“When I ask most pastors which is more important: your people or your programs; almost 100% say ‘people, of course.’ But when I look at church Facebook pages, I often see only reminders of programs. To the outsider, it’s almost like you care more about programs. That’s a shame.”
MacDonald compares church Facebook content to TV. No one watches TV for the commercials (except maybe the Super Bowl). They watch for the entertainment.
“Why do people pay for ads if people tune in to watch the entertainment?” MacDonald writes. “Because, along the way, people see and respond to the ads. The 80% allows the 20% to work.”
Yet too many churches aren’t doing that.
“A lot of churches have decided to use their Facebook page to scream ads (announcements, reminders, etc) at their followers. When they need to develop wholesome entertainment that attracts (and keeps) their followers; and then insert the occasional ‘ad.’ More people will respond to them since more people will be engaged with your page. And you’ll be more likely to attract the unchurched too.”
We usually don’t think of our church content as “entertainment” or “ads,” but it’s a fair comparison. How many of our Facebook pages are overwhelmed with promotion (ads) for the next event? How much are we offering content that actually shares our message and engages people (entertainment)?
People spend so much time on social media and churches should take advantage of this platform to connect with people where they’re at. Offer inspiration instead of just information. Make 80% of your content quality content—and let only 20% be the dates of the next deacon meeting.
Here are a few ideas of what could be your 80%—content you can post that shares your message:
- Daily Bible verse
- Inspirational quotes
- Sermon quotes, responses or previews
- Volunteer/member feature
- Throwback Thursday photo
- Photo albums of church events
- Thanks and shout outs to various volunteers and staff
- Church-related hashtags
Rather than merely promoting your church or offering generic announcements, you can impact people on a daily basis.