Note: the following is a sponsored post. Occasionally, I take these, but will always note when they’re sponsored.
Social media is undoubtedly one of the best platforms to grow your outreach across the internet. Beyond just being used for businesses, it is now even being used by churches to increase the number of followers and propagate their messaging. Yes, social media can serve as a handy tool for your church, provided you use it well enough. These platforms not only give you exposure to a larger audience but also enable you to consolidate long term relationships with them. But this is possible only if you have a tangible strategy in place and follow it stringently. Here are some tips that can help you leverage social media for your church.
Start by creating goals
No strategy can be a success unless it has well-defined goals because this is where you intend to reach by implementing the strategy. The first thing you need to do is, therefore, establish your objective, both short term, and long term. Furthermore, your goals should be aligned with the overall vision of the church. They should be realistic as well. Go for specifics such as increasing your congregation size by 30% at the end of the quarter rather than being generalized such as growing the online audience. Specific goals are easy to track and measure, which automatically enhances the efficacy of your strategy.
Build a clear strategy
Once you define the goals, the next step would be to build a strategy that aims to achieve these goals while sticking to specific timelines. Strategy essentially includes critical elements such as individual tactics for achieving each goal, the budget of the campaign, schedules and deadlines, a team that looks after the job and tasks assigned to each of the team members. A strategy need not be an elaborate one; rather it has to include actionable steps that aim to achieve individual goals within deadlines.
Know the target audience and platforms
One of the most critical aspects of working on your social media presence is to know the audience you are targeting. The idea is to present your church in a way they would want to see and at the platforms that they are more likely to access. For example, a fairly young follower group is best targeted via Instagram while Facebook is a better choice for middle-aged audience, specifically females. Similarly, the choice of worship backgrounds is also influenced by the target audience. Look for ones that are impactful enough to strike a chord with the audience and also enhance the visual appeal of your social post.
Develop a schedule
Once you are sorted out with the identification of your target audience and platforms, the next step would be to develop a schedule. Essentially, this will be your social media calendar that lays out the frequency and timing of your posts across diverse platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. The best approach would be to keep the interest of the audience with compelling posts at optimal intervals rather than going over the top. Over-sharing is absolutely not recommended as it can actually have a bad impact on your campaign.
Know what (and what not) to share
Now it all boils down to what you share in your social posts. To start with, you need to come up with captivating ideas for your social posts, ones that truly hit with the followers visually and textually. A daily scripture is something that every church must do. Further, you can share photos and videos from an event or gathering that you would want to highlight. You can share a link to a resource, perhaps a sermon, book or devotional. It is a good idea to gather user-generated content such as a small video or text piece from your followers and share them on social media for better credibility and engagement. On the other hand, avoid sharing controversial statements and anything that promotes individuals or their opinions.
Evaluate your strategy
While creating a roadmap and following it for implementing your social strategy is important, you also need to evaluate it from time to time. This is important to understand the effectiveness of your strategy and identify the gaps so that you can address them for improvements. Assess whether you are reaching the right audience, the posts effective enough, you use the right channels and your ad budget is being used responsibly. Additionally, be ready to tweak your strategy at any point in time because something that works today may not give you the desired results in the future.
Establishing a social presence for your church is critical to its physical presence because it actually boosts your following and strengthens the core. The best way to do so is by collaborating with professionals who have the right skills and experience in this domain.