This is part 2 of a two part article – click here to read part 1:
When you set out to create a social media strategy for your church, it’s easy to think too small. When you use social media personally, to share updates and photos with friends and family, you may not think of all the other ways these social sites can and are used by businesses and yes ministries to expand their reach, increase front-of-mind awareness and yes see more visitors.
With social media, the Church has an amazing opportunity to reach out to people in unprecedented ways – helping to share the Good News not just in our local communities, but all over the world. There’s a huge conversation happening digitally right now, and churches should be right in the middle of it!
The basics: Posts vs. Ads
If you have a Facebook or Instagram account, and you share a picture of that amazing plate of pasta you ate last night – that is a post. When you post something, you can specify who gets to see the post and most of the time it will be limited to online “friends”. Depending on your security settings, if you tagged your location or the person you ate with or the restaurant where you got the pasta, people who like and friend them will also see your post.
Likewise as a church with a social media account, when you share about your Easter services, the people who follow and like your church will see that post – which is good. That is also why it’s a good idea to ask your church members to share your posts on their social media accounts – it will help spread the word.
In fact, Facebook rewards you for posting on your site – the more your church posts conversation-starting, engaging things the more your church will show up in people’s feeds. That is why a daily automated Facebook posting service like Outreach Social is a great idea.
Social media ads are a form of advertisements that are displayed on the feeds of social media users. On Facebook they show in the feed with all the other posts by your friends but they say “sponsored”.
The great thing about social media ads is that people outside your digital church friends can see these ads. In fact, when you place a Facebook ad, you can even target specific geographic or demographic areas!
Should your church be using social media ads?
Yes, absolutely! If you want to reach people in your community, social media ads are the best way to do this. Ads are paid efforts that allow your church to take advantage of demographics, location, and interests to make sure that you’re talking to exactly who you want to reach!
For example, if you want to get the word out in your area that your church is having a marriage enrichment event, you probably don’t want to target people who are divorced, widowed, or unmarried. Social media ads allow you to only speak to people who might be interested in the event.
But wait- isn’t it expensive you might ask? Nope! The minimum you need to spend is $2 a day. Now, of course, it’s possible to spend more than that, because the higher the spend, the more people the social media ads can reach. Try and find a reasonable solution that’s within budget.
So how do you start using social media ads?
Setting up social media ads on Facebook is relatively complicated. New policies set up by Facebook recently force users to be verified by Facebook to run ads of a religious nature, and it can be a very long process to get verified. To get the most effective results without the hassle, use an experienced professional to create and manage the ads for your church.
One great resource is the new Outreach Everywhere service. We now offers social media ads for churches. We are authorized and verified by Facebook to use these tools and create targeted social media ads specifically for churches like yours!
Introducing Outreach Everywhere
Ads are a way for churches to cast a wider reach and more actively engage with the people they need to be talking to. It’s hands-down the most effective way to do digital ministry and get the word out about your church this Easter. The most powerful social media strategy is multi-channel (several methods) and multi-touch (number of times a person sees the ad).
With Outreach Everywhere, we’ve created a strategy that hits all of these points by integrating several social media channels, printed invitations and web content. This new service is designed to help your church’s messages and events be seen and heard!
What’s included with Outreach Everywhere?
Regardless of how effective and important social media ads are, the only method that remains 100% effective at reaching every home in your area is direct mail. Currently, only about 70% of people are on social media, and while that number is growing all the time, it’s doesn’t cover absolutely everyone. But everyone does have a mailbox and recent statistics show that even young people review and save mail they are interested in. Additionally, the invitation is lasting and can be checked multiple times in hard copy form instead of someone searching for a link.
Social Media Ads
This is the best way to reach a younger audience because social media is where they’re spending their time. It allows your church to talk to exactly who you need to be reaching, and it allows for detailed tracking so you can see just how effective your efforts are. Remember, people spend up to 2 hours a day on social media and it’s the main conversation platform. Churches need to be a part of that conversation.
How does it work?
With the two touch-points included in Outreach Everywhere (postcards & social ads), your church will be able to reach 5,000 or more people in your community three times each (That’s 15,000 views of your social media ads!).
About the same time your postcard mailing is arriving in homes, ten days prior to your church’s Easter celebration and service, the Outreach team will set up and run your social media ads to the same geographical area that your postcards were mailed to. The ads will run on Instagram and Facebook, even if your church does not currently have an Instagram page. The online ads will send people directly to your church website!
The best part? We do all the work for you! You don’t have to worry about anything – we will even send you some tips and tricks to make sure your website is optimized for your Easter outreach efforts. Plus when the ads conclude, Outreach will send you a report of the results! Click here to learn more and get started.
We hope these tips and tricks will help get you started crafting your very own social media strategy to be digital missionaries. It might seem intimidating at first, but a little bit goes a long way. We promise it will be 100% worthwhile! Wishing you and your community a very Happy Easter!