4-Part Social Media Content Framework for Churches
You’ve opened your church’s Facebook or Twitter account…and you stare at the screen, wondering what content you should be posting on a regular basis.
Social Media is about being social online. Don’t jump too quickly into asking your community to do something. They need to “know, like and trust” you before you can ask them to take action. Here is a handy framework for evaluating the impact of your online content:
- Know // Social Media is a place for churches to give people a sense of who you are. A part of your communication needs to be just letting people know about your ministry. Before people can be inspired to action within your ministry, they need to know about you. Content examples:
- Photos of services
- Reminders of service times
- Descriptions of ministry offerings
- Like // Beyond just information you need to communicate the personality and “heart” of your church so people will be moved to have an emotional reaction. If you are just advertising the “next event” through your Social Media channels you’re doing it wrong! Some examples of content and approaches for this category:
- Video or written testimonies
- “Behind the scenes” tours: How do you “make church happen”?
- Be real: Take time to be authentic and open online.
- Listen: Invest time just listening to what your community is talking about online.
- Funny stuff: How can you take yourself less seriously?
- Trust // Beyond just an emotional reaction to your ministry, people need to actually trust it to make a difference in their lives before they will recommend your ministry to friends and family. Social Media can be a fantastic channel to build trust with people. Here are some ways to build trust with your community:
- Post helpful content: Link to sermons that you’ve produced that help people solve the real world problems they face.
- Respond to people: If people ask you questions online, get back to them as quickly as you can.
- Avoid jargon: Stop using cute names or acronyms to communicate with people. Use language that first timers understand!
- Apologize: If something goes wrong at your church or online, take time to apologize through these channels.
- Don’t delete dissenters: If there is a healthy conversation happening online, allow people to express constructive criticism.
- Ask for feedback: Pose questions that solicit opinions about what is happening at your church.
- Action // Once people have come to “know, like and trust” you online, you can ask them to take action. A lot of churches just do this stuff online…but you should resist the urge to always be asking for something. Kept in the right proportion (maybe 10-20% of your posts), these calls to action can be a powerful part of your online strategy. Some examples of ways to ask people to take action through Social Media could be:
- Join a team, class or group. Provide a direct link to sign up online!
- Share an online video (or image) with their friends to promote an upcoming message series.
- Come to church! Don’t forget to actually ask them to attend your services…a great thing to do most Sunday mornings! 😉