How can a church or ministry use social media more effectively? Below are 7 ideas that may help churches use their social media to better serve the needs of their church. Some of them require a little bit of planning but combined they can provide a powerful way for the church to better utilize social media in its outreach effort.
1. Use social media to help your church fulfill the Great commission
Christ charged Christians to be “fishers of men” and he didn’t limit their range - he talked about going to the “four corners of the earth”. Social media is an outstanding means of doing just that.
2. Treat social media as you would a church mission
If a church does missions, treating social media as a mission has huge benefits. One is cost. The costs associated with a physical mission, whether local or international impact the church budget. A church's social media effort can be a continuous mission that is local, national and even international. Two: manpower. A social media mission requires minimal manpower for a virtually continuous mission. Three: Continuity of effort. Many missions are very successful when in progress but soon lapse when the missionaries go home. That isn’t the case with a social media mission. It is a mission that is operational every day of the year.
3. Use social media to address both church members and the unchurched
Most churches tend to use their social media as an inward looking bulletin board system where they keep current church members apprised of what’s going on in the church and any future events. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that as far as it goes and it should continue.
But there should also be an “outward” looking social media plan aimed at those who don’t attend the church, who may be interested in doing so but don’t feel comfortable enough to commit to a visit.
By combining these efforts into a single plan the church addresses both the needs of its members and the unchurched.
4. Use social media to provide a comfort level for the unchurched that encourages attendance
Many unchurched are timid about stepping inside a church for the first time because of the unknown. They have no idea of what they’ll see, hear or experience.
Featuring short videos and quotes from the pastor on social media will help dispel those fears and make a first visit much more inviting.
5. Increase and leverage social media follower networks to spread the gospel
Make posts that are easy to share. People are a bit reticent to share the gospel because they are afraid they might make a mistake or come off sounding foolish. The church's job is to provide posts that are locally produced with various encouraging and inspiring quotes or ideas from gospel and/or the pastor that make them easy to share. The church should encourage sharing through calls to action.
6. Use multimedia to make it easy to share your story and the gospel
A combination of graphics, video and quotes catch attention and help increase page engagement, reach and sharing. Church social media should make it easy and comfortable for followers to share church
posts with their networks.
7. Use your church’s content on social media to spread God’s word
Churches are typically content rich. Sermons, devotionals, quotes, video, pictures, all sorts of material to share with the outside world. Use your own content to help achieve the 6 points above.
Social media can be a powerful tool for any church if used creatively. But it must be used as part of a focused plan. And it is critical that it have both continuity and consistency in posting. Addressing these 7 steps should help your church's social media program become an integral and important part of your church's ministry.