As a church leader, you understand the importance of engaging every visitor. Expanding your congregation and the reach of your mission requires effective outreach. 

Social media is an effective tool for connecting with church members and is becoming increasingly popular in the world of marketing. If your church wants to keep up, you’ll need a well-structured social media strategy. To help, we’ve outlined three steps for creating a strategy that works for churches:

  1. Determine your social media goals
  2. Cater content to its channel
  3. Plan a posting timeline

As you review these steps, remember that your strategy should be tailored to your unique audience and content. 

  1. Determine your social media goals

First and foremost, you’ll need to decide what you hope to accomplish through social media. Are you trying to raise money for your church? Do you want to grow your congregation? 

Posts that advertise your upcoming fundraising auctions, for example, will look different than content about your church’s mission. That’s why you should establish your social media goals before you start posting. To break this down even further, use the following steps:

  1. Determine the message you want to convey. Who is your target audience? What are you trying to tell them? Decide what you’re aiming to communicate.
  1. Gather current social media analytics. Before you can start adjusting and improving your posts, you need to have a general idea of your content’s current performance. Evaluate metrics such as the number of likes, comments, and shares your posts get.
  1. Outline the path to your objectives. Compare the message you want to convey with the posts you’ve already published. Identify the gap between the two and determine what steps you should take to fill it.

If you have multiple content goals, that’s okay! Social media can accomplish a variety of objectives as long as you establish a clear plan for getting there. With the right vision, you can unlock your potential for effective outreach. Just be sure to make your plans flexible so you can adjust as necessary to meet your objectives.

  1. Cater content to its channel

According to Snowball, social media is an advantageous marketing tool because it provides an opportunity to share compelling visuals. However, each channel leverages visuals in different ways. 

Your social media strategy can capitalize on each channel’s unique strengths by curating content specific to the platform. Consider how you can curate your visual content to the following platforms:

  • Instagram: Share behind-the-scenes images of your praise team’s preparations and close-up shots from your worship service. Instagram is also a great platform for sharing branded advertisements to promote an upcoming sermon series or church event.
  • Facebook: Remind followers of the highlights of a recent worship service by sharing Bible verses and quotes from the sermon. Getting Attention even recommends launching a Facebook Challenge to deeply engage followers and encourage them to take a specific action. Facebook is also highly conducive to sharing other people’s posts, so you can collaborate with congregation members to post valuable content about your services.
  • TikTok: Create short video clips (10-15 seconds) that share messages central to your church’s beliefs and mission statement. Rather than sharing advertisements inviting people to your church services, TikTok is more effective for sharing engaging video content, which may mean sharing your faith in a non-promotional way.

Think of your social media content as the hook—once you’ve captured the attention of your followers, you can direct them to other resources or urge them to take action. For example, use a Facebook post to make followers curious about your church and include a link to your church’s website for more information, like your statement of faith. 

  1. Plan a posting timeline

For your social media content to get noticed, you’ll need to keep your brand top of mind for followers by posting consistently. Prepare a social media calendar so that you know exactly when to post specific content.

Ensure that your calendar accounts for these elements:

  • Frequency: How often will you post on each platform? Follow recommended posting frequencies, such as 3-5 posts each week for Facebook and Instagram, if possible. If you don’t have enough content to post that frequently, start with a smaller number of posts while you develop ideas for more content. 
  • Type: Not only will you have to decide what to post on each platform, but also how you’ll post it. Your church might have a significant following on Instagram, for example. But that doesn’t mean you have to strictly post content on your Instagram feed to make use of the platform. Incorporate Instagram stories into your posting strategy to vary the types of content your followers see.
  • Timing: Determine how your posting timeline will coordinate with your church’s overall calendar. For example, how many times will you post before and after each church fundraising event? Will your social media posts align with sermon series or Bible study topics?

To avoid getting this timeline confused with your other communications, consider using software to automate certain messages. For example, communications after an auction fundraiser for your church will depend on the timing of the event while your social media posts will follow their own schedule. Use fundraising software to automate email receipts after the event so that you can focus on curating social media advertisements manually.

Your social media strategy will ultimately be unique to your church’s content and messaging. As you develop a strategy for engaging more people on social media, set your content apart by leaning into your differentiators. Unique elements such as your church’s branding, tone, and posting style can help your content stand out above the rest.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for followers’ feedback when planning new content. For example, you might use an Instagram story to ask followers if they’d like to see more content similar to what you’ve been posting recently. Then, you can adjust your approach as necessary to curate content that your followers want to see.