What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing involves using social platforms to promote an organization's products, services, brand, or cause while nurturing relationships with its target audience.
Social media marketing helps churches and ministries:
- Increase brand awareness
- Engage your audience
- Sell and advertise offers
What is a social media strategy?
A social media strategy outlines your ministry's social media goals and the steps you will take to achieve those goals.
How to create a social media marketing strategy for your church or ministry in 8 easy steps
- Designate a team
- Set goals
- Define your target audience
- Decide on the platforms you'll use
- Create your accounts
- Create engaging content
- Create a social media content calendar
- Test, measure, adjust
Step 1: Designate a Team
Before we dive into the tactical pieces of this strategy, it's important to identify your designated social media team. Without a team, the rest of the strategy will not be implemented.
Your social media team will handle all of your ministry's social media efforts. Ideally, they should be familiar with the social media platforms your ministry plans to use. They will be responsible for posting content, monitor your accounts, interacting with your followers, responding to messages and comments, etc.
Step 2: Set Goals
Every successful strategy starts with well thought out goals. Without set goals, your team will not be able to identify it's successes or failures.
But the goals you set should not be arbitrary. You should aim for goals that follow the S.M.A.R.T. acronym; specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive.
Here's an example:
"Our Facebook Page will serve as a way to build church awareness. We will grow our impressions by 20% by the end of the quarter."
Step 3: Identify your Ministry's Persona(s)
We know this can sound a bit odd for many in Christian leadership. Everyone is our target, right? Absolutely, the gospel is for everyone, but even The Lord decided that Peter would ultimately be called to the Jews and Paul to the Gentiles (Acts 22:21).
We all have seen where different ministry's attract different audiences. One ministry may attract a larger number of Millennials and Gen Z while another may attract more Gen X and Baby Boomers. Another may have an equal mix of various generations.
No matter where your congregation falls on the spectrum, it's important to identify your key audiences by building a persona. A persona helps you describe your target audience(s) in detail.
Some helpful characteristics include:
- Marital Status / Children Age
If you're stuck, a great place to find this information is by studying your current following on social media or studying the members of your church.
Step 4: Decide which social media platforms you will use
After identifying your audience, it will be much easier to decide which social media channels your ministry should create. You may be wondering, "Shouldn't we be on all of them?," not exactly.
Now that you know who your audience is, you want to make sure that you are on the social channels that they hang out the most. It's important to note that different social media platforms attract different audiences.
- Facebook and YouTube are great places for all ages
- Instagram and TikTok are mostly catered to Gen Z and millennials
Pro tip: Are your youth leaders struggling to engage their audience? Perhaps creating a TikTok for your church's youth department would generate some excitement.
The most important thing is to focus on platforms that your core audience is already active and start building, nurturing, and sustaining community there.
Step 5: Create your accounts
One of the worst mistakes that churches and ministries make when launching on social media is to create a personal account. Personal accounts are meant for individuals while business accounts are meant for professional use of organizations.
Be sure to set up a Facebook page for your church. If you plan to use Instagram, then set up your account through your ministry's Facebook page. More instructions on that here.
To create a consistent brand image for your ministry be sure to use the same logos across all networks, so your profile is easily recognizable.
Step 6: Create engaging content
There's a popular saying in the marketing world that "content is king." It's absolutely true. Your social media performance will always depend on the quality of your content.
Here are a couple of tips for great content:
- Post great quality pictures/videos/graphics
- Find inspiration by looking at other ministry accounts
- Ask your followers what type of content they would like to see
If you need help generating social media post ideas, we've got you covered. View our Ultimate List of Social Media Post Ideas for Churches.
Step 7: Create a social media content calendar
Establishing a social media content calendar is equally important to creating great content. A content calendar will help you have a plan in place in advance for which content to post at what time and on which platform.
Social media calendars help you organize and plan out your content in advance. Having a plan in advance makes your social media more manageable and effective so that you are not scrambling to figure out what to post each day.
Step 8: Test, measure, and adjust
Now that you've finished your social media strategy, you must remember that your strategy must be tested, measured and adjusted over time. It is by no means a "one-and-done" process.
Along the way, you may find that some of the things you initially planned didn't work as well as you thought they would, and that's okay!
As you see the data roll in, refine your strategy. Your social media strategy is a living document. In order to stay healthy and effective it should change over time as the social landscape changes.