Did you know that the average person in the US spends over two hours daily on social media? Social media can be an excellent tool for churches to reach out and keep members connected. But busy pastors and church leaders often forget about it or find it hard to use. If you want to boost your church’s presence on social media but aren’t sure how to begin, this article is here to guide you.
Social media is a powerful tool originally designed to keep friends and family connected. It wasn’t long before churches, businesses, and schools saw its potential.
Let’s explore why social media is so appealing for churches of various sizes and backgrounds:
Most platforms offer free services, perfect for churches. There are paid features available, but they’re optional.
Setting up a church account is easy. You can post images, announcements, and event details. Features like live streaming, Facebook groups, and video archiving are also popular.
With 82% of Americans on social media monthly, it’s a great way to connect with more people.
Think about this: Americans are on social media for over two hours daily, and 38% of Christians use it for their spiritual journey. It’s a real chance for churches to connect and grow spiritually with their community.
With a good plan for social media, your church can start meaningful conversations and even draw in new faces to your congregation.
Using social media seems almost perfect for reaching and engaging with people. But remember, billions of people with diverse beliefs and backgrounds use these platforms; not all may align with your church’s views.
For example, non-denominational churches can use social media to emphasize their inclusive and diverse community approach. These churches can appeal to a broader audience looking for a modern, open church experience by posting about events and services highlighting their welcoming ethos. This approach showcases their commitment to a welcoming environment, effectively communicating their unique perspective to a broader audience.
Picking Social Media for Your Church
Start simple. If handling many social media platforms feels too much, begin with just a few. Facebook and Instagram are great starting points because they’re easy to use and have many users. You don’t need to worry about platforms like Pinterest right away.
If your church makes good videos or records sermons, try YouTube. It’s user-friendly and can help people find your church online. Think about Twitter if you can respond quickly to people’s comments. LinkedIn can be good for finding people who want to work with your church. Remember, starting small and growing your social media presence over time is okay.
Figuring Out the Best Times to Post
It might feel like a bit of a guessing game to work out how often your church should post on social media. The thing with platforms like Facebook and Instagram is that they like it when people interact with your posts. So, if you’re posting a lot but not many folks are liking or commenting, you might not show up in feeds as much. That’s why it’s good to focus on stuff that gets people talking or sharing. A good starting point? Try posting a couple of times a week on Facebook and Instagram. For Stories and other quick updates, you can be more frequent, even every day. Twitter’s a bit different – a few tweets each day should do the trick.
YouTube videos don’t need to be as regular; once a week or every other week is fine.
HubSpot did some research and found that posting on weekdays, especially early in the week and around lunchtime, seems to work best. Sunday is usually a quiet day on social media. So, maybe aim for:
- Facebook and Twitter: Around noon, Monday to Wednesday.
- Instagram: Lunchtimes are good, Monday to Friday.
But hey, these are just pointers. The best way to figure it out is to give it a try and see what works for your church’s audience.
Deciding What Your Church Should Post
So, what should your church be sharing on social media? Think about creating a mix that’s not just high-quality but also engaging, the kind of stuff that gets people hitting ‘like,’ dropping comments, and sharing with their friends. Instead of just throwing things out there, you want to have a game plan. Who are you trying to reach? What do you want to say? A content calendar can be a big help – it lets you map out your posts so they speak to what your church is all about.
Now, what to post where? Each platform has its vibe. Facebook is good for sharing articles, blog posts, and other stuff. But for Instagram or YouTube, you want to lean into the visuals. Here’s a little inspiration for you:
- Whip up some posts with Bible verses that really hit home.
- Ask for prayers or share prayer requests from others.
- Snap some photos or videos from your church services.
- Get personal – share stories from your congregation.
- Share clips from your worship services.
- Post happy snaps of your church making a difference in the community.
- Give a shout-out to different leaders in your church.
- Spread the word about special events and all the good stuff happening.
- Blog posts – either from your church blog or from thought leaders you respect.
- Book recommendations – everyone loves a good read.
The whole idea is to make your social media a reflection of what your church stands for and a place where your community can connect and share.
Know Your Social Media Followers
Keep your audience in mind with your church’s social media. Consider separate accounts for different groups, like a youth-focused Instagram or a Facebook page for singles. This helps you share more relevant content for each group, like worship music, on a dedicated YouTube channel. It’s all about connecting with each part of your church in a way that resonates with them.
Analyzing Your Church’s Social Media Impact
Instead of guessing what your followers like, use the analytics tools on social media platforms. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all provide insights into how your posts are doing. You can check likes, shares, views, and comments to see what’s working.
Let’s say an Instagram post got more engagement than usual. Dive into why that happened. Maybe it was a video when you usually post photos. That’s a hint to post more videos. Regularly check these analytics – a quick weekly review and a more detailed look monthly. This way, you can refine your social media strategy to engage your church community better.
Keeping Social Media Updated and Boosting Visibility
Make sure your church’s contact details are always up to date on social media. If someone wants to get in touch or learn more, they should find the correct information easily. This is really important, especially with any changes like COVID hours.
To reach more people, think about boosting your posts on Facebook and Instagram. It helps your church get seen by more people than just the usual followers, which is excellent for growing your social media impact.
Making the Most of Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to boost your church’s visibility online. They attract people interested in your topics, helping you reach new audiences. Mix popular hashtags for wider reach with niche ones for targeted visibility. Look at what effective churches and faith leaders use, aiming for about 10-12 relevant hashtags per post, and don’t forget to switch them up to stay fresh.
Remember, while social media is a handy tool for your church, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. The real magic of community-building happens face-to-face, within the walls of your church. Think of social media as the opening act, but the real show is the gatherings and connections you make in person at your church.