Why Social Media is Important:
We know that sites like Facebook have their downsides and some churches are reluctant to join social media. But we are called to “go unto all the world” and these days that means the digital world too. There may be no other mission field that needs the light and salt of the Gospel more than social media platforms. And the available audience is HUGE: Facebook has 2.4 billion active users, and more than half of them are active daily. If the church can use Social Media as a tool to invite people to a service or an event that gives them an opportunity to experience the love of Jesus, we can change their lives forever.
Take a Deeper Dive: Download the 2022 Social Media Guide – click here
Moving Beyond Posts
Social media has evolved considerably in the last few years – it’s no longer enough to have a social media page and post events and bible verses. Your church needs a social media strategy that includes reaching new people in your community and engaging and connecting with your congregation and other existing followers.
You’ll have a more effective social strategy if you use both paid ads and organic social media posts. Here are three reasons why paid and organic are better together.
1. Paid and organic social media target different goals
Although paid and organic content play different roles in a social strategy, they’re equally important.
Organic posts are the daily messages you post to your own page that church visitors, congregation and social “followers” will see. They help build your social presence, increase engagement with your church members and strengthen established relationships.
Paid ads, however, can help you reach new people who have never been inside your church or even just increase response rates on other marketing like direct mail invitations.
Both organic and paid ads contribute to your social goals in their own unique ways—so neglecting either would be a mistake.
2. Organic reach is getting harder
Organic reach is still important. Just because it’s more challenging to get new audiences doesn’t mean you should discount the power of social posts—a huge part of your overall social success will come from boosting your followers’ trust and engagement, so don’t neglect this channel!
Plus, posting regularly still makes a difference in your online visibility with your key audiences – which is why services like Outreach Social can be a huge time saver.
Outreach Social connects to your existing Facebook and Instagram accounts and provides you with professionally designed social graphics that you can schedule to automatically post to your page every day!
3. Social Ads Reach New People
If you want to reach a new, larger audience in your community, social advertising is a must.
Targeted Facebook Ads are images or videos that get shared from your church’s Facebook page that go straight to the specific groups of people that you want to reach!
Social ads are best used for inviting the surrounding community to come to your church for a special event, guest speaker, holiday services or to join in a community service effort. Facebook Ads are an effective (and surprisingly inexpensive) way to reach people right where they are and invite them to church!
Facebook ads can also help raise awareness of your church in the community. This can be a huge benefit to a new church launch or a church that has moved or is rebranding under a new name.
Running a social ad for your church can seem a little complicated and you want to make sure the ad you run is going to be effective. If you don’t have someone on your ministry team who is familiar with FB ad services, then it’s probably best to call in the professionals.
Outreach.com offers a variety of social ad graphics designed just for churches and ministries. The specialists at Outreach can help you analyze your community, choose the most effective ad graphics, and get those graphics in front of a specific geographic area around your church so you can attract guests you’ve never reached before and invite them to your services!
Social Media Pairs Well With Other Outreach Efforts
As the saying goes, you really shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to how you reach your community, increase engagement and build awareness for your ministry. Social media posts and ads are not a comprehensive solution to reaching out. But they are a great compliment to other efforts your church should be making, including personal evangelism and community outreach efforts like direct mail.
The power of social is that it plays well with others, providing you increased visibility through multiple-touch marketing efforts. Many of the people in your community are on social media and will see your ads and maybe even your organic posts, if you pair those social touches with a mailed invitation to the same event then you’ve doubled your impressions and provided a physical reminder of your digital ad. Then when your neighbors cruise by your church, a coordinated outdoor banner will help them connect the ad, invite and church building together! Pow – suddenly your church is “everywhere”!
Now it may not be exactly that easy, especially the first time out of the gate, there are thousands of distractions on social media and mailboxes fill up with political and business ads, so it may take more than one try to really see increased traffic online or in person, but with consistent messages across multiple platforms and channels, your church will begin to see increased visibility and more visitors.
All in all, paid and organic social campaigns do complement each other and other marketing efforts to drive results, so ignoring social media or lacking a strategy is a risk in today’s culture. But with a little effort and some help from professionals, you’ll be able to make great strides.