Communication and Social Media

Is Your Church on Instagram?

InstagramMost churches have a Facebook page. A lot are busy tweeting. But the number of churches on Instagram is growing, too. Should you jump on the bandwagon?

While Facebook is still the most widely used social network, numbers on the platform have been fluctuating recently—especially among teens and millennials. As grandparents finally begin to master likes and shares, their grandkids are flocking to new social networks where they hope to find a younger, hipper crowd. Enter Instagram.

As of March 2014, Instagram has over 200 million active monthly users, and 34% of US teens and millennials (ages 14-32) use the network. These numbers continue to grow.

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The 10 Commandments of Church Twitter Use

035According to a study from ROAR, 77% of churches are using Twitter—second only to Facebook and ahead of other social networks like Instagram and Pinterest. But while some are effectively using Twitter to engage their church community, many churches are struggling to make sense of the platform. Twitter can be a great communication tool for ministry as long as churches avoid breaking these 10 commandments:

1. Thou shalt not be willy nilly

When diving into Twitter, Facebook, or any new platform, developing a strategy is crucial. And this social media strategy should fit within the overall marketing plan for your church. Don’t just jump on Twitter because that’s what everyone else is doing. Does it make sense for your church? Is the community you’re trying to reach there? Do you have the resources to effectively manage it? A lot of churches can answer yes to these three questions. But they still need to determine how to create tweets that will complement their other efforts, leading to engagement and awareness.

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8 Tips to Improve Church Communications

How do you communicate with your church members, visitors, and community?  How do you make sure your message connects with your audience AND creates engagement across multiple groups?

046We are bombarded by information.  Providing useful information that stands out from all the noise is the real challenge.  Does your church have an effective communication strategy or are you simply operating on auto pilot week after week?  In order for your church communications to be effective, you must:

  • Reach your intended audience
  • Create a message that resonates with your audience
  • Drive engagement

Let’s take a look at 8 ways to improve your church communications.

1.   Understand your audience.  Respect your segments.

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7 Ways to Engage Your Church through Facebook

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You may be using social media to connect with people who are shopping for a church, but the majority of people you interact will already be a part of your church. So while you can also use Facebook to “market” the church, you should focus on engaging those who are already there.

Even amid rumors that it is on the decline, Facebook is still the largest social network in the world. Your community is likely already active there, so why not reach them where they are?

Try these 7 ways to start engaging your church community through Facebook:

=&0=& =&1=&Many churches now hold multiple services throughout the weekend in order to accommodate their growing membership. When they add staff members, it could be months before everyone meets them because of conflicting schedules. Spotlight new staff members and put a face—and a story—to the name. Let your community welcome and connect with new members of the church family. =&2=& Pastors only get a short window of time to pack a major Biblical principle into a message. Delve further into the discussion during the week with your online community. Share links to more resources on the subject, post Scripture, ask relevant questions. Don’t let them forget about everything they just learned only to be reminded the following Sunday.  And if your people are then sharing some of this information to their friends, they fuel the social outreach. 

3. Recruit volunteers

If you have a special program or event around the corner, utilize social media to recruit the help your church will need. Or if there is an immediate need—the church needs emergency maintenance, an elderly member is sick and needs assistance—get the word out right away. Some things just can’t wait till next Sunday. The volunteers will usually show up. They just have to know there’s a need.

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5 Email Marketing Mistakes Your Church Should Avoid

050As a church, it’s important to stay connected with your community—from visitors to volunteers to the entire church body. Email is a great tool! But you should operate with some best practices in mind so you don’t make these email marketing mistakes.

1. Hoard email addresses

If people include their email addresses on a sign-up form for an event you’re hosting, that doesn’t mean they’re giving you the license to add them to your regular email list for eternity. They are signing up for a picnic, not subscribing to your newsletter. If you take any email addresses you can find and send those people hundreds of emails, you’re just asking for them to be reported as spam.

Create separate email lists. If someone voluntarily gives you his email address, he probably anticipates getting an email from you at some point. But not every single email you send out. If you need to contact small group leaders, send the email to them only. Keep your lists separate so you aren’t flooding inboxes with irrelevant messages.

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