7 Ways Churches Can Use Social Media

7 Ways Churches Can Use Social Media
Social Media is no longer a “nice to have” tool but should be part of a church’s communication strategy. Church members get frustrated when they can’t get information about a church event and have to call the office or ask around after a service. If you post your information on Social Media, they can get it at their fingertips and even forward to others. Social Media enhances your communication and reach as a church considering most people spend hours there. You may wonder how to get your church onto Social Media and maintain your presence. Learn seven ways to effectively use social media to grow your church.
It starts with the right platform where users engage with content relating to faith. Social Media is not only for business but churches and ministries can make use of it. It gives you an opportunity to engage with the Millennial's in your church who are reading and watching biblical content online. Research has shown that almost 85% of churches use Facebook as their primary online communication tool. 15% use Twitter and Instagram. Most of your church members already spend so much time online, not to mention the millions out there who are hungry to hear the gospel. If there is anything needed in large supply online is godly content. Social Media is not only for business but churches and ministries can make use of it. It gives you an opportunity to engage with the Millennial's in your church who are reading and watching biblical content online. 
Seven Ways Your Church Can Use Social Media
1. Stream your services
Streaming your services online gives members a chance to follow your sermons when they can’t attend church. They may be ill, out of the country or on mission trips but still want to listen to the Sunday sermon. Outsiders will also get the chance to experience your sermons. Others can go back and watch a sermon you have archived. Social Media platforms allow you to stream your services live on your profile. You can also post a sermon on your website and provide the link on your profile. This way you get to share the gospel with a wider audience.
2. Feedback
Social Media is a great tool to get feedback on your church’s activities. You will get feedback through comments on a post you have shared or as a direct message in your in-box. Getting feedback is easy, immediate and unbiased because it is coming from your members and outsiders. This will help you improve your communication, know what people are looking for in a church or identify what is working or not.
3. Advertise church events
I’m sure you are familiar with the embarrassment of low event turnout, it's worse if it was because they did not know about it. Are you wondering how you can increase attendance of your church events? Social Media is a good solution. You can post a ministry retreat, kids' camp, conference, fundraiser, etc. Your online followers, who comprise your members, visitors and others will see the advertisements on your profile and easily forward them to others. This will lead to an increase in awareness and attendance.
4. Post inspirational messages
As part of spreading the gospel to other nations, you can share posts with Scriptures and inspiring images. These help you share the gospel with your followers and maintain an online presence. You can post these messages in between your sermon and activity posts. They draw others to your profile and some end up being your members.
Inspirational posts are easy to create with the right tools. A good tool with a free plan is Canva. It has pre-set templates and a wide range of images to help you create beautiful posts that don’t require graphic designers or technical help. Such sites make is super easy for you by offering a drag-and-drop tool and you can put your image, text or shapes wherever you want them.
5. Sharing photos of your events
When you host events, you will definitely take photos to share the experience. Photos create a colorful addition and authenticity to your Social Media profile. Others get to see how the event took place, those who attended, and their anticipation to attend the next event grows. Photos tell stories about your church and the activities you regularly have. Social Media platforms offer you a tool to post several photos in one post to give the best viewing experience.
6. Drive traffic to your website
If you have a lot going on in your church, you can’t put it all on Social Media. However different platforms allow you to give an excerpt and a link to your website when you want to create awareness about a post. Because of this, many can engage with your content for example, blog posts, archived sermons, your vision & mission, visitors information, or ways to sign-up and make payment for events.
7. Introduce your church leadership
Many of your followers on your Social Media profile will be your members and visitors. It’s important that they get to know your church and ministry leaders. Post photos of your pastors preaching, a ministry leader hosting an event, an external speaking engagement by your lead pastor, the team in charge of a retreat and many others. By doing this, you will familiarize your members with your leaders and how they contribute to the growth of your church. When people know who is in charge of what, they can approach them directly.
Where to start
First, identify the social media platforms you will use. Secondly, start posting your sermons, photos, and inspirational messages. Be sure to include a three sentence summary with each post. After getting started, find someone (staff member/lay person) soon who you can entrust with creating posts and maintaining your profile.
Keep in mind there are people looking for a home church and will observe your posts from a distance before making the commitment to become a member. Other churches and ministries will find you online and can easily engage you on partnerships to advance the gospel. Using Social Media effectively will grow your church and provide you with an avenue to connect with a digital audience who is seeking Biblical content.