Facebook has become the front porch of America. At present my 84-year-old mother spends more time on Facebook than I do! In part it allows her to see her grandkids and great-grandkids; as well as connect with old friends. What was birthed in a Harvard dorm room for college students is literally changing society. The recent Boston Marathon bombing showed us the use and popularity of Twitter. Thousands of pictures and videos are posted daily on various Social Media sites. For the church to be where society is we had better be in the Social Media game.
Social Media facts. Consider the following data on the leading Social Media sites…
Facebook: 1.06 billion monthly active users, 680 million mobile users, more than 50 million pages and 10 million apps.
Twitter: 500 million total users, more than 200 million active users.
Instagram: 100 million users, 4 billion photos
Pinterest: 48.7 million users.
YouTube: 1 billion users, 4 billion views per day.
With so many people using Social Media why would your church NOT have a Social Media presence? If we are to go into the highways and byways of our world compelling them to come in why would we not be where our community is? If they are on Facebook and Twitter your church needs to be there.
The key for your church to using Social Media effectively is to tell the story of what your church is doing! People want to be a part of something significant. They want to attend a church that is alive and functioning. They are looking for a place where they would fit in and find meaning. Social Media allows you to communicate that you are that place for them!
Yes but how can you use Social Media to raise funds this summer? I believe that people will give money to causes that matter and make a difference. I believe that by using Social Media a church can raise funds for missions and ministry. Make the link from missions and ministry to gifts that support those works and people will give to that compelling story. So, develop a God given story line, aka vision, live out your story, tell about your story and people will give to support your story!
Here Are Steps You Can Take Today…
First, make sure you are on all the major Social Media platforms that are typically used by your members. That list should include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest at least. A YouTube and Vimeo account is also advisable.
Then record everything your church does using pictures and video. With smartphones coming with cameras it is now easier than ever to record the actions of your mission trips, camps and ministry endeavors.
Post regularly on all platforms your members use. Don’t just tell people about what you are doing show them using Social Media. Regularly post with pictures, facts on Twitter, and other means.
Raising 100k Using Social Media (Real Life Example)
I mentioned above that Social Media can be used to help raise funds. Let me give you an example here of what that looks like. One of my clients has a goal of raising $100K for camp scholarships. Here is what I told him to do…
- A few times a week post pictures on Facebook showing last summer’s events with kids at camp.
- List out how many kids came to know Christ and these events.
- Use Twitter in much the same way sending Tweets reminding people of the past accomplishments with lines like, “Your generosity made that happen!”
- If you use other Social Media tools like Instagram or Vimeo then do the same.
- In your post, say something like this, “Your generosity in supporting scholarships for needy students helped us reach 100 kids last summer. Please consider a gift to our scholarship fund this summer. For more information go to….”
- You could perhaps say it better but the point is to tell your story. Using pictures and combined text you can generate excitement about your missions and ministry funding needs. Also, I am not advocating that you crowd out all your posts with appeals.
- My personal view is that around 10% to 20% of ALL your Social Media posts should contain some stewardship message.
Just because you don’t use it does not mean you should not use it! “Twitter is one of the most narcissistic things I have ever seen.” That was the response of one of my client pastors a few years ago when the topic of Twitter came up in our conversation. I must say that I often agree with him when I read posts like, “I just slammed down this burger!” I want to say to that person, “who cares?” So indeed it is true that Social Media can be overblown and most certainly overhyped. Yet what you don’t use should not be a measure for whether or not you should be using it.
With all the growing number of people engaging in Social Media, across generations, remember my 84-year-old mom is on Facebook right now, why would you not consider being there? My pastor friend who thought Twitter narcissistic now utilizes Twitter on a daily basis to get his message out. The old adage, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” comes to mind. It might be time for you to get into the 21st century and on the Social Media band wagon.
Mark Brooks- The Stewardship Coach
Founder and President, The Charis Group and Charis Giving Solutions