The entire staff at your house of worship works each week tirelessly to produce an amazing experience that lasts for only a few hours on Sunday. Take advantage of this opportunity to make the most out of your hard work and get your message out to the world with live streaming. Whether you are simply rebroadcasting a church service that you recorded earlier in the day or live streaming the event in real-time, it’s a great way to increase your church’s exposure on social media. Capture the moment for your church members to cherish for years to come.
Here is a tip that many churches are taking advantage of to help spread the good word. Your target audience is likely local people who are friends and family of the dedicated members who currently attend your church every Sunday. Take advantage of that, and use the geolocation tagging feature available on Facebook for sharing the whereabouts of your fellowship every Sunday! During services, you should encourage your members to check into your house of worship on Facebook. When they do this their family members, and friends will be notified where they are, which just so happens to be at your church.
This is a great way to organically spread awareness about your church through the people who support you most. When people on Facebook see this “Check-in” post, it’s likely that they are going to click the link to your church’s Facebook page. If you are live streaming the service, they will be able to instantly see inside the church and imagine their friends or family members attending church right there! These are the types of experiences that push online viewers to attend church in person through social encouragement. You can encourage the people who may initially be hesitant to come to your church to get in contact with you.
Facebook truly is a social media platform that connects people with the things they like. The more people that like your Facebook page, the further your organic reach will become. Facebook has a map of all live streams that are going on at any given time. Look at the Facebook live map on a Sunday morning at facebook.com/livemap. It will be a true eye opener when you see the largest live streams on the planet are churches from all around the world that are amassing large audiences of online viewers. Combine the massive distribution and scale of this network with its newly created digital donation features, and you are looking at some very powerful new ways to spread the message of God and grow your church.
Here are ten tips you can use to grow your audience on Facebook.
1. Video Production
There is a HUGE need for professional video on Facebook, especially live video.
2. Take yourself seriously
Develop your niche and listen to your audience. Be prepared to take constructive criticism and use it as fuel to grow.
3. Be dedicated to your community
You are dedicated to your local community. Can you extend this thoughtfulness to the online audience? Can you spend 20 minutes replying to comments after each sermon?
4. Page growth
Organic growth will happen over time. Collaborate and share your content with like-minded organizations. Don’t forget to link to your Facebook page from your website and vice versa.
5. Page Likes
Facebook page likes are very similar to YouTube subscribers. “Likes” are used by Facebook to determine the interests of their users. Once someone has liked your page, they will be notified about your upcoming live streams. When someone engages with your live stream, Facebook will allow you to invite them to like your page.
After each live stream, go back and click the list of people that engaged with your video. You can click the “invite” button to invite them to like your page.
6. Email your audience
It’s important to maintain a line of digital communication with your congregation in this day and age. You should consider prompting viewers of your live stream to fill out an online form. In this way, you can collect your online audiences’ contact information and send them reminder emails about your upcoming events and live streams.
7. Promote engagement
You already have amazing services. Have you considered asking for people to engage? This can be done directly on your live stream with a lower third graphic overlay that says, “Click the love button if you love this sermon.” This will tell Facebook that your audience is very engaged with your content.
8. Native video
If you can only live stream to one platform, you may want to choose YouTube. Many churches choose YouTube because you do not need to have a login to view the service. If so, remember to record or download your service and upload the video directly to Facebook. In this way, you are uploading “native” video content to Facebook which performs ten times better than simply linking to a video on YouTube or Vimeo.
9. Boost your posts
It’s amazing how affordable advertising on Facebook is. There are entire books about advertising on Facebook, but the simple fact is that it works. I would suggest boosting your Sunday services for $5-10 each week and selecting the audience of people who already “like your page and their friends.” This will send out the weekly service, with a donate button, to an extended network of people who already like you and their circle of friends. Facebook will notify friends of friends that their friends like your page. It’s an incredibly great way to spread the word about your church and the people who support you.
10. Have fun!
There is something magical about light-hearted fun. Yes, we need to take ourselves and the people around us seriously. But we also need to make sure we are emitting a certain level of enjoyment in our work. Laughter is contagious, and fun will speak volumes when you are low key convincing new people to check out your church.