by Article by Jon Vugteveen, Pastor of LifeQuest Church, Greenville, MI
With the growing trend toward digital media in society, it should come as no surprise that churches can, and should leverage this opportunity to connect with a wide variety of people. LifeQuest, a church plant in Greenville, Michigan, is using Facebook to gain traction in the community and build a growing congregation. LifeQuest has experienced greater success using Facebook advertising than bulk mail. In fact, about 75% of membership growth can be linked directly to Facebook as an advertising medium.
Before the first Sunday gatherings took place, LifeQuest asked our committed core to ‘like’ our page and posts. We’ve also created an event on the Facebook page for every church activity, including Sunday worship gatherings. Included with every event post is a colorful graphic, brief description and an invite. Members are also encouraged to invite their friends via Facebook and to ‘check in’ to LifeQuest for events. Their check in publicly highlights who will be present at the gatherings. As members invite friends the congregation’s social contacts are leveraged into electronic marketing. Facebook refers to this as ‘organic reach’.
Facebook also provides ‘boost posts’ which create electronic ad campaigns. Training on how to do this effectively is provided by Facebook. LifeQuest uses this medium for any special event that may be of interest for people at large.
Finally, using promotions we are able to specifically focus our advertising on people in our target group by age and interest. There are numerous online tips and tricks that can be learned to create effective ads. Facebook also provides ‘insights’ which tracks interaction with people by post or promotion.
All Facebook posts are not created equal, of course. LifeQuest recently recruited a gifted photographer from the congregation who is eager to use her spiritual gift of creativity to enhance content that results in more engaging and interactive posts. Increased FB activity has resulted.
LifeQuest continues to look forward to how God can use social media to grow his Kingdom.