By Jonathan Howe
It’s November, so it’s time to talk about Christmas—at least that’s what my kids tell me. And with Christmas Eve falling on a Sunday, we’ll have more discussion later about what services and activities churches are planning for this year. But for now, let’s talk about Facebook, Christmas, and your church.
Facebook advertising is the most effective way of getting the word out about your church’s Christmas programming and services. Every church should be using Facebook in some way to promote their services to those in the community. Here are six essentials for doing so:
- Target your audience. If you’re going to spend money to reach people, you want to target a specific group as much as possible. Facebook’s ability to target boosted posts or ads to specific zip codes is the best way to reach those in your community with messages from your church.
- Use high quality graphics. While advertising will increase your paid reach, your organic (unpaid) reach will greatly increase when you use attractive graphics. Don’t use clip art. If you can’t afford a designer, simply use Christmas templates from Canva or a template from your Christmas cantata publisher if they provide one.
- Create Facebook events for your major events. By creating an event for special events during the Christmas season, you can remind those who like your page about the event. You can also share relevant details and answer any questions someone may have about the event.
- Encourage members to invite guests. Personal invitations are still the most effective way to get guests to come to your church. Ask your members to share with their friends the Christmas-related events or graphics you’ve already created.
- Change your header and avatar. This is a subtle, yet effective tactic that can lead to more engagement with your page online. People notice when an avatar changes. If possible, use your Christmas graphic. If not, maybe a Christmas-themed church logo. Be creative.
- Focus your advertising on one or two things. Other than focusing on your audience, focusing on your main event is the most important thing. You don’t have to put money toward promoting every activity if you can’t afford it. But pick the one major event you really want to emphasize (likely your Christmas Eve service or major Christmas program) and put your resources toward that. If you have the budget to do more, great. But if not, focus your advertising money on one thing rather than many. It is better to spend $100 boosting a post for one event than $20 on five different events.
What is your church planning for Christmas? Do you have a budget to advertise on Facebook?