10 Tips to Be Effective on Social Media for Ministries
As of April 2018, the total worldwide population is 7.6 billion. The internet has 4.2 billion users and there are 3.03 billion active social media users. 81% of all small and medium businesses are using some kind of social media platform. Internet users have an average of 7.6 social media accounts. Social media users grew by 121 million between Q2 2017 and Q3 2017. That works out at a new social media user every 15 seconds. Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp handle 60 billion messages a day.
Today we live in a world run by social media. Social media can be used as a tool when used correctly. We have seen people come to know Christ, be baptized, and join our team, simply through interacting with our social media platforms. Social media was around years ago and might not be around years from now. If our mission is to win the world for Jesus, we must start with where the world is right now.
The first principle of fishing: Go where the fish are.
Let’s look at few things we can improve on as a ministry when it comes to social media.
1. Believe in yourself and be yourself. It’s good to learn and borrow things from other ministries. Many people are afraid to cut sermon segments because they don’t believe that what they have is good enough. That’s only true if you compare yourself to large ministries. Comparison kills potential and growth.
In social media, content is king, marketing is queen. You are either remarkable or invisible.
2. Add value to people.Most of the social media content for churches are promotions of their weekly calendar. “Come to this…”, “We invite you to this…”, etc. It’s selfish, not serving. We don’t add value to people if people can only be served by first serving us. Create content that blesses people where they are right now, and that will feed their interest to attend your events.
Try the popular 80/20 rule which states 80% of content should be educational and engaging, while 20% is self-promotional.
3. Engage your audience. Respond to comments, answer questions, create a call to action on your content. Don’t just post and never reply to the messages in your inbox or comments. The larger the ministry the harder it is to do that. We have people who are eager to get involved, give them basic instructions so that people who reach out to your ministry via social media can get responses in timely matter.
We respond to both positive and negative comments and block nasty ones.
4. Modify content for each platform. Don’t just copy content from one platform to another. For example, Instagram is more for pictures (not flyers); there we post photos with catchy captions, use tags, location tags, people tags, etc. On Facebook we put different photos, do live stream, create short messages with captions and words on top. On YouTube we upload full messages and testimonies with costume thumbnails, add subscribe buttons at the end of the video, etc. On Google we do daily posts and photos. On Podcast we create intros and outros where we ask people to rate or review the podcast.
Boosting will not make up for BAD content.
5. Boost only content that’s performing well. Boosting is adding money to a post so that it can go to places where you want it to go. At HungryGen, we left behind traditional marketing like Radio and TV and switched to mainly social media for our promotion. The common mistake people make is promoting weak material. Boosting will not make up for poor content. It’s best to add money to content that’s organically performing well.
6. You must create message memes. One of the main reasons people come to church is because of the sermons. It’s important that our social media has bites from those sermons. We cut our sermons into smaller, one-minute clips for Facebook and even shorter ones for our Instagram feed and stories. We use an editing software (we prefer Final Cut Pro) for a more polished product, because people like quality not just quantity. We put links on memes to the full video on YouTube or website for people to access the full message. When it comes to these short sermon bites, make them clean, without too much text, and find the most impactful part of the sermon and create a captivating title. You will need to create captions manually on Instagram, but Facebook lets you add captions.
7. Take advantage of the Google Non-Profit $10k grant. Google gives 10k a month to charities and nonprofits to use in ads. These ads can only link to content on your website, not YouTube or Facebook. That means you need to have things on your website first before applying. Here is where you can apply for this grant. www.google.com/nonprofits
8. Every check-in at your location gives exposure to at least 200 people. We use this weekly by asking people to check in at Hungry Generation on Sunday and Wednesday so that their friends can see that they are in church. It gives added exposure to our church on social media. We use a company called CAUSELY.COM and pay $149 a month so that our check-ins go to charity. We promote it like this, “If you check in today, a child in Haiti will get 10 days of education”. People love the idea of giving to a cause. We pay for that cause and give them the opportunity to be a part of it by simply checking in on Facebook or taking a photo and posting it on Instagram and adding the location.
9. Reviews give exposure to your ministry. Reviews on Facebook, Google, Yelp, and iTunes give your content more exposure. We send our people emails from time to time, reminding them to add reviews on Google and Facebook about our ministry. During our podcast we ask our listeners to drop a review. Keep in mind that you don’t want to ask your church to pull out their phones and leave a review all together because the platforms where you will do that on will block most of those reviews thinking that it’s spam.
10. Get Amazon to pay your ministry. Amazon has donated, as of February 2018, over 80 million dollars to charities. You can sign up your charity or ministry with AmazonSmile and ask your fans or followers to shop by going to smile.amazon.com it’s the same amazon it just sends your ministry a small percentage of all that you purchase.
I pray this was a blessing. Please share this blog and let me know what you think!