This is a guest blog post by Drew Key.
With almost everyone and their pet rock on Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites, places of worship have a huge pool of potential new members that they are largely ignoring. It is easy to understand why most churches don’t effectively market themselves on social media.
One reason is that some churches object to the idea of “marketing” themselves, even though the story of Christ is the most successful viral marketing campaign since time began; Jesus literally split time (B.C./A.D.) after all.
But the main issue churches face by putting themselves out there on social media is time. Someone has to take the time to actually do it. And with budgets already extremely tight, the social media duties usually fall on an unpaid volunteer who normally has other commitments with the church, family, and/or the larger community. But you don’t have to hire a full-time social media specialist to have an impact. Here are some ways you can almost effortlessly market your church.
1. Have your congregation promote the church for you.
A preacher, pastor, or priest has his or her most captive audience on Sunday mornings. One way to get this captive audience to reach out on social media for you is to work a Facebook or Twitter status update into your sermon. At the church I attend, the pastor recently gave a sermon and used social buzzwords which he related to a biblical principle. Your church could do something very similar and actually have all the members of your congregation get out their smartphones and post a biblical status update.
2. Create a Facebook page for your church and get members of the congregation to “Like” it.
There are four key things here. First, you have to create your church’s Facebook page. This is actually really easy to do, just go to this URL to get started: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. It’s very easy to do with these step by step instructions.
Second, you have to let your congregation know about the page, so they will “like it You can have it announced during Sunday services and ask your church volunteers to inform all of their Facebook friends.
Finally, you have to put a “Like Box” on your website so that visitors will be shown the faces of people they know that currently “Like” your church. The way the “Like Box” works is that when someone visits your church’s website, they’ll be shown the names and faces of people they know. When they see some of their friends that like your church, they’ll know someone they can talk to about your church if they are considering making a visit.
3. Use Facebook to invite people to events.
Facebook has become the ultimate “meeting” place for like-minded people and friends alike. Facebook enables you to invite all of your friends to an event and set an event time, place, and other event details. The user has the option to select if they are attending, if they might attend, or if they are not attending. This allows the creator of the event to track, communicate, update, and inform invitees on the published event.
Social media doesn’t have to be hard or cumbersome to take advantage of. Besides your time, it doesn’t cost anything to use in order to reach current or potential members. Even if you don’t want to implement all of these suggestions, take one or two and run with it. I think you’ll notice more people buzzing about your church. The more buzz you get, the more potential members you are reaching.