Facebook has become a critical element in the cultural landscape. Your church should have a Facebook presence (and probably already does), but you’re not going to reach people by just having a church page. You’re going to need to invest in some Facebook ads. Don’t worry, it’s reasonably cheap, and a great way to get your message in front of the right people.
But Facebook ads can do a lot more than attract new visitors. They’re cheap enough that you can experiment with some cool out-of-the-box concepts. Let’s explore some unorthodox ideas to get you thinking.
1. Recruit volunteers
People are used to seeing Facebook ads inviting them to Christmas and Easter services. That’s a legitimate aim, but using ads to recruit volunteers might appeal to folks who wouldn’t usually respond to a church ad.
People in your city—churchgoers and non-churchgoers—are looking for opportunities to serve others in their community. You can use Facebook ads to spread the word about your service projects and community events, and give them a chance to join in.
Try using video ads to feature clips from past projects, and don’t forget to create a Facebook event with more details and information that people can respond to.
Your ads can help you find engaged volunteers for your next project and connect you with new people in your community.
Next time you’re doing a service or outreach project, consider inviting your community—you never know who’s just waiting for a chance to help out.
2. Engage people who have shown an interest
If you have a bit of an ad budget, it’s easy to think that it all needs to go toward reaching people who aren’t familiar with your church. But that might not be the best use of those funds. Facebook makes pages pay to reach the people that are already fans, but when you do, it can give your content a natural boost.
You can share meaningful content with your members and others who are already interested in your church. And as they respond to it, your reach grows.
You can create ads that target people who have…
- Liked your page
- Visited your website
- Signed up for an event
- Watched your videos
- Signed up for your email list
These folks have all expressed interest in your church, which means you’re not starting from scratch when it comes to engaging them. They’re more likely to interact with your post and push it into the newsfeed of their friends and family.
Instead of advertising church services, you can promote the content you’ve created: sermons, blogs, podcasts, devotionals, or images with quotes and scripture. That’s the stuff people want to share with others and it creates a much more compelling case for visiting your church than a simple ad.
3. Get spontaneous community involvement
In traditional marketing, you have until the day of your event to get the word out. Once the event starts, you just have to hope you reached enough of the right people. With local Facebook ads, you can still reach people during the event.
Let’s say you’re doing a barbecue and block party at your church on a Saturday afternoon. Obviously, you’re going to do all you can to get the word out before Saturday. But you can still take advantage of local Facebook ads during the event for anyone in the neighborhood who might be interested in wandering over for some free lunch. Shooting a Facebook Live video doesn’t hurt, either!
Try advertising your day-of event with something like: “Bellingham block party. FREE BBQ! Today 2–4 pm.” You can even include a “get directions” button, so no one has a problem finding your gathering.
It’s not just about church attendance
Facebook is an incredible marketing engine that offers access to the people in your community that you want to reach. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that inviting people to a service is the best way to connect with them. You’re going to be much more successful when you find ways to communicate what you’re passionate about and what you’re doing in your community.
When you think of Facebook as an opportunity to create advocates and not just attendees, you’ll come away with both.
Want to learn more about ways to use technology in more unconventional ways to reach your community? Click here to talk to an expert today.