in with family, to see the next job opening, to keep up with news. And the church can use this in just the same way to build the church and to reach their community.

A church Facebook page should automatically attract the members of that church, if the content from the page is engaging and fulfilling, it will encourage those users to share the posts. These posts will then be seen by the friends and family of the people sharing the content and before long you have a whole new audience who has the potential to see your posts. What can you post that will grab the attention of a non-believer? What content could you share that will spread the gospel? What images and videos can you post that will share the love of Christ throughout Facebook? If a social media plan is followed, a church can easily build up a stream of content that is there to build relationships with their whole community and way beyond.

Just like walking the local streets and leaflet dropping, a single Facebook post could have the same effect with more impact than that one leaflet. And it’s a lot easier for people to share that post with others than handing one leaflet around to friends. The potential in social media posting is incredible and the church can really get to know people, can start to communicate with individuals and help where they can through the various social media platforms.

6 reasons why churches should be using social media - are you ready to have an impact on your community?

First impressions count

We could emphasize the need for social media in churches all day but if accounts/profiles are not updated on a regular basis, it will not give a good impression to the people who stumble onto their page. Just like anything, social media needs to be a regular occurrence. It’s better to do something well than to do it badly. And this is the sad case with many social media accounts. Churches see a need to set up a Facebook page for example but then leave it idle for months on end, meaning that when people are searching for churches in their area or something for their youngsters to get involved in for example, the church looks disinterested, old and tired.

The same goes for a church website.

Whether it be a Facebook page or a website that a user finds themselves on – if it doesn’t look attractive or meet their needs, they will leave and search for something else. What could you be including that will meet a need?

We need to strive for excellence, we need to give people what they are searching for. Take pride in the appearance of presentation and your online presence. Be excellent in all that the church stands for.

Showcase your church’s vitality

Social media platforms are the perfect opportunity to showcase what your church is about. This is a place where people come expecting to see what is happening, what groups are on, what help they can get, what youth and children’s work is taking place. Social media is a place where you can get visual and creative, bringing your Sundays and mid-week meetings to life in front of thousands of people. With the use of Facebook, Live video, Instagram and other ‘visual’ platforms – how much more of the church can you share with others! You can reach people on a Sunday who simply can’t get out of the house. You can let the world know that you have a safe place where children can come and play, meet new friends and learn more about the love of Christ. Social media is supposed to be engaging and social! Use that opportunity with every ounce of passion you have to reach the lost and seek to see your communities changed.

Does your church offer free wifi? If so, you can encourage your attendees to share their experiences of your church whilst there! Church life in action, so to speak.

Stay up to date with how to grow your business online and create brand awareness with the KJP Creative community newsletterSocial media is no longer a fad, it’s here to stay and it’s only going to get bigger. Are you ready and prepared as a church to use social media to have an impact on your community? Are you ready and prepared to use social media to grow your church? Are you ready to step out and take action in order to reach those who need the church? Churches need to be doing all that they can to engage with the public online and in this way – your church needs to be accessible.

Here at KJP Creative we love to work with churches in order to see all the above taking place, and more! We have a heart to see souls set free and hearts won for Jesus, and we do this by working with churches to help to achieve this. If you’d like to work with a Christian social media agency, we’d love the opportunity to speak with you. Get in touch today!

online marketing for churches

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