I would probably say that the #1 question most pastors or church planters ask me is “how do I get the word out about our church?” or “how do we get more people to come to our church?” and for good reasons. Marketing your organization or product is a huge priority for any business and that includes for the church because if people don’t know you exist it doesn’t matter how great your services are…They aren’t coming!
We have to spread the word about what we are doing and we should want to because we should be excited about what we are a part of. The problem is most people go about marketing all the wrong ways and spend WAY TOO MUCH money on advertising that just simply doesn’t have the ROI for the capital it costs.
Nine years ago, the world changed when apple literally took a computer and put it in your pocket in the form of a phone. Never in a million years did we think it would be possible this soon to have a computer with internet connection carrying around with you where ever you go. In this moment the death of traditional advertising started to happen. Advertising and marketing had always been very costly and with this new creation, why spend it on those means anymore? Radio? What is that— we have Spotify, Pandora, and Podcasts. Newspapers, ummm, we get our news online… Billboards, who even looks up from their phones these days? The world has changed and we must understand this shift or we will be spinning our wheels and watching our organizations continue to plateau and decline.
So where should we sit in this new world of connections and what should be our focus? The answer is easy, but the response is something that takes much more effort. We live in an ecosystem that no longer wants to be sold, but connected and inspired and this is the beauty of social networks. They are platforms thats soul purpose is to connect and give you, the organization, the ability say whatever you want. Now, that can be dangerous or empowering and it is completely up to you which of those paths you take. You have the ability to connect with people; that would be impossible before. You have that ability to add value to their life in ways that were much more difficult a decade ago. Coming from a Pastors stand point, our job is not to gather large crowds, but to see lives changed for Jesus and that means we should use any tool at our disposal to add value to people. The great thing is when you connect with people, add value, share your story, and inspire then you also see the growth in your physical location following the growth that is taking place online.
My next posts I want to talk about “HOW” we do social media effectively, but today I just wanted to discuss “WHY” we need to have an online presence.
So some “Next Steps” for you to work on until our next posts…
- If you haven’t already, create accounts on the different social networks. For most churches the two I tell everyone to focus on are Facebook and Instagram. There are several you can choose from, but I would rather be really effective on a few platforms than “okay” on several platforms. Also these two platforms have the widest reach for your community. Build a business Facebook page, not a personal Facebook page for your organization. Facebook is the largest social media site and hits the most age demographics. Next create an Instagram profile. Instagram is great for organizations because most people are very visually driven and in doing so we digest the content more. Instagram allows all posts to be seen by its followers unlike the Facebook algorithms. Instagram also has created features that look a feel like Snapchat in many ways and unlike Snapchat it is much easier to search for profiles which make finding your page much more accessible.
- Now you need to make sure your information is up to date on all your platforms. The right profile pictures, web addresses, physical addresses, and service times. It is a big turn off when information is not updated or incorrect.
- Make sure your branding stays consistent. Your branding, your design look, needs to be the same at your physical location, on your website, and on all your social sites. It is extremely confusing when these things do not line up because people question whether it is the same organization, and if it is, then they start wondering why there is no harmony. I am going to dive into this more on the next posts, but don’t brand yourself online what you are not in person. BE YOU because if you try to act like you are something online that you are not really in person then when they visit they will immediately have red flags go up and completely miss your heart.