Social Media For the Church: Key Steps Before You Start Running

“When used effectively, social media can help move the church from an interruption in someone’s life to an integration in their faith.”

~Matt McKee, CEO of ROAR

Recently, I’ve received quite a few questions regarding social media and the church. Questions like:

  • What does it take to get a church going on social media?
  • What social media tools would be good to use?
  • What are some of the best ideas when it comes to churches using social media?
  • How do I get social media “buy-in” from the church staff ?
  • How do I get the church staff to help with content on social media?
  • We have no budget. Can we still have a social media presence?
  • How do I find volunteers at the church for my social media team?

Before we can dig into all of these questions, I want to share with you in this post some valuable tips to getting started on social media with your church:

  • Your SM Platforms should not be an extended bulletin. Don’t fill-up your profiles with announcements. It’s not about broadcasting information all day, everyday.
  • Instead, the church’s platforms should be about drawing people in, sharing stories, offering hope and celebrating people.
  • Before you can get active on social media, you need to ask yourself:
  1. What is our church’s purpose for being on social media?
  2. What will “success” look like for us?
  3. Who are we trying to reach? Who is our “target audience?” And know, this can’t be everyone!
  4. What platforms does our church need to be on? Choose 1-3 platforms, but no more (and quite honestly, Facebook is a must, so this is the platform that you will want to start off with). Get started on one, get really good and then extend out.
  5. What kind of content will we share on our platforms? What kind of content will appeal to our target audience?
  6. How will we grow our platforms?
  • Another BIG question is who will “run” your social media platforms? Most churches don’t have money in the budget to do this, so, the next plan of action is to create a volunteer team that will help make this possible! Roles for this volunteer team can include: Content creator, graphic creator, photographer, videographer, someone who will post on the platforms and engage with the community, etc. Don’t start on social media without having these VITAL roles in place.

So, you may be asking, ok, where do I start? Here are some vitally important steps to take:

  • Set-up a meeting with your pastor to let him know about your interest in getting the church on social media.
  • Share with him why you have heart for this ministry and what you can do about it.
  • Be open to hear what he has to say about social media, his questions, concerns, etc.
  • Again, let him know what you can do. Pastors already have a very FULL schedule and they are looking for people who can help make ministry happen.
  • Ask him some specifics like: What would SM success look like to him? Who are we trying to reach at this church? Would he be ok with you taking the lead and creating a volunteer team that will help the church shine online?
  • From there, if he gives the ok, start putting some “feelers” out for people who would be a great fit for the team (photographers, videographers, content creators, someone who takes notes during the church service so that you can turn those points into graphics/posts, etc.). If he allows it too, don’t be afraid to share this with the church (via bulletin, announcements, etc.). Set-up a meeting to meet with those who would be interested in helping in this role and invite/ask the pastor to come along too so that he can share his vision with those who are interested in serving in this capacity.
  • At the meeting, be sure to have all your ducks in a row. Be ready to share what “roles” are available and what the goal(s) are. Also, what is expected of volunteer members. The key here is to have things in place (schedule, role descriptions, expectations, etc.).
  • Once a team has been assembled with specific roles given, reach out to the church staff to let them know what’s happening and how you would like to be able to highlight their ministries, their success stories, etc.

Once you have assembled your team, it’s going to be vitally important that a schedule is in place. When should the photographers submit photos to you? Will you upload video clips from the Sunday service on the platforms? If so, when should those be submitted? Are there any important church activities coming up? When will you start sharing those on social media? When should the content creators submit quotes, scripture verses, tips, etc.? When should staff submit success stories to you?

The key point here is to remember that a lot of work needs to go into getting things in place, prior to getting active on social media. If you want your church to succeed on social media, it’s vitally important that “systems” are in place prior to execution. If not, your platforms will die out.

Churches today must get actively involved! There has never been a greater time in life to truly reach the world for Christ. To encourage the hearts of so many that are looking for the Good News of Jesus Christ!

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