By Jonathan Howe
Your church is likely entering a busy season. School has started. Members are in a routine again after the summer. Fall festivals details are being finalized. And Christmas season plans are being made.
The abundance of events and outreach opportunities churches have planned for this time of year make for great promotion on Facebook. If your church is not using Facebook to advertise church-wide events, make this fall the time you start.
Facebook is the most effective platform for your church to use to promote itself—if you use it wisely. These ten tips will help you do so.
- Use good graphics. Whether you boost or promote a post or just ask your members to share it, your graphics need to be good. Make the investment to get a professional or someone well versed in design to help with your graphics. Using a bad graphic for promotion is like pouring your money down a drain. No matter how much you spend, your promotion won’t be effective if you’re using bad graphics.
- Vary your post types. Don’t use just images or just events or just video. Facebook rewards varied post types, so try to use as many types as you can.
- Create audiences to target. If you’re going to run ads or boost posts, be sure to set up audiences in your advertising account. The more targeted you can get the audiences to your location and intended demographics, the better. Use zip codes or radius sizes for geographical targeting. Use age and gender attributes along with interests for demographic targeting.
- Use Facebook Live. Live video doesn’t always mean your reach will be instantaneous, but the video will get significant reach over the course of 7-10 days. The key is to use Facebook Live to give details and create excitement about an upcoming event. If you do this well, your video will get shared even more and the reach will grow organically.
- Create shareable content. The easiest way to maximize your Facebook promotion is by creating content people want to share. The more they share it with their friends, the less you have to spend to get the word out.
- Ask members to share content on Facebook. This relates to the previous point. If you’re creating good content that’s shareable, don’t feel ashamed about asking members to share it on Facebook. You don’t have an issue with encouraging them to invite friends personally, why should you have an issue with encouraging members to invite friends digitally.
- Put some money behind your promotion. $100 for an event can go a long way with the right audience targeting. Nearly always, you can spend a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising and get better results on Facebook.
- Advertise over time. It’s better to stretch your advertising over two weeks rather than two days. Repetition helps with any kind of advertising. So having a longer timeframe for your content to show up in newsfeeds helps.
- Watch your ads and boosted posts. You’re likely to receive a question or comment on your ad or promoted post. It’s easy to forget that post is still getting eyeballs after a day or so. Be sure to watch the post and respond when needed.
- Don’t expect automatic and overwhelming results. Just because you’re promoting on Facebook doesn’t mean you’ll be overrun with guests and new attendees at your church. However, I’d be surprised if you don’t see at least some noticeable results.
Does your church advertise on Facebook? Have you seen good results from your Facebook promotions?
My church paid $20 to promote our Easter services last year using a simple video made on an iPhone and edited through iMovie, and we had about four new families come because of that alone, and one couple is joining our church now.
Facebook is I think the most direct way to spread the word about events through our Christian community throughout our city, but also to reach new people and especially friends of people at our church. My goal is to get church members sharing events or classes or groups and saying: I am going to be there, come join me. Seems much, much more effective to me than a flyer in a mailbox or a poster at a coffee shop.
Perfect examples. Thanks.
As a Social Media manager for ministry and small businesses, add two more: Create events for select church activities and make sure that video is a top priority, whether it is live or short (under 1 minute) videos reflecting people, staff, fellowship, worship, etc.. Facebook’s algorithm will organically boost these more than any other posts at this time. You can amplify engagement even more by boosting with even a few advertising dollars.
I agree completely.
This is great stuff. Facebook is an amazing resource. Even though Facebook is requiring paid ads over organic growth is still far more reasonable for what you get than anything we had before.
We did a $120 Facebook campaign for our Easter service this year. We were a church of about 120 people and we only had 2 families visit because of our ad. We were quite sad about this result.
However, over the next month or two, we have 5-15 new first time visitors every week. Almost all of them had seen our ad and decided to check us out after Easter. 6 months later we are a church of 170 people.
Our ad didn’t fulfill its initial purpose, but the boost in online visibility ended up being just as, if not more valuable.