Christmas is a special time of year for churches. It’s one of the three seasons (along with Easter and Mother’s Day) most likely to bring in visitors, but it also invokes seasonal emotions that make people more likely to resonate with the gospel.
The more visitors you can draw to your church during the holiday season, the more likely you are to have a real impact on attendees, their families, and the wider community. While you encourage regular attendees to bring their friends and family to church this Christmas, don’t forget to leverage one of the most effective outreach tools available: social media.
Here are 11 ways you can use Facebook to fill your church this Christmas season:
1. Be consistent across platforms
When you’re coming up with your Christmas sermon and seasonal plans, factor Facebook into the strategy. Change your cover image so it fits in with the design elements of your sermon series. Even the content of your Facebook updates should be related to your services. As much as possible, you want a unified theme across all platforms.
2. Use Facebook events
Use Facebook events for everything from children’s Christmas pageants to this season’s outreach projects. After you invite your congregation, they can turn around and invite their friends and families. The best part of using events as part of your Christmas outreach plan? This strategy is a pretty low-risk way for your community to invite someone to a church event without having to worry about rejection!
3. Facebook polls
Facebook polls are an easy way to get people engaging with your church’s content and encourage attendance to one of your services. Use them at Christmas time to get feedback from your members early about service times they plan to invite guests to, cool things your church can incorporate into the Christmas service to engage with newcomers, or even which songs most first-time visitors are likely to know. The idea is to gather information that will help you plan well for your Christmas service. Plus, these polls can be used to ask your community which service they plan to invite guests to and, in this way, secure their commitment to bring a friend.
4. Put Facebook advertising to work
If you could invite everyone within a 50-mile radius of your church to one of your Christmas services, would you? With Facebook ads, you can. Yes, you’re going to spend some cash, but if you create a great ad that drives newcomers to your Christmas events, it’ll be money well spent. In fact, many growing churches use it to reach their communities digitally and target people to attend local church services based on their location or even personal interests.
5. Put Facebook Live to work for you
Some folks may not feel comfortable responding to your first invite, but they might be intrigued enough to start checking out your social media platforms. By live-streaming your Christmas services, potential newcomers get to see what they can expect at your church, increasing the chances they’ll visit in person. The great part about live streams is that the videos stay on your church’s page and are shareable throughout the season.
6. Use videos of church members
People are drawn to the experiences of others. In planning your sermon series, consider ways you can use the testimonies of real people in your church and share them on your Facebook page. Create a video of their Christmas memories or interview them about their Christmas traditions. Everyone longs to be part of a true community, and seeing people from your church sharing their stories says, “this is a place you can belong, too.”
7. Put key info on your cover image
It’s not too difficult to get people to check out your Facebook page, but you can’t guarantee that they’ll click through to your website. So make sure that all the info they’ll need to make it to your key Christmas events is visible on your cover or profile image. This might be service times or the date of special Christmas events. Don’t overload the image with information—prioritize what they need to know and give them the critical details.
8. Carefully curate your images
Images are king on Facebook. Use them as much as you possibly can with every post, but do it carefully. It’s easy to find a lot of free Christmas images, but just because they’re pretty doesn’t mean they’re working for you. A closeup, high-resolution image of Christmas ornaments with a quote over it might be pleasant to look at, but it doesn’t say anything about you and doesn’t necessarily invoke emotions. Use lots of images and use them strategically. Ask, “what does this photo say about us and what feelings does it stir up?” Find images that invoke feelings of celebration, excitement, community, and family.
9. Connect with people
There’s something special about Christmas. People are generally cheerier, more optimistic, and hopeful. Keep that in mind when you’re planning out your Facebook content. Don’t just look for stuff to fill up your posting schedule. Think about intentional, strategic posts that will connect with people. This will take an in-depth knowledge of your community and what type of online content they respond to the most.
10. Have people share your content
It should be all hands on deck over the holidays. Everyone needs to understand how Facebook works into your Christmas outreach strategy. Encourage your community to share, like, and comment on all of your church’s content. That’s the key to getting it into the feeds of their friends and family—the people you’re hoping to reach.
11. Retarget people on your website
This one takes a little bit of website know-how, but it’s worth investing in. By installing the Facebook pixel on your website, you can retarget everyone who visits your site with Facebook ads. Think about it, if they’ve visited your website, they’re already thinking about you. A well-placed follow-up ad could be the nudge they need to actually attend a service.
Bonus: Kick off the season with an event
Why not think of a big community event to kick-start your holiday season? Maybe you can raise funds with a big dinner or auction and give them proceeds to a local charity. Use Facebook events to invite people all over the community and partner with the charity to piggyback off of their Facebook page as well. This can be a simple way to get people excited about your church and the things you’re doing.
Need more help?
These ideas should get you started, but if you’re looking for more information, here are some posts to keep you informed:
- 8 Hacks for Your Church’s Social Ads
- How Your Church Can Get Better at Social Media Right Now
- 10 Effective Facebook Tips for Churches
You can also reach out to one of our experts to learn about preparing your church for a great Christmas season using excellent giving tools and a custom church app. Talk to an expert today.