Social media is a required communication channel for churches. It’s free to set up which is great — and almost your entire church membership is already on it!
You only have two things to do: get your congregation to “like” your account on each of your platforms and then keep them engaged so that your posts enter their feeds (all controlled by the platform’s algorithm as they decide who gets what content on their wall). Easy? Not really.
How do you get them to follow your page? Basically, you need to keep reminding your congregation that you have a Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram accounts and WHY they should follow you. Then you need to post content that would interest THEM (this runs very differently from what most churches are posting — promotional content 100% of the time is not the answer).
Once you have followers (can you really ever have enough?); here are 3 tips that will encourage engagement to affect the algorithm and allow your audience to see more of your content:
- Delay responses but do it promptly. You want to ensure you’re replying to almost every comment on your posts. This says you’re a “real person” and that you’re listening and caring about them. Comments don’t come easy so always reward them with a response if it makes sense — or at least a like. Be genuine and caring. BUT don’t respond all at once. If you have several comments on a post (this is your goal), comment on a few as they come in; then wait to comment on a few more later in the day. I then usually leave one at the end to comment on the next day. Each time you respond you “activate” the post and it pops up in the feed again to gain a larger audience. It doesn’t guarantee that everyone sees it — but it helps!
- Make posts about THEM even if it’s about YOU. Every church has content that feels good to post because it’s about you. But never post if it makes you look like you’re bragging or boasting about YOU. Always make THEM the king of the post. Spin all your posts so they feel great about what’s happening. Promotional posts often feel like you’re doing a ton of events but if you don’t convert it over to benefits of why they should attend, they’ll mainly ignore it as an ad. Consider the 80/20 rule here: only 20% of your posts should feel promotional while 80% feel entertaining (something THEY will enjoy). This is based on the TV ratio for ads:show that we’re all very comfortable with.
- Make comments to stimulate response. When you’re commenting as we discussed in #1, do the same thing as we discussed in #2. Make all comments about THEM but take it one step farther: do whatever you can to get them to reply to your comment. This can be as simple as adding a question at the end of your comment to ask their opinion or get them to give more information on their comment. Again, be genuine and caring!
Basically? Do whatever you can to generate a conversation. Use all your engaging conversational skills on each of your channels. Don’t think you carry on a good conversation in person? Then you probably are the wrong person to run your social account.