Nothing is more frustrating than not knowing what’s happening. In our churches, we’re good at putting events in our online calendar or in our weekly bulletin, but we are not so great at utilizing one media source that is better than the previous two. That area is Social Media.
As the media pastor at Life Church, I used to think that our online calendar and bulletin insert were the first things people went to for information regarding upcoming events. Boy have things changed in recent years. Today, our weekly bulletin only includes what happens on a weekly basis as does our calendar. The funny thing, a lot of people have no clue as to what’s happening at church.
I want to give you seven ways we can utilize social media to make our events memorable and something that people will want to attend.
1. Create a highlight post of a past event:
People like to see their own pictures. This is something that I’m getting better at. I normally don’t like to broadcast people’s images, but in today’s society they are looking for ways to see if they matter. One way we can help people feel they are part of a community is to include them in our social media channels. So, post images of a past event to say, “See what you missed?
2. Create memorable quotes or testimonials:
This is something that people will want to share with all their friends. The great part, if they hit the retweet button or the share button, it automatically links to your brand/church. This is powerful. We want more people to find out about our services and offerings, and what better way than to create an image that convey’s a thought.
3. Utilize the power of hashtags:
What is a hashtag? In our recent sermon series for Easter, at Life Church we used #everythingchangesseries. You want to use this as a branding for your events. This will cause recognition and when your church members begin to utilize that in their own posts, you’ve really begun creating an online community. Make sure you find a hashtag that has not been used before, and use it on all social media channels.
4. Create sermon quote images:
I love doing this. While the pastor is preaching, I’ll snap a picture. Take it into an Instagram editing program, I use BeFunky for Android, and edit the image with a powerful quote from the sermon. I then upload the image to our social media sites. Make sure you add the quote in the text area and then use your cool hashtag to brand it with your series.
5. Use your church podcast to advertise your events:
Now, I get that not all churches utilize iTunes for their podcast – I highly recommend that – however make your podcast memorable by including a short promo for an upcoming event. Most podcasts will have just the sermon, but maybe spice it up with something unique and different. Make it memorable.
6. Give them something cool to share:
We all have cool graphics we upload for our new sermon series. Give your community a chance to share those same photos on their social media channels. Take your sermon image, add a hashtag, then ask each person to share it on their cover photo or even as their own profile image. It will sure cause some to sit up and notice that several of their friends have the same profile image. They may even ask, “What church do you go to?” Now you can invite them to join you for a service.
7. Utilize the awesomeness of Facebook Ads:
Every church has budget constraints, I get that. But what would you say if you could reach several thousand people with your church message? It doesn’t cost much. You can spend as little as $5 for five days. That $5 will potentially reach over 2,000 people with your message. Take a special Sunday you have coming up and pay for an ad – see how it goes – you just never know.
If you do these seven things, you are sure to be set-up for success in your ministries. Give them a try, I guarantee they will work.