This is the first part of our series on Social Media for Churches. We encourage you to follow up this post by reading Social Media for Churches: Best Practices for Facebook.
Think social media is irrelevant to your ministry? Think again. Every second, 11 new people join a social media network. About 60% of Instagram users access their accounts every day. The amount of Facebook users over age 65 has increased 20% since last year. No matter what generation they’re a part of, almost every member of your congregation probably has an account on at least one social network.
Because social networking is such a dominant social force, your church needs to use it (and use it effectively). Over the course of the next four weeks, we will be exploring everything from the basics of social media content for churches to some more advanced (but still quite simple) elements to deploy.
But before we go in-depth, let’s take a look at the four main reasons your church should embrace social media.
1. It’s Free
All the major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are completely free to use. A page for your place of worship can be set up within minutes, and getting your social-media-savvy members to follow your account should be as easy as mentioning it from the pulpit and in your bulletin.
If you can have access to a potential outreach tool without affecting your church’s budget, why not give it a try? The Givelify mobile and online giving platform also provides a convenient social giving link that can be used in any social media post, taking your followers directly to your organization’s giving page.
2. It’s Powerful Internal Communication
Social media is an intensely powerful communication platform. Its reach is broad (bordering on universal for some), and the speed at which you can communicate is unmatched. For example, when the weather is bad, students, parents, and church members no longer turn on the local news to watch the ticker go by showing which schools and church services are closed. Instead, they hear about it on social media long before it appears on the TV screen.
The ways in which this communication tool can help your church are endless. You can remind people of special events or services a day or two in advance, “set the stage” for an upcoming sermon with a focused quote or video, or remind people of an upcoming special giving opportunity so they can come prepared.
Better yet, Givelify has created ready-made, free content that you can repost or share on your ministry’s social profiles to encourage mobile and online giving. The social reminder then becomes the call to give, right in the moment!
3. It’s Engaging External Communication
If your church website is your digital church sign (your e-billboard for Gen Xers and older Millennials), your church’s social media presence is the equivalent for younger Millennials on down to Gen Z. If people outside your ministry want to find out what you’re like, they will start with your digital presence.
Just like your website probably has a “New here?” or “What to Expect on Sunday” section, your social media account should have a similar video featured prominently.
Social media also offers you a digital reach into the lives of those in your community (but not in your church) through advertising. For a modest amount of money, you can purchase hyper-targeted Facebook ads tied to zip code, age range, and many other variables. This can be a valuable way to create inroads with your community.
4. It Can Increase Giving
In addition to using Givelify’s social giving links, a church’s social media presence can also improve giving by increasing member engagement. The more engaged a member is, the more like he or she is to give regularly.
If you keep your mission and message on the hearts and minds of members through regular social media posts throughout the week, your members will be more likely to think of you when payday arrives.
5. Increase Members and Attendance
Is one of your main goals as a community of worshipers to expand and grow that community? Social media removes the roadblocks between your current membership and those who could become future attendees. As people outside your congregation learn about the great things your church is doing via social media, they will begin to feel a connection to your place of worship and want to become part of the community.
The conclusion is clear: your church needs to use social media to enhance communication and engagement, and you need a strong mobile and online giving platform like Givelify to complement your social media use.
Ready to boost your church’s social media presence? Join us as we expand on the topic in our upcoming blog series featuring best practices for all of the major social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Stay tuned!