There’s a good chance you’re unintentionally avoiding people in your community.
The kids in your neighborhood tend to stay inside instead of going outside. You probably don’t know your neighbors.
And it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make friends.
As a church leader, it’s essential to have your thumb on the pulse of these changes taking place in your community.
Knowing how people in your town or city interact with each other and make new friends will influence how you can reach them with the gospel.
Today, most of the adults in your community spend time on social media. The Pew Research Center found that 7 out of 10 adults spend time on social media, and Facebook is the most widely used social media platform.
Social media is the proverbial water cooler in your area. Social media is where many people stay up to date with others and share the latest happenings in their life.
Brady Shearer of Pro Church Tools nailed it when he said, “If you have a desire to reach the people in your community with the gospel, then you need to be present where they are spending time. Today, that place is social media."
We can spend time talking about whether or not social media is harmful to friendships, relationships, and the social fabric of your community. But that’s not the point of this post.
In this post, I want to share with you five reasons why your church needs to run Facebook ads.
#1. "Hello, is this thing on?"
There’s a good chance your church has a Facebook Page. But that’s no longer enough.
In light of recent changes at Facebook, most of the people who like your Facebook Page will not see what you share. There are some ways you can increase your engagement on Facebook, but there’s a growing need for your church to spend money on Facebook to reach people.
Now, before you totally write off what I'm trying to say, give me just one moment to explain myself. Buying an ad on Facebook is not about marketing per se.
According to Chris Martin, the author development specialist at LifeWay Christian Resources,
“Buying a Facebook ad really just amounts to you promoting a piece of content on Facebook so that it can be seen by more people in your community that use Facebook and may be interested in checking out your church.”
After you create your church’s social media strategy, and as you share the gospel, verses from the Bible, or even an invitation for people to join you for your worship service, consider buying an ad on Facebook to reach more people with your message.
If you’re worried about the cost of ads on Facebook—don’t. They’re relatively inexpensive, which leads me to my next point.
#2. Facebook ads are for smaller churches, too
Taking out an ad on Facebook will not break your church’s finances.
When it comes to inviting people to your next worship service or upcoming event, some churches have had tremendous results by only spending $61.
When you run ads on Facebook, you can plug in your budget at the very beginning, and you can adjust how much you spend and you can turn off your ad at any time if you’re not happy with the results.
So, if you run ads and you’re not happy with your results, then hit the pause button and readjust your plan moving forward.
#3. Get more visitors to your church
Do you know who knows the most about the people in your community? It’s not your barber or local politician. It’s arguably Facebook. Think about it.
On Facebook, people share nearly everything about him or herself. Here’s just a sampling of what Facebook may know about you and your neighbors:
- Your age
- Your gender
- Your location
- Your level of education
- Your work experience
- Your music preferences
- The type of device you use on Facebook
- And a whole lot more
Not only does Facebook know the personal info you share on your profile. But Facebook also learns a ton about whoever uses their platform based on the Facebook Pages they like and what they share.
“What does this have to do with my church?"
Well, the answer is simple: You can send highly-targeted ads to people on Facebook in your community.
Remember, we’re not necessarily talking about promotions for an upcoming event. We’re also talking about promoting updates you share on Facebook, which can include verses from the Bible or pictures from your most recent worship service.
Instead of solely relying on traditional means of advertisement, such as postcards, flyers, and ads in your local newspaper, to hopefully reach the people in your community, consider using ads on Facebook. With Facebook, at least you'll know if people are seeing your ad and whether or not they're responding to it.
#4. Buying Facebook ads are (fairly) simple
Running ads on Facebook sounds intimidating on the surface. But here’s the deal: It’s actually simple to get started and accomplish your goals.
Yes, running ads on Facebook can be complicated and time-consuming for larger organizations and businesses who have huge budgets, multiple products, and many consumers and supporters they’re trying to reach. But, for the average church in the United States, you don’t need advanced training in Facebook to do what you need to do.
There are only four things you need to know to get started:
- What’s your goal?
- Who are you trying to reach?
- How much do you want to spend?
- Do you have a video or photo you can add?
After you know your answer to these four questions, then you’re ready to get started.
If you’re ready to move forward, then check out Facebook's Getting Started with Ads. This free resource will walk you through the steps you need to take to create an ad on Facebook.
Do you need to recruit additional volunteers? Would you like to see more people get involved with your small groups or Sunday School classes? You can run Facebook ads to help out with these needs and more. Here’s how.
If you want to lead people to volunteer, join a small group, or sign up for something, you can buy ads on Facebook and target people in your church promoting the step you want them to take.
The best way to do this is to target people familiar with what you’re asking them to do. These people are members or visitors of your church, and if you have their email address, then you can upload these emails to create a Custom Audience on Facebook.
When you run ads to the Custom Audience you created, the people who will see them displayed are those whose email address you uploaded.
You can also create a Custom Audience of the people who have visited your church’s website. This tactic is another great option to target people who are either members of your church or familiar with your church. Click here for an article on Facebook that walks you through this process.
Does your church buy ads on Facebook? Why did your church get started? Share your experience in the comments below!