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7 Tips for Successful Social Media Outreach for Churches

successful social media outreach for churches

7 Tips for Church Social Media Outreach

Getting the word out about events, services and missions can be difficult. Your communications committee may be clever, but the physical church sign out front can only reach so many people. For many churches today, social media outreach is an answer to this challenge. Get some tips for maximizing your church’s social media connections below.

Feel like your team is ready to launch a church outreach ministry? Find out what you should consider as you do so.

1. Choose the Right Social Media Platforms

While top contenders like Facebook and Instagram are most talked about, there are dozens of social media platforms. In fact, YouTube is one of the top three social media platforms in the United States, and many people don’t think of it as a social media site at all.

Churches don’t have the resources or need to connect on every social platform available, though. Choose two to three by asking yourself (and your congregation):

  • What platforms do your members and overall audience use most?
  • Which platforms your leadership and marketing committees are most comfortable using?
  • What platforms work best with your style of messaging?

2. Set Specific Goals for Church Social Media Outreach

Decide exactly why you’re using social media as a church. Is it to bring in more members? Provide a place to communicate with existing members? Do you want to use it as a platform to widen your evangelical capabilities?

Most churches can narrow it down to a few main goals. Doing so helps you understand what kind of content to create.

3. Create a Content Calendar

Once you have a couple of goals, come up with five to six categories of content that serve one or all of the goals. One or two of them should be “sales” categories, such as “invitations to join” and “calls for donations.”

Here’s an example of five categories for a hypothetical church that wants to use social to share Jesus, bring in membership and develop donors:

  • Educational posts about Biblical matters
  • Inspirational faith posts
  • Funny or interesting posts about Christian life
  • Invitations to join (sharing events, sermon titles and reminders of when services are)
  • Developing donors with posts about missions and needs

Start brainstorming content within your categories. Create a calendar and schedule content ahead of time using tools like Hootsuite, but be realistic in how often you can post.

Consistency is important to online marketing efforts. It’s almost always better to post consistently once per week than to aim for posting daily and end up posting erratically.

4. Include Images and Media in Your Posts

On average, Facebook posts with images can get up to 2.3 times more engagement than text-only status updates. Images and video can also increase engagement on Twitter.

If you’re using photographs of events or members, make sure you get permission to do so. Consider having a written permission form people can sign.

Social media isn’t the only way to connect with online audiences. Discover some benefits of church or pastor blogs.

5. Don’t Fall Into the Vanity Metrics Trap

Likes, shares and comments are important on social media because they demonstrate engagement. But they aren’t the most important metric. Click-throughs and conversions are much more important.

Vanity metrics such as likes and shares can also lead you astray. Striving always to post what gets the most likes is catering to popularity and the world, which is obviously not a Biblical method of social media outreach.

Instead, ensure the church outreach or leadership teams are following the leading of the Spirit and the Bible when managing social media outreach.

6. Schedule Posts at the Right Time for Your Audience

According to Sprout Social, the best times to post on Facebook to ensure higher engagement rates are on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The best time to post on Instagram, says the social media news site, is Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or any day Monday through Friday around 11 a.m.

On Twitter, engagement is highest on average for posts published Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or Tuesday or Thursday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Sprout Social is quick to point out that these times aren’t the best for every organization. It depends on your audience and when they’re most likely to check into social media.

Churches should test posts at different times to find what works best for them. Consider starting with the average best times above.

7. Use Compelling Calls to Action

Don’t be coy or confusing when making posts that are meant to invite participation or develop donors. A call to action (or CTA) should concisely tell people what you need or want from them and how they can do it.

For example, consider how the following CTA is welcoming and informative. It answers some common questions and tells people exactly where and when to be. “Join us in worshipping via music this Friday. No need to dress to impress; it’s a casual event that starts in the fellowship hall at First Church on Main at 5:00 p.m.”

Why DonorWerx?

We have the tools to help make your outreach programs more successful. That includes online coaching and leadership development resources as well as donor software.

Donor development and successful outreach often go hand-in-hand. Find out more about our services and Get started.

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