If you’re responsible for managing your church’s social media, then you’ve probably realized that it’s a heavy lift. Whether you’re at the beginning stages or years into this work, a social media plan for church is key to seeing increased engagement, and ultimately, offering the hope of Jesus to people online.
It’s best to start with some guidelines or parameters in mind. Let’s take a look at how you can create a solid church social media plan in five easy steps:
There really isn’t a wrong answer to your church’s why, but it’s important to determine your reasons and motivations and remember them as part of your church social media strategy. Each local church is unique and has a specific mission. You might need to dig into your church’s mission statement and think about your values to get started.
It might be that your church is seeking to be relevant. For example, if your church is targeting college-aged students, perhaps posting on TikTok will be most relevant to your demographic.
Another why might be that your church is seeking to reach people outside of your doors. This could mean focusing your church social media plan to connect with your local community on Facebook.
Maybe your church is primarily online. If that’s the case, you might actually be hoping to reach a broader audience.
Many businesses and organizations are on social media simply because that’s where the vast majority of people are—that could be all the why you need.
Define a target audience for your church. This may cause some people to ask, “But, aren’t we supposed to reach everyone with the Good News?” Yes, of course, but to be the most impactful on social media, you need to be specific. Here are some questions to get you started:
Once you determine your target audience, it’s time to move on to your social media content.
What type of content are you posting? From sermons to VBS pictures to small group opportunities, the options are endless. What kind of social media content will best inform, connect, and engage your community? Is the content you’re posting offering something meaningful to your followers?
Every effective social media plan for churches should include these three activities:
Now we’re ready to create a weekly social media plan for your church! Don’t overthink this. You’ve already laid the groundwork in steps one and two, so let’s get planning:
Start with low-hanging fruit
Think of the content your church has readily available that you want to share with your social media followers. These include content like:
Establish a rhythm for your weekly posts
Here’s an example of a daily social rhythm. Whether posting everyday or one a week, use this as inspiration as you create a process that best works for your church.
Make room for interruptions
Don’t get caught up in the rhythm so much that you miss out on meaningful and timely content. This could be making a statement about an emergency, concern about a current event, or any other church-specific announcements that you deem relevant for your audience.
Create a church social media calendar. What’s the difference between a plan and a calendar? A calendar lets you look at the broader scope of things while your plan focuses on the finer day-to-day details.
When you’re “zooming out” and creating your calendar, a great place to start is by noting the upcoming sermon series. If your church has anything planned for the year, be sure to map out when they start and end. These are great places to plan promotional series posts.
Your church social media calendar will also help you keep an eye on important seasonal events. Do yourself a favor and block off the weeks around Easter and Christmas. The surrounding weeks can easily get post-heavy, and it’s good to account for that early on before the busyness of the holiday season.
If your church has camps or any other ministry events planned, get ahead of the hustle, and mark those dates.
There are many tools out there. Some are free, and others are relatively inexpensive. One free and downloadable resource is the HubSpot Content Calendar. This resource allows you to create and customize a spreadsheet with your church’s content. Or depending on the size and scope of your church, you might find the free version of Hootsuite better suited to your needs. This even lets you schedule content directly to your social media platforms.
All of this helps to create a useful framework. Remember that things will change, and that’s okay. It’s much easier to update your social media calendar than it is to wing it!
Did you just finish reading a blog all about guidelines and best practices? Yes you did! It’s clear that you care about the work you’re doing for the Church. At this point, you know that a church social media plan truly is key to seeing increased engagement for your church, and ultimately, offering the hope of Jesus to people online.
While you can easily get wrapped up in the tasks associated with your role as a social media manager, remember the why. Most importantly, remember whom you’re serving.
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