Social Media is no longer a fad but it is part of almost everyone’s life. According to a recent Sensis Social Media Report almost 8 in 10 people (79%) in Australia use social media. Out of those people, 59% of them access social media once a day or most days and 35% of them check it more than five times a day. The younger the person the more that they are on social media. You can see the breakdown in the graphic below.
As you can see social media is very important to our society in Australia so it is imperative that churches have a good presence on social media platforms. It is an easy way for you to engage the members of your church the other 5 to 6 days out of the week as well as reach out to those who are searching for a church. It is a wonderful opportunity to create avenues for you, and the members within your church, to share the Gospel.
Here are a few tips for you to use if your church already has a social media page on Facebook or Instagram.
Make your page more professional
This is very important because people are using your Facebook Page to find out more about your church. So make sure that all the relevant info about your church can be easily found on your page. You need to have your address, phone number, email address and website listed on your about page as well as all of your service times. My church includes our office hours as well as a brief description of our church.
I would encourage you to only use your church logo as your profile picture so it is easier for people to identify your church in their feed. Finally, make sure that your cover photo matches the dimensions that is suggested by Facebook. That way it will look good on desktops as well as mobile devices.
Post more personalised images
Earlier this year Facebook and Instagram made noise by changing their algorithms to prioritise images of people rather than images with words on them in regards to business Pages. This was designed to create a better sense of community on their platforms. The problem for churches is that we use a lot of images with words (ie announcements, scriptures, etc). You would have probably noticed a sharp drop in exposure for your announcements due to this change and if these are the only types of images that you post then not many people are seeing your Page’s posts.
One way to fix this is by posting more images of people within your church. The photos that my church posts from our services always reaches a much larger audience and exposes more people to the kind of experience they can expect at our church. We do post disclaimers within our church notifying attendees that they may be photographed and their continued presence in our services constitutes their permission.
So I definitely encourage that you organise someone to take photos of your services and celebrate ‘wins’ like baptisms, child dedications and special services with your online community.
Monitor your ‘Reach’ and consider boosting your posts
If you are the administrator of a business page on Facebook you will notice under each post there is a bar that tells you how many people your post reached.
This number can change based on a number of factors: your content, the time of the day you post, number of likes and shares etc. Keep an eye on the amount of people you are reaching with your posts and adjust accordingly – post at a different time or try to use better content. You may even want to consider ‘boosting’ your post.
What does it mean to ‘boost’ your post? It is like purchasing an ad on social media so more people can see your posts. When you boost, you are able to choose the goal of the boost, add an action button, choose the audience of the boost (people who already like your page, people who like your page and their friends, people in your local area or people you choose through targeting) and how much you want to spend (Facebook gives you a range of the amount of people you may reach based on how much you send on the boost or how long your campaign is). Here is what it looks like:
I tend to only boost posts to the people who have already liked my church’s page unless we have a special event coming up that we are wanting to promote to our local community. We always keep the budget quite small (I’m talking less than $10).
These are just a few tips that I hope you find helpful. Please feel free to comment below if you have any questions. I pray this post helps you and your church reach more people for Jesus!