By Louie Torres
It’s no secret churches today have struggled to connect with Millennials during this era of constant distraction and instant gratification.
But if Millennials are driven by authenticity, innovation and social change, then churches must adapt their outreach efforts in order to stay relevant in the modern digital age.
One of the best ways to do this is through Facebook, the social media phenomenon with more than 2.3 billion active users worldwide. Just merely having a Facebook page for your church gives you access to millions of Millennials that are active on either Facebook or Instagram.
Here is the blueprint our organization uses to help dozens of churches attract more Millennials into their congregation using Facebook:
As the internet continues to get stuffed full of content, churches need to work harder than ever to break through the clutter and connect with people online. Facebook ads are a cost-effective way to get into the devices of your target audience. But once you get in front of them, is your message actually having an impact? Are you creating connections like you hope? Is your audience inclined to visit your church?
Now, authentic is a word that the internet is throwing around a lot these days. But it’s not just a trendy phrase to be used in your next outreach meeting. By definition, authenticity is being real, or genuine. This is definitely what you should be trying for on social media, especially while targeting Millennials.
The best Facebook content reveals exactly what your church is all about. To do this, video is the way to go. You should be using real clips of sermons and worship from your actual service. Use a testimony from group gatherings (with permission of course), or video snippets from a real baptism.
Selfie videos also work well. They look native to social media and provide a “real-life” feel that a still video on a tripod cannot.
Take sermon videos from the congregation. This first-person point-of-view (POV) shot can really engage your audience as if they were there live.
Social media allows prospective followers the opportunity to see and feel what your church is all about (when completed with genuine authenticity).
What can you do to help your church stand out from the rest and attract the “always on the go” generation?
Millennials appreciate innovative technology.
This is why many churches are starting to adapt modern technology into the church. They are investing in sound and visual components such as projectors and lighting.
But why not share these awesome upgrades outside your church walls? With the power of Facebook Live, you can broadcast your service to your congregation when they are unavailable to make it on Sunday. You can also save the broadcast and share the replay on your Facebook page with a click of a button. Talk about efficiency.
And when your new Millennial followers are finally ready to make a contribution, there’s no need to worry. Even though they don’t carry cash or own a checkbook, Facebook’s new donation button makes giving extremely easy!
Facebook is constantly innovating and adding cool new ways to stay in front of your audience. Taking advantage of the platform’s changes will keep Millennials coming back for more.
While Millennials are passionate about creating a better, more inclusive world, many no longer look to traditional institutions like the church to effect that change.
But those that are open to the idea of joining a congregation want it to mean something. They want more than just a group of people to sing and pray with.
There are two ways we help churches portray the idea of social change to outsiders. First, you should include modern issues in your sermon, even if they are deemed risky. Unfortunately, politics have always impacted the church. This is why Millennials find the church less resourceful in creating social change. Don’t be afraid to discuss social issues like racism or poverty and share these sermons via Facebook. The more controversial the topic, the higher the interaction rate is within the Facebook community. Millennials love the opportunity to discuss social change and will attend your service if they can look forward to some less common topics.
The second way to portray the idea of social change to potential new members is to designate group-serve dates and get out in the community. Facebook allows people in your community to RSVP, share and show interest in events that are being attended or shared by friends. Get your congregation out into the community with monthly group-serve events. These are super easy to share on Facebook, and they give your church exposure to local residents who might be interested in volunteering.
Facebook Ads Manager has recently added the option to promote an event and advertise it directly to your target audience — in this case, Millennials. This has particularly been a game changer within some of the church marketing campaigns that I have personally overseen.
Want more tips and tricks to help grow your church with social media? Go to https://churchoutreachsecrets.com/ for more free resources.
Louie Torres is the founder of Church Outreach Secrets.