08 Mar 2016
Social media can be an amazing tool for ministry, but for a lot of churches, it can be confusing to know exactly how to make it work for you. Many times when people approach me for guidance in this area, they are confident that they need a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, but they aren’t always sure why.
More times than not, the conversation comes back to them seeing other churches online and not wanting to miss an opportunity to reach people. I get that. You’re a fisher of men and want to make sure you’ve got the latest and greatest net.
With this intention in mind, a lot of churches rush into creating accounts on each of these social networks with no clear plan or goals. If you have a church Facebook that hasn’t seen a new post in a month, you know exactly what I’m talking about here.
When you don’t know what success in social media looks like, you’ll keep running a race you can never win.
This always leads to frustration and I don’t want to see anyone grow weary in their social media well doing.
With my church, Piedmont Chapel, we put a big emphasis on social media. As a creative pastor, I spend a lot of my time on keeping it updated. But, even with all of the attention that I give to it, there are still times where I forget what a “win” looks like in this area. It’s easy to let your focus slip.
Here are three things to keep in mind as you’re working with your church’s social media. When you’re experiencing these, you can be confident that you’re doing something right.
1. People Are Interacting With Your Posts
Interaction is the lifeblood of a thriving social media page. It’s best to think of your pages as a two-way street rather than your own personal bulletin board. Your first priority should be posting content that speaks to your followers in such a way that they want to like, comment, and share.
You know what posts generate the least amount of interaction? Announcements. No more than 20% of your church’s social media posts should be announcements. I recommend using this platform to encourage and inspire, not inform. It’s the posts that truly minister to people that they’ll interact with most.
2. You’re Reaching Inside And Outside Your Church
One of the best parts of your church’s social pages is getting new followers. Some may attend your church regularly, while others may have heard about you from a friend and have never set foot in your building. However they find your page, diversity in this area is a big win.
Your social pages should not only be full of people from your congregation, but of people in your surrounding community. In a lot of ways, social media is a great front door for your church. As outsiders follow your page and see your posts, they get to experience what your ministry is all about.
Also, who says you can only reach people in your area? If you’re posting inspiring messages and God’s Word, your posts have the potential to touch lives all over the world. A new follower from any area is a win.
3. New People Are Coming To Your Church
One of the first questions I ask when I meet new people in our church is how they heard about us. With all the time and energy that our team puts into various avenues of marketing, I love to hear what’s working.
This information is so valuable to us, our church has even included it on our cards that we have first time guests fill out.
The first time you hear “my friend shared your Facebook post” or “I saw you on Instagram” makes all of your hard work worth it. Even more, as you see these people go from attendee to joining a small group or volunteering on Sundays, the reward continues to grow. You truly never know the impact you will make with these social pages. The next Billy Graham may be inspired to come to church from your tweet.
An Important Note
I feel that it’s important to note that seeing these results in your social media is not something that will happen overnight. In fact, it will take longer than you would probably ever expect. Don’t let humble beginnings get you down. Stay diligent and consistent in posting content. Look for inspiration in churches who are a little farther down the road than you. Over time you will start to make an impact if you do not give up.
Do you have anything else that you’d add to the list?
Let us know by leaving a comment below!
Kendall Conner serves as the Creative Pastor at Piedmont Chapel in Greensboro, NC. He is a graphic designer, video editor, and all-around media geek, but above all enjoys seeing lives changed. Together with his beautiful wife, Holly, they strive to use media to spread the message of Christ and equip others for ministry.