Social Media is a great tool for churches to both connect with their existing congregation, and meet and connect with new seekers. However, as a whole the church isn't doing a great job at this. Here are four strategies that will help you kill it on social media, including how to work with the new Facebook rules.
Pick 3 and do them well
As a whole I would recommend your church be on more than three, but each staff member should not be responsible for more than three. For instance, the senior pastor could be responsible for Facebook, Twitter, and E-mail, the youth pastor could be Instagram, Whatsapp, and Snapchat (WARNING! Be careful on snap chat. There is zero accountability as the nature of the app is that the conversations and snaps disappear. Only use it as a corporate brand voice for your church, not as an individual.) and the children's pastor could be on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram (it's ok to double up OR to have multiple accounts for different ministries.) The key to success here is to do them consistently. Set aside a time to do set posts (or set them in advance if that's a possibility) and then don't forget to capture authentic moments as they appear. If you are able to do this your social media following will grow.
Plan your success
Each of your posts should have a plan or a goal set to them. Do you want this post to drive traffic to your site? Do you want more likes? More follows? More engagement? Whatever it is, mark down what you tried (how many hashtags, etc.) and how well it worked. This way you have a physical metric you can measure your results against. If you aren't seeing the results you want then alter your strategy. Each post has the ability to bring you more likes and follows.
Optimize your posts
Ok, here's where I'm going to get specific for two major platforms. There are algorithms that you can please that will optimize your post and have it seen by more people.
Post your picture, preferably lighter and cooler colours, with a filter on it (trust me, filtered photos are 36% more likely to be engaged with than other photos), write a brief message about your photo, then use three hashtags after the message, the first should be your brand (so, ours would be #DigiscipleMe) and the second should relate to the message. Once you are finished that write as many hashtags as you can think of as the first comment underneath. This will skyrocket your engagement.
Twitter is a tough nut to crack, but once you get the feel for it you should start seeing more engagement. Try and tweet a photo, pictures are more likely to be noticed/liked than not, tweet a relatively short message with two hashtags at the end that are related to the topic of the tweet. You want to leave room at the end of your tweet so that if anyone retweets you they can add a comment to it.
What's up with Facebook?
So, Facebook recently changed their algorithm to be more user-centric and less business/salesy, and businesses are freaking out about it. However, those of us who saw this coming are less worried. The changes do impact the church, though, so it's important to know what's going on.
Create a Group Over a Page
Pages are great, and it's good to see how many followers you have, but, engagement on Facebook pages is at an all time low. If you post something from your page now, it doesn't get shown to your audience unless you a) pay for it, or b) it is directly relatable to your viewers identity. However, when you post in a group it shows up in the followers notifications.
Try not to post anything too self promotey, and whenever possible post content directly to Facebook instead of just linking it through Facebook to a third party, like Youtube. If you want increased engagement on Facebook the video has to be uploaded directly to there so that Facebook benefits from all the views. Facebook currently favors videos over 90 seconds that have a high completion rate. If you make one of these it just might end up in your followers timeline.
That's about it! If you can manage to keep these things up then you are in good hands. Go forth, and post! Post like the wind!