There was a 70% increase in Facebook & Instagram usage in the month of March. People are turning to apps to keep themselves entertained, connected, and informed while they’re spending more time at home.
This is a huge opportunity to use your voice across social media platforms! It’s important to be relational and engaging with potentially the largest social media audiences we may ever see.
Here are basic steps for a successful social media presence during COVID-19:
1. Listen Up: What are people engaging with?
Listen to what people are saying. Step back and change your approach. Social media is not just an avenue to shout out your announcements. Social media is a two-way street, listen to people and engage with them the way they want to. You can make connections using social media, but you need to listen to your visitors and be genuine.
Look at what your audience is engaging with - which social media posts are popular? Why? What posts get the most comments? Likes? Use A/B testing tactics and check the analytics.
2. Focus on Your Audience, Not More Ads
Now more than ever people are feeling anxious and stressed. They need to hear and experience encouraging, fun, entertaining content. Post more of what people engage with. Look at your social media accounts’ statistics to see what works. Do people react well to comics, memes, bible quotes, inspirational messages, jokes, advice, etc? Try out a mixture of posts and see what your audience likes!
It may take church members longer to return to in-person churches than you would like. Meet your members where they are and make them feel comfortable engaging with you online.
3. Lighten Up
Humor is healing. Used wisely it can go a long way to connecting you deeper with your audience. If you don’t have a healthy filter with humor get some assistance from other church leaders or marketing experts. Setting out specific guidelines for your team.
A great presentation strategy is first using humor to warm an audience up and then making a serious point. This same strategy can be used on social media, especially with relatable humor. You can follow it up with a sermon or scripture of the week.
4. Serving Your Community
Find and share opportunities to serve the community you live in. This is a great way to strengthen human connections and show love to your neighbors by serving them.
No local opportunities? Create some! Have your church leaders take a look at your congregation and neighborhood - ask who can you serve? Pray about the possibilities you come up with. Use your social media voice to promote worthy events of service.
5. Avoid COVID-19 Conversations
On social media, it’s almost impossible to stay away from COVID-19 pandemic arguments and debates. However, this is not what most people look for on social media. People want a break from overbearing news, they're looking to churches for comfort, family, and the word of God.
Your church can’t completely avoid the subject because it’s affecting why you can’t meet in your building and you want to be mindful of others' physical/emotional suffering. However, you want to keep out of controversy as much as possible.
Come up with a plan on how social media coordinators, volunteers, and online hosts deal with pandemic questions and concerns. Be prepared and make sure your church team is on the same page.
6. Add New Channels
Take a step back and determine what channels would be good for your church. Are you addressing the audience you have on the right channel? Are you appropriately engaging with each platform? Each social media platform has different identities. Different age demographics and professionalism is needed - you need to find your niche.
Possible social media platforms for your church:
For more information on how your church can increase your presence on social media, email us at [email protected]
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