How To Create A Church Social Media Strategy
Trying to come up with a social media strategy that gets you the engagement you’re after? To be successful, your church can’t post at random. Churches with the most engagement rely upon a solid strategy guided by goals and informed by facts about their audience. In this guide, we’ll walk you step-by-step through the process of creating an impactful social media strategy for all of your platforms.
Get In The Right Mindset
As you go through this guide, you’ll notice that your strategy doesn’t start with a simple social media objective. Instead, it should begin with an overall goal that you want to achieve for your church, using social media in tandem with your other channels.
After all, social media will prove worthless to your church if you’re only ever chasing more followers or more likes. If that engagement doesn’t equate to higher attendance, more new attendees, or better volunteer and donation rates, what is it really doing for you?
So, as you go forward to create your social media strategy, keep all of these steps in mind. By first considering what you want to achieve as a church, you can then set specific objectives for your social media channels that support these goals.
#1 Create Goals
Before you spend a moment typing up a social post or asking yourself what platforms your church should be on, you need to sit down and consider what exactly you’re trying to achieve. After all, if your social media strategy isn’t built around specific goals, you’re never going to see the results you want to achieve.
Instead of saying, “Get more volunteers” or “Increase attendance,” you need to get specific. Your best move is to set SMART goals, those are: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Reasonable, and Time-Sensitive. You can transform a simple notion like “get more volunteers” into a SMART goal by adding some parameters, like: “Increase the number of members who volunteer to 25% in the next six months.”
Checking whether or not a goal is reasonable requires some basic math. For instance, if your church currently sees a volunteer rate where 15% of your congregants routinely volunteer and maybe 3% volunteer on occasion, achieving an increase to 25% in the next six months is entirely reasonable. After all, that represents just another 10 volunteers out of every 100 members, and 3 of those 10 are already volunteering sometimes.
#2 Align Your Goals
Once you define your goals, like increasing the volunteer rate to 25% overall, you should align these goals with the big-picture outlook of your church. Ultimately, it will take more than posting to social media to achieve your goals, so you need to make sure that your social media strategy is implemented in tandem with other efforts.
For example, increasing your volunteer rate will only happen if you also raise awareness of your events by other means. In addition to posting on social media, you’ll want to make volunteerism the subject of weekly sessions and feature it prominently throughout your church in handouts and on signs. Your upcoming blog posts should also align with this goal by talking about volunteering from a Biblical perspective and touching on the specific of how a member can make a difference by volunteering with your church.
#3 Set Objectives
Defining your goals helps you keep track of the “big picture” so that you know what impact you want social media to have for your church directly. However, reaching those goals with the help of social media requires you to set smaller objectives more directly tied to your social media performance.
Objectives should also follow the SMART framework. Examples include:
- “Gain 100 Twitter followers in the next 3 months.”
- “Boost Facebook engagement to 20% in the next 60 days.”
- “Increase click-through rates (CTR) to 10% in the next 45 days.”
By setting these objectives, you begin to break down your big goal into smaller, actionable steps that lead to the increased engagement and loyalty you need to spread the word about those bigger goals and, ultimately, reach them.
#4 Work Out The Details
Unfortunately, your church doesn’t have endless resources to work with, which is why you need to define:
- Your budget for social media management
- Who will implement the strategy
- The schedule for executing the strategy
By allocating your financial and human resources accordingly, you’ll be able to make the most of your efforts. When it comes to budgeting, consider the potential tools you might use to better manage your social media strategy (like Trello for communications or Canva for graphic design).
As you plan for your goals, you’ll also be planning to hit your objectives. For instance, your plan might look like this:
Measure the response of 2 tweets/day for the next 3 months, check weekly to see which day of the week gets the best response. Meanwhile, post daily on Facebook and see what types of posts get the most engagement. Test various event-sharing formats to see how to improve CTR for volunteer registration pages and event-related content.
Your plan truly doesn’t have to be any more complicated than the above. Just remember to keep your plan specific, measurable, and otherwise aligned with the SMART framework discussed previously.
#5 Measure Your Results Across Platforms
As you continue working towards your goals, tracking metrics will prove crucial to success. After all, if you set social media objectives and you aren’t regularly checking in with them, you will have no idea whether or not they’re actually supporting your church’s goals.
Sticking with the example of increasing your church’s volunteer rate, you won’t know what’s contributing to the increase if you’re not tracking metrics. It could be your new format on Facebook where you share insights from current volunteers, or it could be your daily tweets, some of which feature images of past volunteer events. Alternatively, it could just be because you’ve mentioned volunteering more often in your weekly sessions.
If you fail to track metrics, your strategy will fail, too. In order for your strategy to work, you have to measure progress towards meeting your objectives and overall goal so that you can improve upon what works and eliminate what doesn’t.
#6 Continue to Set Objectives
As you check objectives off your list on your way to meeting your goals, continue to set new ones that keep you on track to your bigger targets. Likewise, as you meet your goals, continue to challenge your church in new ways.
For instance, once that volunteer rate is up, consider pursuing a goal to increase member referrals to boost your rate of new and overall attendees. From there, you can pursue new goals, like a higher overall monthly donation amount.
While executing your strategy will take time, if you track the right metrics and everything is guided by SMART goals and objectives, you will be able to improve your social media presence while seeing actual, meaningful results in the process.
Grow Your Community Faster
Here at Donorwerx, we believe churches should approach social media in a manner that makes these channels work for them. If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to set specific, actionable adjectives that will actually make a difference for the big-picture of your church. Of course, it’s not something that happens overnight.
While implementing a social media strategy takes time, with the right tools, you’ll be able to track your metrics and make improvements every day to get even better results. If you’re interested in more resources, check out our library of helpful advice and articles to get you going.
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