Let’s say you have a website for your church—and maybe you even have a Facebook page or a Twitter account. That’s a great start, but in order to really reach people, you’ll need to be a bit proactive about your online presence.
Social media is a great way to direct people to your website, so they can learn about your church and decide if they’d like to visit or otherwise connect with you.
While there are a lot of social media platforms available to you, I’m going to focus on Facebook right now. That’s probably going to be the most worthwhile use of your time to reach your congregation and potential newcomers online.
And don’t forget—social media, by definition, is social! It’s all about starting and continuing conversations. It’s a great way for you to show people how much you care about them and want to get them connected to your church.
Here are five steps you can take to start those conversations.
1. Set yourself up for success
Your church’s Facebook Page will be the first impression of your church for a lot of people, so you want to make sure you’re welcoming and you provide the information they’re looking for.
Include an “about” paragraph explaining the heart of your church, and fill in your location and phone number so people can find you easily. Make sure to include a profile and cover photo—why not share what your church or your neighborhood looks like?
You can even create a button on your Facebook Page that links back to your website so people can find out more about your church.
2. Post regularly
If you’re like most churches, there’s always something going on. Post about it on Facebook! Let people know in advance what’s going on, so they can join in, and post pictures before and after so people can see what life is like at your church.
From a social media standpoint, visitors are more likely to interact with your Facebook Page if you post at least once or twice a week.
3. Don’t make it just about your church
Yes, you should definitely share what’s going on at your church—but people get tired of organizations that only talk about themselves, whether that’s a church, nonprofit, or a business.
Think about what your members and people who might want to join your church would be interested in seeing. Share things they will find relevant and interesting.
You might want to share local news, ask a thought-provoking question, or share a scripture verse. You could even link to a blog post or a sermon you have on your website!
4. Respond quickly
If someone reaches out to you in a message or leaves a comment on one of your posts, make sure to respond! This lets them know that you’re listening and that you care.
It can be helpful to designate one person who’s responsible for responding as the church to comments or messages on your Facebook Page. And if that person is you, you may even want to set aside a few minutes each day or each week to make sure you’ve responded whenever someone reaches out to you on Facebook.
5. Get your congregation involved
Invite your members to like your church’s Facebook Page, and share what you post! Because of the way Facebook prioritizes content in any given person’s news feed, the more people who interact with your posts—liking, sharing, and commenting—the more people will be able to see those posts.
Being active on your church’s Facebook Page will give people an idea of what to expect if they decide to visit your church. It can also help your current members stay more connected with each other and more aware of church events.
It’s just one more way you can show that you care about the community inside and outside your church.