We have a unique opportunity in this COVID-19 season to extend the reach of the Gospel far beyond our regular audiences and offer real hope in our current climate. Here’s 5 helpful tips to help you make the most of your social media at this time (and all the time!).
Six weeks ago non-essential gatherings of more that 100 people were banned in Australia, and for most of us, that included our public church meetings. The reality of living in these ‘unprecedented times’ is really starting to set in. There’s been an incredible amount of effort and energy invested into pivoting church meetings to online platforms and creating a sense of genuine fellowship virtually. As we settle into this new ‘normal’, have you thought about how you can reach out beyond your regular members? Most churches have a Facebook profile—I wonder how much thought you put into what you share and how you share it?
Here are 5 helpful tips to help you make the most of your online communication platforms at this time:
1. Be human.
People use Facebook to interact with other people. Use your church page to genuinely connect with those who engage with it. This looks like; encouraging connection through comments, replying quickly, writing in a 'human' voice and sharing real photos and stories about real people in your church—think, Q&A sessions with your members or 'meet the staff' type posts.
2. Remember who’s watching.
Your public Facebook page is well, public! You have a unique opportunity at this time to give people an insight into who you are and what you do without them having to enter your church building. Facebook is a great place to share all of the online content you are currently producing. As you do this, think about the language you use and make sure it’s outsider friendly: Is it welcoming? Easily understandable to someone who has never been to your church before? It’s also good to ask yourself the question, “Is this something for everyone?” before sharing on your page and consider other ways of communicating the information if it’s not.
3. Post regularly.
It’s important now more than ever, whilst your physical buildings are closed, to show people (both within your congregation as well as outsiders) that you’re still here! Keep them regularly updated, start a conversation, and make sure they don't think you've disappeared. However, don’t take this as a license to post just anything—make sure what you post is meaningful. 5 posts spread out through the week is a good place to aim. You can schedule posts ahead of time, and even create templates and a framework for what to post on which days, to reduce the admin burden.
4. Think about the next steps you can offer.
Hopefully your social media strategy will help you engage with new people. Think through now what ‘next steps’ you can offer them. Give people an easy way to give feedback to you, get in touch if they’ve engaged with your content, and have a plan for how you’ll link them in. This could be as simple as telling them to send you a Facebook message or setting up a contact form. This is a wonderful time to be able to meet people where they're at (likely, at home on their lounge!), but make sure you have a plan for how to keep them linked in so they can genuinely connect with your church.
5. Don’t forget the basics.
Make sure you proofread and check your links before you post.
Include an image with your post to create better engagement.
Correctly use links in your post. Make sure it can be clicked on rather than having it in an image.
Make it look good. It doesn't have to be a professionally designed masterpiece, just make sure it is clear, communicates well and doesn't put people off by being inappropriate/insensitive, too cluttered or confusing.
We’ve written before about easy updates to your page you can do right away to make a big difference!
Now is also good time to consider using targeted ads within your geographic area. This is a great way to connect with people in your local area who may not have considered church before - now church is coming to them!
At Virtual Church Assist, we’re here for you and want help you get your social media on track and serving you during this pandemic season. Get in touch and don’t miss the opportunity!