Health and Growth

3 Social Media Tips for Small Churches

Health and Growth

3 Social Media Tips for Small Churches

As a small church, the best thing you can do for your social media presence is to stop posting.

That wasn’t a typo.

You heard me right.

Social media is less about how often you post and more about what you say. It’s about quality over quantity.

So don’t worry about posting at the same time every day. Stop thinking about all the posts you’ve made that no one has commented on or shared. Forget about that one person in your congregation who always points out the typo in your Monday morning post. Rather, take a minute to think about why your church needs social media in the first place.

In this blog post, I’m going to outline three strategies small churches can do to harness the power of social media as a ministry tool.

#1. Pick one platform

Often, we find churches struggling to keep up with posting on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. While they want to create a successful and consistent social media schedule, they tend to quickly find themselves overwhelmed, stressed out, and feeling like nothing is working. 

Does this sound like you?

Stretched in too many directions?

Trying to do so many things that it feels like you're failing to do any of them well?

Using social media, but getting frustrated that it doesn't seem to be doing anything? 

Our advice is to focus your attention.

Pick one social media platform and pour your time, energy and resources into developing it as a ministry tool. Our top recommendation for small churches is Facebook.

Related: How to Use Facebook for Your Church: 9 Proven Tips to Grow Your Reach and Increase Engagement

There are over two billion people on Facebook!  And, based on recent research, those people are spending between 25-40 minutes there every day. Choosing Facebook as your platform will give you access to the most people and the most options for connecting with them. But, even within Facebook, there are multiple options. So, here’s a quick rundown of each social media tool and how we believe the church can best use it:  

  • Facebook Pages: This is your welcome mat. It’s the place where people will stumble upon you. Focus on creating simple, inspirational content that will help people find the love and hope of Jesus.

  • Facebook Groups: This is your living room. Facebook Groups are  where the people already connected to your church can connect with each other, meet new people and dive deeper into their faith.

  • Facebook Messenger: This is a great place to start conversations and grow relationships. It’s powerful when you give the people of your church the opportunity to connect with your leaders and staff members. Use it for prayer requests, check-ins and volunteer recruitment and development.

  • Instagram: The Instagram platform is where you can really rally your congregation while also reaching out  to your community. Use stories to show people what it’s like behind the scenes and paint a more authentic picture of what it’s like to be involved at your church. Then, use hashtags to reach out  to your community.  

  • Twitter: Twitter is good for pastors to establish a leadership presence online. It will be difficult for your church to use this platform as a way to build relationships because that’s not really what it’s created for.

#2. Decide why you’re there

What kind of tool do you want social media to be for your church? How do you want your congregation, people in your community and even people throughout the country or world to engage with it? 

If you really want to use Facebook (or any social media platform) as a ministry tool, you’ll need a strong social media strategy. A great place to start is to ask yourself, “ How do  we measure  success?”  Here are three  metrics you should measure:

  • How many times did we show people the hope and love of Jesus?
  • How many conversations did we have or initiate this week?
  • How did we paint a better picture of what it’s like to be part of this church?

#3. Know your audience

Think about your audience as individual people—not as a massive group

  • Who are they?
  • What struggles do they have?
  • What does your church have to offer them  to help them through their  challenges?
  • How are you going to share that with them?

Thinking about who you’re trying to reach on social media will help you to serve them in a real and tangible way.

Over to you

Knowing what platforms you’re focusing on, how you define success and who you’re trying to reach will help you get off the hamster wheel that social media can become and tap into all the power it can bring to your ministry.

If all this still feels daunting, here’s our advice: Give it a go.

Know that your community and your audience will need something unique from you and it might take some trial and error to figure out what that is. Find a few people from your congregation who understand social media and ask them to help you pilot a few things.

And, here’s my favorite tip for churches: Everything can be deleted. So, don’t be afraid!

Happy social media-ing!

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Aimee Cottle. Aimee is the director of marketing at Fishhook, a communications agency that collaborates with churches.

Join thousands of churches who trust Tithe.ly with their online giving and mobile giving solutions.

Expert Tips on How to Effectively Launch a New Online Giving Tool

01
Make it accessible so people can give in the way that is most comfortable to them. Don't make it hard for people to give money.
Some people like to give online, some like mobile, some like text. Whatever they like, let them give in that way if you can.
02
Brady Shearer
www.storytape.com
Talk about it every single week. Consistently promote it on every platform. 
Be patient. We all resist change.
03
Michael Lukaszewski
www.churchfuel.com
Launch it to your staff, your leaders, and your volunteers (in that order) and help those groups use it before you launch it publicly.
04
Teach it in your new member class.
Allow for people to sign-up right on the spot via their mobile phone (or through a laptop or iPad for those that don't have a mobile device handy).
05
Justin Dean
www.thatcc.com
On launch weekend, have volunteers and staff accessible with iPads to walk people through how to set up an account and get recurring giving configured.
06
Daniel Irmler
www.churchhero.com
On a regular basis, tell stories from members who are using and loving it. 
You don't don’t need a big production value shoot. Keep it simple by using an iPhone (horizontal) and a decent mic.
07
Invite your congregation to take out their phones and download the mobile giving app right in the service.
08
Nik Goodner
www.crtvchurch.com
Explain the why behind the change and highlight the benefits of the new system. 
People like to be "on the team".
09
Kevin Ekmark
www.church.org
I always tell people, "you need to clean your house before you invite friends over". It's crucial that your giving platform is easily found, whether it's on the web or in the church. 
On the web, making sure that your website is mobile friendly (Google and Bing both recommend mobile responsive design) can be a huge help. You can also incorporate bots from Facebook or a service like Intercom to help walk people through online giving on your website. When necessary, a human can jump in and help too. This helps complete the process from being found online to completing the online giving.
10
Logan Fields
www.theappguys.org
Tell them the real reasons. Giving members are concerned with what's best for the church and not just what they individually prefer. Transparency.
"This platform will allow us to better manage finances and spend less staff time on the books and more on people." etc. The temptation is to treat members like consumers who we need to impress instead of team members. Treat them like equals who you assume are interested in what's best for the church/ mission and people will likely rise to it.
11
Kenny Jahng
www.kennyjahng.com
Launch a $3.16 campaign. Ask people to all give just $3.16 to a weekly or bi-weekly blessing fund. Then, pick one person or cause to bless IN TOWN and go give that person all the money collected.
  • It could be the all volunteer firefighter squad in town. "We'll take all the $3.16's collected and go buy a meal or treat and drop off for the firefighters who volunteer."
  • It could be a widow the church knows about - bless her with something new for her home or hobby or pets.
  • Single mothers - supply them with a night out. Or pay for a house cleaner or a handyman for a couple of hours.
  • Special needs families - pay for evening out for the parents and child care for the special needs kids so the parents get a break.
  • You can ask for "sponsors" in the future, getting people to nominate good causes (let the youth do this!) and let them deliver the blessing and report back each sunday.
  • You can ask for "sponsors" in the future, getting people to nominate good causes (let the youth do this!) and let them deliver the blessing and report back each sunday.
This works incredibly well because you are teaching generosity / outward posture to your people on a consistent basis and getting people to give on mobile- while making it about PARTICIPATION vs AMOUNT. You'll have people regularly trying out the mobile option as well as pre-register them in the system.

There you have it! Some amazing tips, right?

Which tip stood out the most to you … or looked to be the craziest?! Share with us in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!

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3 Social Media Tips for Small Churches

Tithe.ly

Tithe.ly powers mobile, text, and web giving for
churches and ministries.

LEARN MORE
Sign Up