People hate the word, “Marketing,” in ministry or church. It’s like you just said a cuss word as the congregation sings, “How Great Thou Art.” The reality is: Marketing is necessary in ministry and church. Without a cracker jack social media ministry, your church will fade into irrelevancy. You are not competing to sell a product like the grocery chain down the street. You are competing against others who DO have a social media plan, like ISIS and the ACLU. Social Media is constantly changing which is why we are always reading marketing and social media blogs like this one:
Before, you wrote a blog post, then shared it on the social networks. Ideally, your target market saw the post, was enticed to click on it, which led them back to your website. Well, that kinda-sorta still works, but it seems like the social media networks, predominantly Facebook, LinkedIn, and I’ll throw in Google+, want publishers to create content just for them. They want to be the content magnets. They want the attention. So your website isn’t the center of it all anymore — the social networks want to be your source of information. READ MORE
Before you type out a 1,000 word post on Facebook, let me remind you that social media requires short posts with graphics or videos. All your engagement happens on various social media campaigns with the idea of pointing them back to your blog and website. Pray Matthew 4:19 (CEB) to show you HOW to reach people for Christ and how to inspire your congregation to take part in growing your church through social media:
- “Go Where Your Customers Are.” Where does your community hang out? What stops you from opening up a Facebook, Instagram, or ____________? Is it pride? Do you really want pride to keep you from reaching people for Christ or encouraging a brother or sister in Christ? Is it from lack of knowledge or fear of not getting it right? In the comments, write out a Bible verse that helps you overcome your fears.
- What is the make up of your community? What do they believe? How do they vote? What is their stumbling block? What is their worldview? In this article, she writes about creating personas and getting to know and writing for that group of people. Maybe your focus is instead on a particular people group who live a block away from your church? What would be culturally offensive in your statuses? How can you speak to them? Focus on one or two groups of cultures or people that you can direct your posts toward. In the comments, write out what your obstacles are and how you will prayerfully overcome them.
- What “pain point” or problem does your content solve for your personas? Give value back to your readers/followers/friends. Point them back to your website. Find ways to interact with them.
- Work on understanding analytics. In order to gauge success, you must understand how analytics work and if you are successful in drawing them out of their social media area to your website. More importantly, on your Facebook page, monitor who is sharing what and ask, “Do they go to my church?” If they do, it’s a win for the church. That’s the congregation sharing about their church with their friends or followers. If they do not go to your church, consider friending them or following them so you can learn about their spiritual background. Try to engage them.
- Lastly, as the church administrator and pastor, make sure you are weekly encouraging your congregation to be involved in social media and talking about their experience with your church, their testimonies, and connecting emotionally with possible new attenders or potential new believers.