One of the reasons (if not THE reason) that Social Media is so popular and engrained in our culture is that humans have a need for interaction, engagement and relationship, and too often I hear of social media managers at churches saying “I just want to use my page / account / channel to let people know what’s going on” – basically, they’re saying “I want to broadcast”.
Here’s a timeline I see over and over:
Broadcast information about an event > Pay to Boost the broadcast post > No guests show up, just our members > Paying was a waste of money > Broadcast information about next event
But what if we created a social media model centered around relationships. There are 2 types of relationships that we can leverage: Existing and potential.
Outside of Social Media, there are these real life people (I know, sometimes hard to wrap your mind around) who have real-life friendships. I’m not knocking friends who have met on Facebook, but there are relationships and connections that you have with people all around you that happened outside of social media and are strengthened through that connection.
Give you current people the tools to invite their friends, family, co-workers or neighbors on Social Media. Here are some ideas:
- For Easter or Christmas, usually 3 weeks ahead, we send out an email blast to all of our members with 5 or 6 images that act as invites to our Easter weekend or Christmas Eve services. They are worded to be coming from the person that posts them, not our church, like ‘Would you join me at Easter?’ or ‘My family would love to celebrate Easter with you!’ or ‘Send me a private message, and I’ll save a seat for you.’ This gives our people an easy image to share that has all of the elevate details. Some people will post to Facebook, twitter or instagram and others will send them as a text message or in an email.
- We create images that say something about being welcome at Life Church. Often “It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, you’re welcome at Life Church.” When people share them to their personal profiles for their friends, it’s so open ended that it often start discussions for them, either publicly or privately and sometime IRL (…in real life…).
Create ads or event-based posts to be focussed on the opportunity to build relationships. Even in our connected, digital culture, there are lots of people who are lonely, and looking for people to build friendships with. When creating content for the purpose of promoting the opportunity to build relationships, give clear details and a simple way to respond.
- Love riding your motorcycle? We’re riding on Saturday morning at 8am leaving from Life Church.
- Moms: If your infant was choking would you know what to do? Learn with other moms at our CPR class Thursday, 10am at Life Church.
- COFFEE SHOP GRAND OPENING: Bring this coupon for a free coffee! (have people from your church hanging out at your new coffee shop to talk with people in line or sitting in the seats and introduce themselves, etc.)
Using Facebook targeting, you can target people in certain geographic areas, with certain interests, age groups and relationship statuses (ie. married, single engaged) and this is the best way to narrow down your audience to someone who may connect with what you’re offering. (Click here for more about that…)
Outside of ads, use Social to connect with other organizations and businesses to spread your awareness:
- Thanks to XYZ restaurant for catering staff lunch today!
- These guys are fast! Our Air Conditioning wasn’t working this morning at Church and they had to fixed before service started. THANK YOU!
- Share or RT or Like posts about other events in your community – maybe from other non-profits or worthy causes promoted by businesses – to get exposure for your church.
Here is a Facebook live video I did on our Church Marketing Ideas Facebook group
I would love to hear what’s worked for you to attract new guests with Social Media.