It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and while your church may be pulling out the tinsel and Christmas wreaths for your church foyer, the holiday season is also a great time to get your church social media in tip-top shape! Keep reading for 5 ways your church can win at social media this Christmas!
First impressions matter! Make sure you create an inviting social space by having the perfect cover photo and profile picture.
Facebook: The perfect cover photo size is 851 pixels x 315 pixels and the perfect profile picture size is 180 x 180. Your profile picture should be your church logo, so it’s easy to know what the page is for. Additionally, complete the “About” section with information like church website, address, phone number etc.
Instagram: Have your church logo as your profile picture and add a short description with a link to your church website.
It’s also important to understand the Facebook and Instagram algorithms that determine which posts get viewed by which users. Posts are not seen by users in chronological order, but instead are ordered by what is most relevant for the user. Once you understand how the algorithm works, you can post things that work in your favor.
Facebook: There are three key players to the Facebook algorithm:
- Engagement: posts that have likes, comments, shares, etc
- Consistency: post at least once a day
- Video: uploaded directly to Facebook (not links to Youtube)
Instagram: The four key players:
- Engagement: posts that have likes, etc
- Relevancy: content that interests the user
- Relationships: has the user interacted with your account before?
- Time spent: posts that are similar to content the user has spent time looking at before
5 Tips for Social Media Success this Christmas
Now that you’ve got the basics down, let’s get into the good stuff! Here are our 5 tips to social media success this Christmas!
Tip 1: Get active (and we don’t mean go exercise)
Social media is a relationship. If you don’t put in the time, energy, and effort you will be all alone and no one will see your posts (cue “All by Myself” by Eric Carmen). Frequency and consistency matter. Develop a strategy that consistently posts at least once a day. Post a variety of different forms of content, from pictures of your congregation, to inspirational quotes or Bible verses, to videos. Think to yourself, “If I saw this post, would I want to share it with my friends?” If the answer is yes, post it! There’s a little bit of trial and error to see what your Facebook community will like, but once you figure it out, keep posting those kinds of posts. As your engagement increases, so will your reach, and more and more people will regularly see your content.
Some ideas for Christmas:
- Recognize your volunteers
- Promote your Christmas events/services
- Post pictures from your events or of your church giving back this holiday season
- Christmas countdown posts
- Challenges: Challenge your members to do random acts of kindness and post pictures of what they have done!
Tip 2: Create an event
Facebook has a built in event feature that’s super easy to use and highly shareable. Is your church having a Christmas pageant or Christmas Eve Candlelight service? Create a Facebook event to invite your community! The cover photo for you event will be the first thing people see, so make sure it’s Christmas themed and engaging. The size is 1920 pixels x 1080 pixels. Write an inviting, engaging and informative description to your event and make sure to add some keywords like “Kid-friendly” or “Christmas” so people can easily find your event. Then, have your members share the event and RSVP so they are reminded to come!
Pro Tip: You can “boost” your event and reach more people for just $5!
- Create an Event on Facebook and choose the option to “Boost Event.”
- Select your target audience. Choose zip codes near your church so only people in your community see your ad.
- Select your budget and timeline (just $5 can get you a long ways in one day!)
- Boost it!
Tip 3: Catch attention quickly!
Video always wins on Facebook! And lucky for you, if you don’t have a videographer there are still lots of video creation resources like Animoto or premade videos on websites like SermonCentral. You can even upload a video straight from your smartphone! Take a quick video invitation to your Christmas service or share a clip from Sunday’s service. Videos frequently get high engagement and are easy to share (and remember the Facebook algorithm? Facebook loves video too).
Instagram also has some great video features and is a perfect way to engage with your younger members and audience. Everybody loves a good Boomerang, which is a looping video, or an Instagram story. Instagram stories are great for behind the scenes, raw video, and there’s even a polling feature! An added bonus: if you’ve never made an Instagram story, all of your followers will be notified when you post your first one!
Some Christmas video ideas
- Invitational Christmas video (you can even do this on your smartphone and post directly to Facebook or Instagram)
- Instagram story: Behind the scenes of your upcoming Christmas event
- Instagram story poll: Should we have cookies or pound cake at this week’s Advent service?
Tip 4: Digital Missionaries Challenge
Get your members involved on social media by issuing a “digital missionaries” challenge. Challenge your members to go to your event page and invite someone outside of your church by tagging them. This is a challenge your younger members will ACE and gets your event invite outside just your church community.
Tip 5: #hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to build community on social media! Create a unique hashtag that is specific to your event, like #NewLifeChristmas. Encourage your members to use the hashtag when they talk about the event on social media and use it on your event page to build awareness and excitement. When the actual event happens, have people use the hashtag when they post pictures! You could even have a photobooth to encourage even more photos and hashtags!
Tip 1: Get active! Post consistently and frequently
Tip 2: Create a Facebook event (and invite people to your event)
Tip 3: Catch attention quickly with video and Instagram stories
Tip 4: Issue a digital missionaries challenge
Tip 5: Create an event hashtag
Spread the joy of Christ’s birth with engaging and fun content on social media and get your members in the Christmas spirit! By following these 5 simple tips, you’ll be sure to have a festive and successful Christmas season.