75% of people on Cumbria use social media regularly, with most people connecting and sharing on social media every single day.
Social media is now a given in most people’s daily lives, so as a church or Mission Community, it presents a huge opportunity for you to help strengthen your church fellowship, build new relationships in the community, and to showcase what you’re all about.
It provides a way for you to speak directly to your wider community, and your congregation alike. To share content, get involved in conversations, to build trust and reach more people, grow your sphere of influence, and ultimately understand your community better.
Find out what people like and give them more of it
Join the right social media sites, share content, participate in conversations and grow your networks.
You can’t tap into the power of social media unless you’re there.
First you need to get to know the different networks. Which ones are your congregation and your wider community using most? This will help you decide whether to get a Facebook Page, a YouTube Channel, a Pinterest account, a Twitter handle, an Instagram account, or whether you join the world of TikTok!
For most churches, Facebook will the best the best place to focus your energy to begin with. This is because it is the most used network in Cumbria, and it will represent the widest section of your community. If your area of work is specifically with young people, you may wish to begin with Instagram, as this has a younger demographic, but is still widely used. If you want to join in debates and influence for change, then Twitter would be a good platform.
Do not feel that you need to be on all social media sites. Choose the best one or two for you, and do them well rather than spreading yourself too thinly.
If you are unsure where to begin, please contact Eleanor for advice.
Next you will need to create a profile or homepage on the site you’re going to participate in.
Each social network is different, but whenever possible, you’ll want to add details about your church, such as your location, contact information, and website address, as well as photos which showcase what a friendly, welcoming place it is.
Once you have your spot in the social network, it’s time to get to know your neighbours. As always, making friends and building relationships takes time and effort. But making sure you connect with other pages and people who will interact with your content will pay off in the long-run. You’ll want to engage with secular pages and content from your local community, but make sure you also engage with other church content too – if you’re on Facebook, then pages like God for All and Churches Together in Cumbria can be a good source of content which you can share to your Page.
Whilst you are using social media to market your church – and hopefully to share the good news of the gospel – it is a very different medium from your typical advertising channels. The people you interact with on social media don’t just want to be talked at. Think of it more as a conversation – a give and take relationship that ebbs and flows. Treat this network as you would your friends and colleagues in the real world. Always respond to comments, and keep an eye on your message inbox so no-one goes unheard.
Making friends on social media won’t happen overnight, and it can’t be forced. Start by recruiting your existing congregation. Ask them to like or follow your page – most of them will be very happy to do this if they are already on that social media platform. Follow that up with other ways to grow your network, such as holding online contests, promoting your events, and posting entertaining content.
And remember, every member of your social network has a network of their own. Social media is all about sharing. As you add posts and photos and get involved in conversations, it’s easy for people to connect with you. And that means more people seeing who you are, and becoming interested in what you have to offer.