We live in a world that changes quickly and without warning. That’s why it’s so important to reach people where they are, to be present in the middle of their everyday lives.
We believe having an effective social media strategy is a game-changer for your church. Today, we’ll be discussing 9 tips for connecting more effectively with your people online.
How often do you check the pages, groups, and people you follow online? Chances are, you check those almost every day. Why? Because it’s a habit.
Here’s the million-dollar question: How did your social media interactions become a habit? In short, it’s because the people who ran those pages, profiles, or groups were intentional about creating content that added value to your life. So plan a weekly schedule to keep yourself consistent. If someone starts coming to your church’s Facebook group every day, it will become a habit, and habits are powerful tools for life change.
What does this look like? Some churches will create a theme for each day of their content. For example, Monday equals a Sunday recap. Then, you hit midweek & promote small groups and begin posting clips of the message. Social media is an opportunity to reinforce what you’re learning and promote what you want to encourage.
As you get to Friday & Saturday, start doing a weekend push. Showcase the worship service, what people can expect, through a benefit lends. “Join us for a service of hope” “Tired lately? Join us for service and be refreshed.” Make it about the viewer’s benefit, not about what you’re doing or that you want them to come to church.
While you might have a similar focus during different parts of the week, that doesn’t mean every post has to be a repeat of the previous week’s. For example, when you’re talking about small groups, you can say a variety of things, like:
When it’s time to promote a new sermon series, remember that people don’t care about what your sermon series is called. Instead, explain what it means for their lives. Create some tension around your topic so that they want to learn and grow in that area. Don’t be vague- unless something about the topic connects for people, they won’t get excited about it.
How do you interact with your congregation online? Two words: ask questions! Don’t just post service times on your social media, try to ask questions that get answers from your people. Here are some great examples of questions designed to get your congregation talking:
You want to ask questions that start with what, where, or who. Don’t ask questions that start with How or Why, because those types of questions require a more thoughtful and longer response, and people aren’t going to engage with that as readily on a social media post.
Here’s another tip: craft your questions in a way that makes other people want to see the responses. “What’s the best devotional book you’ve read?” and “ What’s your favorite worship song?” are great examples of this. Even if people aren’t contributing to the discussion, they’re still going to want to read the responses to get some ideas of what’s popular.
This is pretty simple: use Canva or similar software to post a Bible verse on a pretty background. If you’re posting the quote to Instagram or Facebook, help people use “collections” or “saved posts” to add to memorization collections so that they can refer back to the verse and commit it to memory. This goes a lot deeper than simply encouraging them to repost or talk about it in the comments.
The easiest way to do this is to record your sermon and post that as a podcast. This makes your sermon content more searchable & shareable for your people- but you don’t have to stop there! Create a podcast that dives deeper into the message. After all, you never say everything you want to say about a particular passage or idea. Use the podcast as an opportunity to do a follow-up, “coffee with the pastor”-style expansion on the past Sunday’s sermon. This will help people connect with you on a deeper, more personal level. That, in turn, increases the influence of your message throughout the week.
For more information on creating a podcast, see our post/episode on church podcast ideas.
You can do this on Youtube and post shorter clips on Instagram.
Pulling in your worship team is a great way to diversify your content because people connect with music on a deep level. If it’s hard to film a compelling video during service, have a worship leader record themselves with a small team or sit by themselves and play in a more intimate setting. Don’t be afraid to try something different- you can still do this if you’re a smaller church! In fact, it’s better if you DON’T record wide-angle, onstage shots, because those feel a lot more sterile than close-ups of specific musicians. Make it feel like content that belongs on Youtube.
If you’re not sure what your worship team can play online, they can perform covers or original songs. Do your research and utilize permissions from your streaming licenses so that your content doesn’t get flagged by the platform.
People are more likely to trust a person than an organization. This means that the barrier of entry is a lot lower if you choose to connect with people through a person. If you’re a pastor and don’t have time to manage your own accounts, you can have your team post for you- with your approval, of course!
This is one of the greatest ways to extend your influence this year! Nona Jones, head of faith partnerships at Facebook has said that, besides close friends and family, Facebook Groups are the second most powerful thing in the algorithm. So, if your church creates a group, it will be really helpful for you to grow your audience and influence.
If you’re wondering what to post in your group, theme out the days as we discussed. You can have someone oversee the group as moderator, creating conversation and asking questions. There are a lot of creative things you can do inside a private group that you wouldn’t normally do on a church website, too, so it’s great for creating community.