The Only Social Media Metric Your Church Should Care About

What does a “like” mean on Facebook? Think about it, really. As you scroll down your feed, inundated with an endless supply of funny videos, pictures, and soundbites, how much of what you’re seeing are you retaining? Does it make an impact beyond the firing of a quick synapse and instant gratification? 

When you think about “likes” in this broken down way, it can drastically impact how you approach using social media to reach your own congregation and others. Sure, your post can get a hundred “likes,” but what does this tell you beyond the fact that your page has a decent following, people happened to see it, and those people quickly made the impulse to click a button and moved on?

To utilize Facebook, and social media in general, in a meaningful way, for your ministry it’s important to consider metrics that represent significant engagement rather than superficial engagement. 

Earlier this year, we shared some of the main takeaways from a 2018 Summit One Day keynote, which focused on tactics churches can you to nurture their community via social media, delivered by Nona Jones. Jones is the leader of Faith-Based Partnerships for Facebook and has a passion for working with church organizations to help them expand their discipleship beyond the four walls of a church building. In today’s post, we’re taking a deeper look at the most pivotal social media metric Jones implores you to focus on… 

After Engaging with Your Social Media Content, How Many People Find Jesus or Strengthen Their Relationship with Him? 

Your success on social media isn’t about how many people “like” your posts, it’s about how many people choose Jesus because of them. 

Okay, so there’s not some “new Jesus followers” metric you can easily glance at when looking at the performance of your Facebook page. It is, however, the lens you should be creating your social media content through with every post, comment, etc. Getting bogged down by superficial metrics such as likes or verification will only make it easier for you to lose sight of your mission, which is to serve as a resource for those who want to learn more about Jesus and grow closer to Him. 

“It doesn’t matter if you’re verified on Facebook,” says Jones. “The question is, are you verified in the Lamb’s book?” –Nona Jones, Director of Faith-Based Partnerships, Facebook 

So rather than going after superficial metrics, instead focus on how to nurture engagement and develop a strong online discipleship strategy. Social media should simply serve as a vehicle to help you reach more people where they’re at. Posting is not enough to nurture a community. It takes engagement: 

  • Reaching out to people individually
  • Creating spaces (i.e. groups) for people to interact
  • Creating multiple opportunities for people to connect with your church online and in-person
  • Putting church leaders in charge of online communities (not just your social media manager)
  • Streaming your sermons so that those who are unable to make it to the building can also partake in your church’s worship
  • Inviting people in your online community to take next steps, whether it’s attending a remote small group, in-person event, donate online, or volunteer within your community

Reframe Your Approach to Social

Once you fully adopt a disciple-driven approach to social media, it’s easier to consider standard Facebook metrics without being owned by them. Likes can give you a sense of whether or not your content is resonating. But it’s up to you to go beyond feeling satisfied with a like and working towards interacting with the actual people behind those clicks. Check out these 5 tactics Jones recommends to help you better nurture your church community on Facebook.

In our 2019 Church Growth Report, larger, growing churches we surveyed were likely to have a strategic social media plan. They didn’t just dabble in Facebook Live and sharing sermons, they invested in paid, targeted ads and intentionally connected with their community. The result? These churches were more likely to experience growth. But social media wasn’t the only tactic these churches used to connect people with Jesus and with the local church body.

To discover what other churches successfully deployed to better engage with their community, download the free 2019 Church Growth Report today!

2019 church growth report

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