Late last year, I changed roles at my church. I moved from being a student minister to being the discipleship pastor. This change has brought me a lot of different responsibilities, one of which includes developing our social media presence. Now, I’m not totally new to social media, but I never used it strategically. Now that I have to, I’m learning a lot that I’d like to pass on.
Facebook is a social media giant—not an invincible one, but a formidable one—and it’s a fairly wise investment whenever you spend money on Facebook ads. However, not every event has a budget that would allow for such an expenditure. From my church’s experience, we purchase ads for our community-wide fireworks celebration because we have nearly 10,000 people attend that event, and it has the scale to warrant actually purchasing advertising. However, our Easter service, which is one of about thirty being held in a three-mile radius, will only see about six-hundred people. Plus, it’s hard to justify buying ads for, what is essentially, a Sunday service, like we have every weekend.
Thus, in a situation like the former, we didn’t spend any money on Facebook ads, but we still advertised. Here are the two basic—FREE—methods that we used:
I was never a Boy Scout, but I’m told their motto is “Be Prepared.” My church had a boys groups called “Royal Rangers,” which was basically a more Christian version of the Boy Scouts. Our motto was “Ready. Ready for anything.” Clearly, we had our own thing going.
But my childhood aside, both mottos are something that all church techs should aspire toward—being prepared for whatever might come your way. Of course, you can never be prepared for everything, but I think we can all admit that there are some basic steps of preparedness we can all take to minimize the impact of those unforeseeable catastrophes. Let me give you a basic example from my own experience, and then we can discuss some basic steps.
One of my favorite cartoons as a kid was Captain Planet. For those who don’t remember, Captain Planet was the guardian of the Earth who could be summoned by five teens who each possessed power rings that gave them power over the four elements of nature (fire, earth, wind, and water) and also the “heart.” My brothers and I watched this show all the time, so much that two of our favorite joke set ups are “By your powers combined, I am [insert punchline]” and “The power is yours!” It’s like having a family meme!
Because of this I wasn’t really surprised when my brother Matthew, the amateur theologian and professional drug dealer (read “pharmacist”), dropped this in my lap: Could Jesus have been used as an archetype for Captain Planet or could the Cap be an allegorical, environmental reinterpretation of Jesus?
The past two days I have been working non-stop to get the final touches done on our church website: adding a blog post here, scheduling one there, and removing old information. If you’re reading this and you’re thinking:
OMG! The website! I forgot!
Relax! There’s still time to fix your website, but you really should see someone about having the inner-voice of a twelve year-old girl.
The specifics of what your site needs is…well…specific to your site, but here are a few things I did to get ours spruced up.*
Doing something “new” is one of the most exciting things for a web designer. Everyone loves “new.” Check it:
Even reading the word is exciting. “New” is cool, but it doesn’t do the job all the time. Sometimes, we need the word “maintain” or “update.” Those two…well, they aren’t nearly as sexy as “new,” but they are so very important!