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:
This is the more obvious of the two, and you may have already thought of posting photos on your Facebook page. What I would encourage in addition to this is to post a photo in your church’s Facebook group, which you should have, so your people can share it themselves. Of course, they can share the photo that your page posts, but if you’ve been paying attention to the “organic reach” debacle, you know that not everyone of your fans will see what you post. That’s why you need a group, and that’s why you should use it for the FB rallying point for you people.
Profile & Cover Photos
I’m still amazed at how so many churches don’t use this simple method to advertise their events, but it really is under-utilized. Basically, change the profile and cover photo of your Facebook page and your profile to a photo that you’ve made to advertise your event. Then, ask your people to use your photos to do the same.
The featured image above was the cover photo we used and here’s the profile picture:
We didn’t put service times or locations on these images because we’d already included all of that in our other images. And, to be honest, just including our event-specific website adds a bit of mystery to something that probably isn’t that mysterious.
For a few minutes work, you can do a fairly decent job of advertising your event without paying any money. Now, you may notice that I didn’t give you any specific dimensions for these photos. That’s because Facebook changes them all of the time, and I don’t want this post to be out-of-date in a week’s time. A simple Google search will pull up whatever you need.
Good luck, and I hope this helps you get the word out on the cheap.