This article will show you how Facebook can help your church reach more people at a very reasonable cost. There are three ways that Facebook can help you reach your community this Easter:
- Posts that you make on your Fanpage.
- Promoted posts on your page.
- Facebook ads
Posts to your Fanpage.
Unfortunately, the reach of most posts from Fanpages are not as effective as they once were, but churches are in a unique position to increase the reach of their posts. I say this because most people who belong to your Facebook Fanpage are more connected to your page than any other Facebook page. Many attend church on a regular basis and are active in the church.
Here is how Facebook can help churches reach their community. Ask members to like or repost what is put up on your church’s Facebook page. This is important because when they repost something then all of their friends could see it, which exponentially increases the reach. Put something in the bulletin, make an announcement, post it on Facebook. Here is the basic message.
We want to increase our outreach and we need your help. Through Facebook we can reach a lot of people but here is what we need you to do.
- Share posts about events for by reposting or liking the post.
If you do this Facebook will increase the exposure of our posts and help us reach more people, plus when you share a post with your friends, many of them will see it. If your members do this you will see the number of people reached through your church’s Fanpage go up dramatically.
Promote posts on your church Facebook page.
This is going to cost money but you’ll be surprised at how little you will need to spend. Here are the steps:
Write a post. You will see a little box that says boost post in the bottom right corner. (You need to be an administrator on the Fanpage for this the work.) Click it and you will get a little pop-up box. The first choice is who to target. Select the people you want to reach and the city. You will have an option to select a radius. Your next option is to select age, gender, and interests. While you can do some really interesting things with these options I would select the age and leave the rest blank.
Set your budget and click the more button to select how long you want the ad to run. If you don’t select anything Facebook will run the ad until they spend your money.
What to post
Videos will get the most engagement. They don’t have to be professionally done, long or complex. It is better to post 2-4 short videos each month than spend a lot of effort on one. Possible videos include information on children’s ministry, message for the week, youth activities, adult Bible studies. Animoto is what we use to create videos. It is super easy and you can create a really nice video in a few minutes. Click here for more information.
Creating a Facebook Ad
The promoted posts will show up in people’s news feeds while the ad will show up both in the news feeds and on the right-hand side of Facebook. You have more options on targeting with Facebook ads. Here are the steps:
- Start by clicking on this link. You will be taken to their advertising page.
- Click on the button to get started, probably located in the top right-hand corner. You’ll be given several options: page post engagement (promoting an existing post), Facebook likes, clicks to website, website conversions and a couple more than are probably not applicable.
- Next, you will be taken to your Facebook Fanpages. Note: You have to be an administrator on the page. If no pages are showing up you need to pass this site onto the person who is an administrator or have yourself added as an administrator. Now you have a series of options. The first is to upload images. Think about this step carefully. The images are the number one reason people will click your link. The most effective images are going to be people enjoying whatever it is you are promoting. If it is your Easter services, then a picture of people worshiping, members of your church, not stock photography. If you are promoting an Easter Egg hunt, pictures of kids from last year’s hunt would be awesome. A picture of your church with people around it might also be effective. The pixel size should be 600 x 225 and you can upload multiple images which help keep the ad fresh.
- After the images, you can write you headline (which is the second most important element) and then the copy. You can then choose where you want to send people. Options will vary depending on the type of ad you selected.
- Select the city and radius you want to target. There are a number of other demographics available. For maximum reach, I recommend leaving those blank unless you are targeting a specific group (Spanish speaking, particular college, age group, etc). For an Easter promotion you are trying to reach as many people around your church as possible.
- Facebook will tell you how many people you can potentially reach. I selected High Point, North Carolina ages 13 and no max, no interest and have 98,000 potential people that the ad will be shown to. When I selected kids ages 13 – 17 I ended up with 5,200.
- You are just about done. Select how much you want to spend per day and when you want the ad to stop running (very important. If you don’t select an end date Facebook will be happy to spend your budget forever). Now click the submit button and wait for Facebook to approve your ad, which normally takes a couple hours.
A couple closing points. You should run your ad for a couple weeks max and then change it up. You will notice engagement starts high and then goes down as people start ignoring the ad. By changing copy or photos you will re-engage with your audience. Second thing just like with any traditional media consistency will pay off. The more people see what is going on at your church the more will be likely to check it out so don’t stop when Easter is over. The good thing about Facebook is you can see exactly how many people engaged with your ad which is something you never know using traditional media. The cost is reasonable and you can set your own budget. Only have $25 a month to advertise? Facebook can use that to reach people.
If you would like help, click the chat button. If you know of other effective ways to use Facebook to reach your community, post it below.
Finally, I wanted to mention that Memory Cross has a lot of really cool cards that help children understand how much God cares for them. I put a video below so you can see how it works. Visit our store for more information.
Have friends that are pastors or work in a church? Consider passing this onto to them. This strategy will work for more than Easter. You can use this every week to start engaging with more people in your community. Actually, I recommend that you use this strategy on a regular basis. For a couple hundred dollars a month you’ll be able to reach a lot of your community.