#1 No Money, No People
There is a basic fact of social media, that I think you forgot about.
Every single post you create about your upcoming sermon series, that trendy Pastor quote video, or your “Volunteer of the Week”…only gets shown to the people who already follow you on social. In fact, often times less than 10% of the people who follow you even see your post!
Having a killer Instagram feed on your church (or even your lead pastor) profile will really help with second impressions. But rarely will create a first impression. You should read that one more time.
There is a funnel when it comes to introducing your church to new people…they first see a post that they were intrigued by (first impression), then they click to your Instagram or Facebook profile to see more (second impression). If they are still interested from there, they will visit your website, and then finally come to a service.
The unlimited tool for reaching new people is about first impressions. The quality and consistency of your pretty Instagram feed is important for second impressions.
Your church’s social media strategy could be your #1 most effective outreach tool, by far.
If you are genuinely interested in reaching new people for your church, you need to stop focusing all of your attention on the weekly posts that you push.
You need to dive into the world of paid ads.
Really, this stuff works.
I am not making this up my friend, I am telling you this from 1st hand experience. At Vibrant, our team has helped large churches break through the 500, 1,000 or the 5,000 member gap with strategic Instagram and Facebook ad campaigns. We have also helped brand new ARC churches spend almost their entire pre-launch advertising budget on well performing social media ads and have bigger and better launch Sundays than then ever thought could be possible!
One of the Pastors that we partner with told me that they recently had dinner with a dear couple in the church. This couple is now deeply involved, and even serving in the church. This couple found the church on one of the social media ads we ran for the church, and converted into a first time guest soon after.
This could and should be your story as well.
When you run a social media ad, you get to choose the audience who sees your post. No longer are you limited to people who already “like” or “follow” your church on social media…now you are reaching new people who need to hear the message of Jesus.
Paid ads done right = reach the lost.
#2 Quit Asking For Stuff
If I haven’t scared you away yet, and you think paid ads might be a good thing…I implore you to do it the right way.
There is a way to do social ads very wrong, which can actually hurt your church’s reputation in the community more than anything.
I know when you pay $500 or $2,000 on a Facebook or Instagram ad campaign, human nature is going to want to see a return on your investment. Probably not a financial return, but you are going to want to see results….and that is going to hurt you.
You are going to want to see a new family at your church the next Sunday, or better yet…like 20 new families. I know that would be awesome, but you’ve got to let that go.
Social media ads are like seeds. Your only goal (for now) should be to plant a great first impression….and let that grow under the surface. You will reap a harvest later, but first you must plant the seed.
Find a way to provide value, inspiration, hope, humor or insight on your first impression posts. Give them free resources, or helpful tips on marriage, or parenting, or giveaways…something purely positive for them.
Asking nothing in return. Resit the temptation.
After a while, you can use Facebook’s custom audience tools and create a “retargeting” audience. This is an audience that has already have already interacted with your first impression posts, and now you can take the next step. Because fo your patience, you have put a good taste in their mouth for your church and Christianity.
Now it’s time to go for it. You have a second set of ads only for these people who have already had the first impression. Send them an invitation to join you for the next “Big Sunday” or to fill out a “Plan Your Visit” form on your website.
Sow First, Reap Later.
Give First. Ask Later.