So, you’re planning an event at your church. After all the blood, sweat, and tears that you’ve put into organizing, collaborating, and preparing … how do you actually get people there?
Marketing. Specifically, social media marketing. Now before you stop reading because you feel like marketing is a bad word in the church, let us help bridge that gap. Marketing is simply about reaching people with your message. And social media is one of the best tools to use to reach people in that way. While most pastors have social media profiles, they lack might understanding about the potential reach of these platforms on a daily basis.
News flash – Facebook is still winning the social media popularity contest by huge margins. Smart Insights says that 89% of U.S. Internet users are on Facebook, and 76% of them log in daily. For Instagram (owned by Facebook), the numbers are lower but still significant; 32% of U.S. Internet users are on Instagram with 51% of their users accessing the app daily. This tells us that no matter your audience, they are on social media … and more than half are on it every day!
Whether it’s an event directed at teenagers or parents of small children, having a social media marketing strategy to get people in the door will pay dividends for your church and the kingdom as a whole. Get them in the door in order to speak truth and love into their lives.
Today, we’re giving you 10 ways you can effectively market your event on social media. After all, marketing should be fun!
Create an event on Facebook
Create an event and promote it on your church Facebook page. This is a great place to put details about the event, a button to encourage ticket sales or the purchase of merchandise, and pictures from last years event to show how much fun it was. Once you create the event, you have to post in it consistently. Consider running a content, sharing interesting facts, asking questions, and other indirect ways to promote your event.
TIP: Consider creating a post on your church’s Facebook page and “pinning” it to the top of your timeline to promote your event. The post will have an image and details about the event as well as a link to the event page.
Create and use the event hashtag
Hashtags are used to create micro-communities within social networks. Chick-Fil-A uses #leadercast for their Chick-Fil-A Leadercast. Download Youth Ministry uses #dym on many of their social posts. A consistent hashtag allows you to use content from your event attendees as well as creates buzz around your event, before, during, and after.
Create a set of graphics to share on social media
These can include quotes, Bible verses, or simple graphics with the event information. Canva is a great tool for this! You can also create individual images featuring each guest speaker and those images can be reused so you get plenty of use out of them as you promote your event.
Create a new Facebook cover photo to promote the event
While you’re creating graphics, go ahead and create a Facebook cover image with a few details about your event. Be sure to consider your audience when choosing the look and feel of the image.
Share pictures from last year’s event
If this is an annual event, be sure to share pictures from last year’s event. If you don’t have any, do some digging around for images on attendees personal social pages (but ask before you share!) Along with pictures, consider sharing stories from past events, too. What an opportunity to share how your church is impacting your community! Whether it’s VBS, a praise & worship night, or a women’s event, these stories will show your community that you are serious about giving them value and helping them in their journey to grow closer to Jesus.
Use your network, and encourage sharing
Get 10-15 people in a room that will support your event by sharing your posts on their personal social media pages. This will not only generate attendance for your event, but will build awareness for your church in your community. Tag speakers, past attendees, and those involved in planning the event in your posts.
Do you know who will speak or perform at your event? Whether it’s your worship band and one of your pastors or a whole lineup of guest speakers, tag them in your posts. This will create credibility, camaraderie, and will hopefully end with them sharing or reposting your content.
Make a video to show how much fun your event will be
When we say make a video … it doesn’t HAVE to be a gorgeous professional video. It may get more engagements (likes and shares) the more professional it is. However, some of the most viral videos out there were shot with a simple iPhone and minimal editing. It could be a simple message telling people why they should attend your event or a recap of last years event. Be sure to include captions as most of the videos are viewed without sound.
Use Facebook ads to promote your event
This is the only item on our list that will cost you money. The budget is up to you, but we strongly urge you to consider putting some ad dollars behind a few of your social media posts. You can target these posts to a certain demographic or geographic area. You’d be surprised how far a budget of $50 – $100 can go! We won’t go to in depth in this article, but you can reach out to us for more direction!
Share behind the scenes peeks into event preparation
As the event gets closer, share behind the scenes images and videos to create a buzz right before the event. Hopefully this will be the push to get those that have been on the fence to buy tickets and attend the event. Also, consider doing a Facebook Live video on your church’s Facebook page to engage with your followers.
TIP: When you do a Facebook Live video, it notifies all of your followers that instant. Facebook likes videos!
Get started NOW
It’s never too early to start promoting an event. If you plan on implementing the tactics above, you’ll need a team on your side to take it from vision to completion. Make sure you have a graphic designer, photographer, and other volunteers to create the tools for social media marketing. Posting frequency will depend on how far out the event is, but know that you’ll want to increase frequency as you get closer to the event.
If you’re like a lot of pastors and find these ideas intriguing yet intimidating, don’t worry. Our creative team has plenty of experience marketing events. You can reach us at [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you! And if you have a killer idea that worked that we can share with other churches, please let us know!