Coordinator of Communication and Evangelism
It was great to see everyone who stopped by our Communication Corner at Vestry College this past weekend! One of the topics of discussion, proposed by two different parishes was, “So, how do we get more followers to our Facebook page or group?” Here are just a few simple ideas that may help.
1. Get a plan in place to keep content fresher. For one small parish in our diocese, we devised a plan for four different people in the congregation to each agree to take a different week of the month and post at least one thing as administrators of the parish page. It could be a photo of some outreach ministry, a video of some music or a sermon, even just groups of people at coffee hour or a church social event that you tag. (Lots of tagging is great!) If four people agree to do at least one post in a week, that is at least four things a month that get posted. And, that’s a start.
2. Send messages or notes to other churches and organizations in your community and invite them to like your page.
3. Ask your own parishioners to share some of your posts to their friends.
4. Rev up interest in your local neighborhood or community on Facebook “Throwback Thursdays” by posting and tagging businesses, people schools, churches, or the area with some of those old historic photos hanging around the church office.
5. Get out your local newspaper and read about the many awards, honors, and successes going on in your community, from winning sports teams to businesses expanding, to service clubs celebrating anniversaries to scout groups receiving recognition. Offer congratulations on your page from your congregation and tag them on your Facebook page.
6.. During announcement time at church, consider providing a moment to encourage parishioners to check in on Facebook and say a word about the lectionary message/theme, sermon, music, or even post a picture of something happening that day.
7. Get some conversation going in the form of inviting comments or questions. Example: Lent is almost here. What does it mean to you, personally, to keep a holy Lent? Reply or react to the comments.
8. Do a lot of linking back and forth to your website and any other social media that you do.
9. Use Facebook Live or video messages as a tool for encouraging parishioners to share their personal stories about why their church and faith is personally important to them.
10. Experiment with paid posts. Facebook paid invitations to your next event or your parish in general can be quite affordable. You can focus your paid posts on very specific areas and to specific interests. Start small, review the Facebook analytics to determine who you have reached and connected with, and determine if paid posts are a worthwhile investment for your church.
11. Be creative with images and memes. Whenever possible, show it more than say it!
12. Connect with people via current events. If someone in your community is having a meeting on the opioid crisis or homelessness, use your page to promote these events. People who are interested in these issues will sometimes make a connection with you, particularly if they are thinking of seeking a church.
13. Offer a “share and post” contest, offering a drawing for a small prize, such as a scented candle or bouquet of flowers for all who will like and share your post.
These are just a few simple ideas. Feel free to submit your own, including what you have tried and how it worked! See you next month!