Like it or not, the social media age is here and it gives churches and nonprofits a great opportunity. Where are the people you are trying to reach? Many of them are on social media networks. You need to find out which ones they hang out on – facebook, twitter, linkedin, etc. and be there too.
What’s Your Message?
Churches and nonprofits have a specific message to share, and social media has made it easier than ever to get your message out there. With a click of a mouse, you can invite people to your church to hear a special series you’re preaching or to a community event you’re holding. I wouldn’t advise making social media your only avenue of outreach, but it’s one that shouldn’t be overlooked either.
There are legitimate concerns when it comes to taking on social media, so let’s look at a couple of them below.
What to Write About
One of the most common complaints about social media is not knowing what to post about. Here’s some ideas that can always be tweaked to fit your church or nonprofit.
- Upcoming events – it might be a church garage sale or community fundraiser for your nonprofit.
- Special sermon series – maybe you’re preaching a series on strengthening families or how to have a happy marriage. Let others know about it!
- A praise report – maybe your nonprofit was given an unexpected gift. Without mentioning the donor’s name, you can share the blessing you received.
- A new/updated website – what better place to share a link to your new website?
- Share pictures (just be sure to have permission if there’s people in them) People on social media love pictures!
- Give a short snippet from a blog post and share the link so your followers can read the rest of it.
- Ask questions – what are people looking for in a church, or if they’re not attending a church, why not? You might get some real insight.
- Share the gospel – you can have a global reach with a facebook page and touch the lives of people you may never meet here on earth.
I know that churches and nonprofits are already stretched to the limit for their time. But posting on social media doesn’t have to be done by only the pastor or one person. Consider developing a team of people who will commit to posting updates. Be sure you choose people who will represent your church/nonprofit and its values well.
I do want to mention that one of the goals of social media is to let others get to know better who your church or nonprofit is. So, it might be helpful have someone who is in leadership do some of the posting. That way, they can add a personal touch and others can become acquainted with you before getting involved in your church or organization.
Social media may not be the “end all” but it can help your church engage more with your congregation. It has the potential to increase connections during the week when you’re not all together in a service. People can “like posts”, “reply/leave comments to posts,” “retweet posts,” etc.
This may be especially nice for the youth in your church. They love spending time on social media, so why not give them a page where they can come and share pictures and talk with each other? Hopefully, this will strengthen the bond of the youtsh. As with anything else, just be sure things are being monitored and that it’s all working for good and not negative.
Social media seems to be here to stay for a while, so it may be time to think about how your church/nonprofit can use it. Obviously, you will still want to reach out through other avenues such as your website, blog, a local newspaper, bulletin, newsletter, etc., but social media offers one more opportunity to get the word out.
The last thing I want to mention is the potential reach that you have with social media. For nonprofits trying to bring attention to a fundraising event, or for churches wanting to invite new people to come, this can be huge. If your posts get shared by your followers with their followers, the reach expands and you get your message in front of a whole new group of people. Again, it can be an awesome opportunity.
By Laurie Neumann
DL Church Websites