Churches around the world are gearing up for Christmas with social media, but have they chosen the right strategy?
Using Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms to connect with more people is a great idea. The question remains: will this new strategy be successful? And how might it affect the local congregation’s connection during the holidays?
Who Are You Trying to Reach?
It’s always useful to tell your regular attendees about upcoming events, and the Christmas season is usually jam-packed with different carol concerts, kid’s services, and so on.
The challenge is that few of them will care about every single event, and even those who do might not be able to make it. So how do you spread the word?
No matter where a church is located, it’s going to have a local audience. But what about the rest of the town or city, or neighborhoods nearby? What about people all over the country? And even further than that, with livestreaming now very common, what about the global audience?
Social media is the perfect answer. People anywhere can see, and more importantly, SHARE your posts about events.
The Marketing Strategy for Christmas Events
Here’s the thing – Christmas is the most likely time that a person will attend church, even if they don’t see the inside of the building for 364 days of the year.
You need to go where the people go, and advertise there. While there are benefits to each platform, the standout in this respect is Facebook.
You can create a Facebook event for every event, but this can be overwhelming information overload if you have multiple events planned. What often works well is a well-written post with a great picture detailing an outline of what’s coming up – and a link to a page on your website that has all the details in an easy to read format.
One benefit of individual events is that Facebook will send a reminder. However, with your own website, you can include links to add events to a calendar, or even get visitors to sign up to your email newsletter.
With either a post or events, you can use Facebook ads to get the information in front of people in your area or further afield. You can even exclude people who attend your church (ie who like your Facebook page) from seeing the ads, helping you reach those who wouldn’t see your posts anyway.
What Do We Know About Keeping People Connected?
A few years ago, everyone in the church felt connected because they met regularly. Nowadays, this can be very different – with lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, some people have stayed in the church, but aren’t physically present. They do connect online through livestreams and social media.
Studies have found that people who were active on church Facebook pages tended to feel more connected to their faith than those who followed churches on Twitter, which supports the above marketing plan – there is a greater sense of community on Facebook.
The important thing is, no matter which platform(s) you choose, keep posting regularly, and work on the impact your posts have.
That’s not to say they need to offer new revelations every day, but simply do something to make them stand out. One way you can make your church stand out is by using a video to introduce yourself or advertise an event, but make sure it is well lit and to-the-point.
Another way is by creating a blog post series where you share stories from members of your congregation about their Christmas memories and traditions (which places value on the history of your church, and that’s always great for those who visit).
Furthermore, remember to check out all social media platforms. Facebook is always going to be the priority, but some people like Twitter as a way to find out what you’re up to during the year. And Instagram is ideal for those festive images!
Church social media is a great way to get the word out about upcoming Christmas events. Make sure you use it effectively and remember to target those who aren’t members of your church.
Christmas is the perfect time to get EVERYBODY together!