Facebook is one of the most useful tools a pastor or church leader can use to connect with people. But you can do so much more than post church announcements. Here are seven ways pastors can utilize Facebook to grow the church.

#1 – Post Engaging Content

One of the best ways to grow your social influence is to post engaging content on Facbeook. Announcements are not naturally engaging, so be careful treating Facebook like a digital church bulletin. When your posts are engaging, people will naturally share. But every now and then, make an intentional effort to ASK them to share. Lifepoint Church in Fredricksburg Virginia does this really well.

#2 – Share Community Events

Your Facebook page shouldn’t be all about the church. Share events and content from your community and watch engagement skyrocket. Use your Facebook page to let people know about sports leagues, farmer’s markets, family movies, festivals and fairs and so much more. When you share things relevant to the community, the community will notice.

#3 – Advertise Special Events

Facebook isn’t just a social network, it’s one of the biggest advertising platforms in the world. You can turn a page post into a powerful ad and target it to a segment of your community. This works really well for a free event at your church, a helpful article on your church blog or a brand new sermon series. Use the power editor to target your ad to the people most likely to visit your church. Facebook has a free training course to help you learn how to promote content.

#4 – Promote Events to Your Church Members

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 3.38.28 PMYou can use the power editor to upload your mailing list and create a custom audience on Facebook. Then you can promote a post or run an ad that will only be seen by your church members.  This is a great way to reach out to your regular attenders.  Why would you do this? You could promote a post encouraging people to invite their friends, sign up for a small group or mission trip, or give to the upcoming special offering. You could remind church members to invite their friends on Easter, like Liquid Church ddi in this sponsored ad.

#5 – Share Prayer Requests and Special Needs

Don’t forget that Facebook is one of the best ways to communicate with your people, so utilize your page to share prayer request or special needs in your church. You don’t want to bombard people with too many opportunities, but Facebook is an appropriate platform for this type of information. It’s also encouraging to see people respond and engage with others.

#6 – Promote Content to People Who Have Visited Your Website

If you put a little bit of code on your main church website, you can build a custom audience inside Facebook of people who have visited your website. It’s called retargeting. How would you use this? Imagine displaying Facebook ads only to people who have visited the “I’m New Here” page of your website? Not only is that a great way to spend money on the right ads, it’s a powerful way to connect with potential attenders. We include training on Facebook retargeting in our Content Marketing for Churches course.

#7 – Build a Mailing List of People Who Live in Your Community

One of the best ways to use Facebook is to produce free content (we call them giveaways) and offer it to people online in exchange for their email address. Then you schedule a series of automated emails to create conversations and offer more help. Imagine having an email list of thousands of people who live in your community who you can email about special church events.

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If you want to learn more about using content marketing in your church, download this free eBook.  Enrollment is also open for our six-week course.  You’ll get step-by-step coaching, documents and checklists and access to our private discussion group.  You can enroll now but it closes on May 5.