1. Nearly everyone in your community is on Facebook
Obviously, the best place to advertise anything is where the people are…and the people are on Facebook! As of July of this year, Facebook recorded a whopping 1.71 billion active users, of which 1.13 billion clocked in as daily users. Ready for another crazy stat? 91% of millennials (15-34-year-olds) use Facebook! (for a fascinating report on millennial’s social media habits, check this out. Numbers like this are simply too large to be ignored. Think about this: if you knew that 91% of the 15-34-year-olds in your community would walk by the front door of your church every day, would you do something about it? In a similar way, Facebook provides that opportunity.
2. The sharing potential is incredible
We’ve all seen or heard the phrase “it went viral.” Most of us understand that this has nothing to do with a literal virus; it simply means that a piece of media content was seen by a huge number of people in a very short amount of time, and it was accomplished through the multiplying power of social media sharing. Nobody really has the exact formula down as to how to make something “go viral.” It just happens to be the right combination of content, relevance, timeline, and audience.
Now, your church Facebook ad is most likely not going to go viral. My point is, the potential for sharing coupled with the ease in which it can be accomplished on Facebook makes for a very ripe opportunity. Consider this: Let’s say you spend $300 on a postcard project, and you get 1,000 of them delivered to your community. How easy is it for one of your recipients to share that postcard with their friends? Will they jump in their car and drive across town to put it in the hands of their family? Will they take it to work and pass it around among the cubicles? Maybe they will, but probably not.
The realistic potential is fairly limited due to logistics. However, make that same investment into a strategic Facebook ad, and you would reach a much larger group of people who could share it with dozens of people in a matter of seconds.
3. The audience can be easily narrowed
With Facebook advertising, you can easily narrow the scope of your audience and put your message in front of people who actually have the capacity to respond to it and visit your church or attend your event. This is not something where a grandma in Arkansas is going to be checking out an advertisement for your California church Friend Day. Facebook gives you the ability to apply some simple filters to your ad campaign that ensure that you will only pay for advertising that actually reaches your target audience. For instance, you could do a campaign that reaches all Facebook users within a certain age range and a certain radius of your church. Or, you could promote that upcoming “Mom’s night out” to female Facebook users within your local Zip codes.
4. The budget is completely flexible
How much should a church spend on Facebook advertising? Certainly, there are many factors that would have to be considered before answering that question, but here’s what I can say: they ought to spend something! For a small time and money investment, you could unlock a solid consistent outreach channel for your ministry. You can literally get started for as little as $10. To get traction, you’ll probably want to invest a little more than that, but the point is – it won’t break the bank! There are no long-term commitments, no binding contracts, and no salesman is going to call you. If this avenue works for your ministry, you have complete flexibility to scale it up, scale it down, or simply phase it out. It only makes sense to give it a try!
5. The process is surprisingly simple
Perhaps the biggest roadblock churches encounter in the social media realm is the perceived learning curve. A “newer” opportunity such as Facebook advertising may seem too “techie” or “unknown” for some church staff members to consider, so they just avoid it and continue using only the outreach channels they are comfortable with. While this response is understandable, it’s good for all of us to step up to a challenge and stretch ourselves a little bit. It’s in Facebook’s best interest to make the advertising process as simple as possible, so guess what? They have. It’s actually very easy! The path to follow goes something like this:
- Log in
- Choose your objective
- Define your audience
- Set your budget
- Schedule your ad
- Create your ad
- Place your order
- Measure your results.
In fact, I’ve written a step-by-step illustrated guide that will show you exactly how to navigate the pathway I just mentioned. You can download this resource by following this link: Church Advertising With Facebook
Many churches have seen awesome results with Facebook ads. (Here’s a case study offered by Facebook itself. Check it out!) Will it work for your church? Stretch yourself a little bit and give it a try. Read up on it and make improvements as you go – we think you’ll be pretty happy with the return on your investment!
Has Facebook advertising worked for your church? Are there pitfalls to avoid or tips to consider when running a campaign? We’d love to hear from you! Share your comments below!