Does your church have an intentional social media strategy? How do you use social media to reach your community and serve your church members? Social media can be an important outreach tool in our day and age. The vast majority of American adults are using social media platforms on a regular basis. This reality makes it imperative to get your church’s message in front of your community through social media. Here are some best practices that can help you optimize your church’s social media activity.
Appoint someone to manage social media
Managing your social media begins with managing your team. If you have too many hands in the mix, you’ll end up producing less than if you appoint a focused person to manage your social media. This person can be responsible for developing a schedule for social media posts, coordinating media like images and video for social media posts, engaging followers, and tracking success through analytics.
This person should have a good idea of what content your audience is looking for and how to provide it for them. For example, when using Instagram, consider appointing a young person to manage your activity. Because young people (ages 12-34) are the primary users of the Instagram platform, it’s important to have someone who understands them manage your church’s Instagram account.
Stick to a schedule
This will help your church maintain a healthy balance on social media. You certainly don’t want to underpost. You want to make sure that your social media pages are publishing valuable content for your audience on a regular basis. But you also don’t want to overpost.. Social media pages that post too often become annoying and get ignored quickly. By creating a schedule or calendar for social media posts, you can effectively find a good balance between these two extremes. Start by reading our recommendations on how often to update your website and social media content.
Focus on your audience
Consider your target audience when making social media strategy decisions. Not all social media platforms are created equal and different audiences value different platforms more and less. Look around at your community. What are the predominant demographics around you? Here is a convenient look at the demographic breakdowns of the main social media platforms. Knowing your community can help you tailor your social media outreach for optimal effectiveness.
Engage with your followers
It’s called social media after all. When followers engage with your content on social media, by commenting or sharing for example, it’s a best practice to engage them back. If someone comments on your church’s Facebook post, send them a response! This allows you to connect to the real people beyond the screen and build relationships in your community.
Set aside a budget
If you are using a platform like Facebook, you’ll need some room in your budget for boosting your posts. This means you can pay Facebook to put your posts in front of more people in your audience. Setting aside some funds for social media optimization is a wise practice so that you can make the most of your efforts on each platform.
Bring it full-circle
These best practices for social media don’t exist for their own sake. The purpose of your church’s social media activity should be building stronger community among your members and with visitors. Although social media exists to help people connect online, the aim of your social media strategy should be building great relationships offline. Social media is a great outreach tool that should ideally lead to stronger face-to-face connections.