Easter is an ideal time to reach people in your community.
Around the world and in your town, Easter is celebrated by nearly everyone, which makes it the perfect opportunity to reach unchurched people.
According to LifeWay research, a 2013 study has shown that about 41 percent of Americans aim to attend church on Easter, which is an increase of more than 20 percent on an average Sunday. What makes it even more significant is the fact that one in five people are still undecided about attending an Easter service.
With such a significant number of people still indecisive and unreached, this is your chance to reel them in and increase your church attendance on this glorious day.
Well, by creating a foolproof social-media strategy of course.
If you want to boost easter attendance with Facebook (and you should), we first need to rid ourselves of a few myths about what it means to be successful as a church on Facebook.
Myth-busting Facebook myths
Even though many promotion on Facebook has been a huge success with so many different churches, there are still many more (maybe yours?) that are shackled by misconceptions.
Will it work for me?
It’s too difficult.
It will cost too much money to see any results.
What if my post or video doesn’t go viral?
These are common concerns and questions church leaders have.
But what I told you these concerns are more like myths?
Let me show you what I’m talking about.
1. It’s NOT about your church going viral
Viral posts are costly, and they don’t give you a return.
When was the last time you took 3 hours to attend an event because of a viral video?
Viral videos are possible because of a scroll-and-forget world.
There are much better ways to get audience engagement and new attendees on Easter.
So much effort, time and money have to be spent before you get close to going viral. There are better ways to get your audience to engage that give you a greater return on investment in the long run. Set yourself up for success by creating more achievable goals.
2. Likes & shares are not the goal
You don’t just want to look successful.
You want to be successful in hitting your goal:
New Easter attendees.
3. You will have to invest a lot of money
Facebook has more than a billion active users.
Know what else?
A huge portion of adults in your community uses Facebook too.
There aren’t many places that allow you to reach such a focused audience with advertising.
If you want to get in front of the people in your town, you’ll need to be willing to pay a small price for a big result. There are churches who report having significant results by spending less than $100.
Spending money on Facebook advertisements is so much cheaper and more effective than simply printing flyers.
4. You will need your members’ help
If you’re going to reach your goal of increasing church attendance, your congregation will have to get on the same page and partner with you to make it happen.
Make sure that your entire church is clear on the mission, how you’re going to accomplish it, and what is expected of them.
For example, when you share Easter related content on Facebook, ask your church members to share the post and tag their friends or send it to them via a private message on Facebook.
How to boost Easter attendance
Before you publish your Facebook ad, you need to know who the ad is for—who your audience is. This is something you should know even before you create the ad.
There’s no point trying to reach the friends you already have on Facebook. Your goal is to reach your church members’ friends and create content that will be meaningful to people who don’t go to church or who haven’t yet heard of Jesus.
Here are five ways to attain it:
1. Create a place for people to find your content
If your strategy is going to be effective, you’re going to need somewhere to send your audience.
Make a page on your church website dedicated to your Easter service.
Pro Tip: Make sure that your URL is easy to write out since it will be in links,images, and videos.
On your Easter page, list out the specifics like what time your service starts, your location, what to expect, and so on.
Here’s something more to consider:
Address the objections someone may use to talk them out of attending.
For instance, someone who is uncertain about the service and what it will be like will much easier be won over by reading, “Come and enjoy a free coffee roast from our partner at XYZ local coffee roaster" than “come and enjoy free coffee."
2. Create consistent content
Create content with your social media goals in mind.
Got someone creative in your congregation? Let them use their craftsmanship to create a great visual package that is consistent with your overall strategy.
Make sure that it’s cohesive and that everyone in church communicates the same message.
If everyone decides to change their profile pics to a white cross with a black background, this will make their friends take notice.
To ensure consistency in messaging, you could even provide your members with specific content to share. If you go this route, don’t forget to add your Easter page link.
Whatever strategy you choose, remember to stick together as a congregation and ensure consistency throughout.
3. Get people to like and share your content
Start creating Easter content that your members and their friends may share. The aim is to post content that will show up on other people’s newsfeeds.
Make a video for promoting your Easter service. If you have a really low-budget and you’re uncomfortable behind a camera, there’s nothing wrong with having your pastor record an invitation on his phone.
Make it funny.
Talk about your Easter service.
Make it something someone who isn’t interested in Christianity would be interested in attending.
Your goal is not to get as much engagement as possible. Rather, your goal is to get your content on more of the right peoples' newsfeeds.
It’s vital that you include your Easter page link in all of your posts. Remember to stay mindful of the audience you’re trying to reach and refrain from using too much Christian lingo.
4. Create content people can comment on
Posts that are fun and thought-provoking are more likely to get likes, shares, and comments.
Your content should be relevant and trigger a reaction.
Once someone likes or shares your post, it shows up on their friends’ newsfeeds. If they engage and comment on your post they will receive a notification each time someone responds and your post could possibly be recycled through their feeds.
Make sure that everyone’s goal in sharing is to make people feel welcome by engaging them in meaningful conversation.
The goal isn’t to convert people to Christianity with a Facebook post. The goal is to get people to attend your Easter service, where you pray they will be converted through the preaching of the gospel.
5. Payment is needed for promotion
You can reach at least 2,200–5,800 people through paid promotion on Facebook for only a few bucks. Considering that this is one of the few places you can achieve these type of results, it’s worth the cost.
The awesome part is that you can reach everyone who has liked your page, and their friends. You can even target your post to reach people based on their age, interests, location, and more.
Your ideal target are people who have already liked your page and live nearby your church. If you use Facebook the right way, you could potentially double your church attendance during Easter—and potentially boost your weekly attendance in the coming months. Over to you
This leads us to one final point.
You should be using a church management software for your church. If you’re not, all your Easter efforts have a high probability of being fruitless.
Because if you don’t capture the contact info of new attendees and integrate it into a pre-existing communications database, you can kiss potential growth goodbye.
Get your church registered with Tithe.ly’s ChMS to manage your church membership data (including first-time guest info) and stop sabotaging your church’s ability to grow through technological neglect.