Your church is probably already active on Facebook, and you may even dabble in Twitter as well. But should your ministry look into other social networks, too? The answer is yes.
Every social networking site enables you to meet your members where they congregate outside of Sunday service. They give you the ability to teach and engage churchgoers throughout the week, and keep them informed about upcoming church events.
Increased engagement brings with it more church giving, because you’re keeping your church top-of-mind for people who are already emotionally invested. Having a presence on multiple social sites means reaching more people, and that should be one of your top priorities as a church.
Facebook is a great tool, but many of your parishioners — particularly in the older demographic — do not have Facebook accounts. They often do, however, maintain a LinkedIn profile for career purposes. According to Business Insider:
LinkedIn is the only major social media site with more users in the 50-64 age group than in the 18-29 age group
LinkedIn is more popular among adults 18+ than Twitter.
This key demographic of your church wants to engage with your ministry on a daily basis, too. That makes LinkedIn a wonderful option for reaching out to your adult professional members. This demographic also tends to be higher wage earners, so reaching them is key to increasing church giving.
Create Discussion Groups
One of LinkedIn’s best features is the ability to create your own group. 8,000 new groups are created weekly, and 200 conversations happen in groups every minute. Your church members and employees can gather together in a dedicated online space and interact with one another, like a message board. This allows you to stay connected throughout the week, when many of your members will not be setting foot in the church building.
You can use your discussion group to help educate your members and have conversations about real world issues. You can also get feedback on what they would like to learn about in the future, which can be a great asset when coming up with church programming.
Engage with Like-Minded Users
While creating your own discussion group is a great way to stay in touch with your members, you can also interact with outsiders by joining existing groups. This can lead to better relationships with other church leaders, and it can also be educational for you as someone who works in the church environment. Take the opportunity to learn about how other churches operate and how you might improve your own ministry. Share pointers with other church leaders and staff.
Your interactions in these groups could lead to new opportunities and more church giving. Some group members may even decide to give your church a visit, or offer to team up for an event.
Endorse Your Volunteers and Employees
If you want to use social media to have a positive influence on the lives of your parishioners, pastors, and staff, take advantage of LinkedIn’s endorsement feature. Visit member profiles and endorse them for qualities and abilities that you have witnessed during their time with your ministry.
To take your endorsement one step further, you can write a recommendation for members whose work has been particularly impressive. Having a published character witness will come in handy if they are ever seeking employment. It also will make them feel more connected to your church, which will lead to a more devoted and happy church body.
Reach Out to New Visitors
One particular feature sets LinkedIn apart from other social networks like Facebook and Twitter. You can see every person who has viewed your profile, as long as they have not decided to appear anonymous. You can use this to your advantage. Keep an eye on the people who visit your page, and reach out to any who you think would be a valuable connection.
Link to Your Church Giving App
Take advantage of your members’ attention by including links to important information about your church. Make sure your website address, physical location, and phone number are easy to find on your profile. To really take advantage of the space, include a link and call-to-action for visitors to download your church giving app. LinkedIn is filled with tech-savvy individuals who will jump at the chance to try out your church giving app technology, so make it easy for them to find.
LinkedIn can be a great asset for any church, if used correctly. By following these guidelines, you will begin to see positive repercussions in no time.