Archives For Church Marketing

Imagine if your social media feed was filled with Tim Keller awesomeness?

Well, here’s your chance. . .

I’m giving away a pack of professionally designed, non-branded, social media network optimized, graphics quote cards.

I love Tim Keller wisdom, and want to help you spread some of it across the Twitterverse and more.  Just click on the image below for details.

TimKellerQuoteCards

modernized-tithing-texting-kiosksAs the Church has progressed into the 21 Century, many of its functions have been modernized.  We have guest services instead of ushers. Our fellowship halls in the back of the buildings have become Café’s and lounges in the front of the Church. Our music has moved from Hymnals to Projectors. Yet with all the modernization the Church is going through, one thing remains etched in the stones of the past – Our systems of tithes and offerings.

Fewer People are carrying Cash or Checks

Fewer and fewer people in today’s society pay with cash or checks. We even find that Millennials are using credit cards at an all-time low, as well. This leads to a dilemma for Churches. How do we get people to give tithes and offerings, when their only choices of giving are cash, checks and sometimes credit cards?

Here are some surprising trends in Consumer Spending:

  • 2 out of 5 people carry less than $20 on their person (Bankrate)
  • 38% of consumers NEVER write checks. Another 20% only write a few per year (The Financial Brand)
  • 6 in 10 Millennials do not have a credit card (Washington Post)

These trends will eventually become a tipping point to where the tithe and offerings payment options offered do not reflect the payment methods people have with them while at Church.

A New Approach to Giving

It is true that people carry less cash, write fewer checks and carry less credit card debt, but there is one interesting fact. They all have money in a bank. The issue is the way they spend money. Their payment methods now consist of paying bills and buying goods online with a bank card.

Knowing this, we can create a system that capitalizes on the congregations ability to pay electronically. Better yet, we can make giving even more easier, increasing the revenues that come into our churches. Even better, giving doesn’t have to be done in a 5 minute devotional time in between Worship and preaching. It can be done at any time in the lobby or on their cell phones.

Part 1: SMS Text Messaging

Everyone has their smartphone in your service. A lot of them are using You Version to follow the message. Knowing they do mobile banking, why not offer them an easy way to tithe?

Enter www.kindrid.com. This service, and others like it, allows Churches to setup giving via Text Message. You have seen these in various forms, most notably the Red Cross. You have seen their advertisements for, “Text #XXXX to donate $10.”

With this solution, your Church sets up a giving number. You then include this number in bulletins or during announcements. People text the amount they want to give to the number and they are done. It is fast and simple for both the Church and the congregation.

Part 2: Congregation Based Giving Apps

Tablets are taking the World by storm. Combining these with smartphones, we can account for nearly every person attending a Worship service. We can make it as easy to give as creating an app that allows them to give right from their smartphone or tablet.

How do you create a giving app without spending a fortune to develop it? Well, there is an app for that. It’s called www.givelify.com. Givelify offers Churches a branded app for tithing and offerings. Pricing varies, but it is priced the way a credit card transaction is priced: example – 2.9% + $0.30 per donation. Users are used to this, since this is how paypal charges its fees.

The trick is getting people to download the app. The trick is to use QR codes. In your Worship service handouts and in announcements, place a QR code that leads to the app install. A simple click of the camera and the app is installed. From there, the user can give anytime he or she feels led.

Part 3: Giving Kiosks

Giving Kiosks are beginning to gain traction with Pastors. Why limit giving to the actual Church service, when you can allow people to give before and after service, as well? A giving kiosk will stand in the foyer area of the Church and provide visitors the easiest way possible to give their tithes and offerings.

They consist of three parts, an ipad, giving app and a stylish modern kiosk. SecureGive offers this as an all in one package. It can be seen at http://www.lilitab.com/pages/solutions.

SecureGive did a survey of Churches that used its services and found that giving increased by 27%. The study also found that the offerings given on the kiosk were 20% higher than non-kiosk giving.

With these applications in place, Churches can encourage giving from the front of the Church to the back of the Church. Thanks to technology, not only can we make giving easier, we can do it in an affordable manner.  All of the solutions mentioned are cost effective and provide a very low barrier of entry so that every Church can get in and test these new ways of giving.

 

 

Social Media PlatformToday’s post is from Jason Caston who helps to equip churches as they connect their ministry with the online community. There are many resources are available on his blog ichurchmethod.com. I recently asked Jason to share with us some of the up and coming social media platforms that have gained popularity.

An interesting transition is happening in the world of social media, Facebook is undoubtedly the king of the hill and Twitter is up there as well but the popular new kid on the block is Instagram and it’s here to stay.  Instagram now has 200 Million users, over 20 billion photos shared, 1.6 billion likes daily and 60 million photos posted daily (instagram.com/press).  With this type of impact it’s no wonder that Instagram is one of the best social media platforms we use for our ministry (our main ministry account is instagram.com/bishopjakes).

In order to be effective on Social Media you must have a strategy, and Instagram is no exception.  Before we post a single graphic or video, we make sure we have an overall strategy for Instagram and an idea of what we consider success.  Overall, our strategy for Instagram includes consistently posting photos/graphics and videos that are inspirational, informational and conversational.  Now let’s break that down, first thing we make sure is that we have a consistent flow of content and posting between 2 – 5 times daily.  Next, we want to post inspirational content that uplifts and inspires our audience, we also want to post informational content that keeps our audience updated on things going on with the ministry.  Lastly, we want to make sure we keep our posts conversational by responding to comments and questions as often as possible.

Now that we have our strategy laid out, we have to actually create and post the content.  Devotional memes are created using our graphic artists or apps like Tweegram, we basically take the daily devotional we post on Facebook or Twitter and add it to a meme and post on Instagram.  When we have events we make sure we create flyers or posters that we post on social media, including Instagram.  Normally, our flyers are 900×1500 and we make sure we have a 600×600 version created for Instagram.  One of our most engaging posts are based on our Sunday services where we take an action shot of our pastor and add a quote from his sermon to the photo and post it.  Also, we take 15 second clips from his sermons and post those as well, which for some people is the only ministry they receive and we understand how powerful this platform can be.  Lastly, one of the things that our audience loves most is the personal and family moments that are posted by our pastor, Bishop T.D. Jakes.  Whether it’s a banana pudding he baked for his family or a hug he is sharing with his children, people love to see his transparent moments as a father, husband, family man and regular individual.

Overall, Instagram is yet another platform that our ministry uses to visually tell our story as a ministry.  We have so many individual stories from our members, leaders, staff and volunteers that showcase how impactful this ministry is and how great the gospel can be.  And the best part of it all is through all of the photos, videos, devotionals, quotes and everything we post, God gets the glory.  Amen.

Jjasoncastonason Caston (@jasoncaston) is the author of The iChurch Method (ichurchmethod.com). Additionally, he is also the Digital Platform and Innovation specialist at T.D. Jakes Ministries.

The “New Year”is half over! — and it’s time to think ahead about what BHAG’s you can accomplish in 2014.

One of my goals is to publish a series of books (most on the Kindle platform) to help more individuals, non-profits and ministry leaders ramp up their communications efforts.

For one of them, I am inviting you to become a contributor in an effort to help empower more people to harness the power of social media for their own cause.

Simply submit your contribution below to get started!

Neat research on some of the key differences between how larger churches and smaller churches communicate with their communities.

Take a look:
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Business man with pen
 

They, your church attenders, don’t want another verse from John in their News Feed.
What if you social media presence was used strategically? What if you didn’t only promote your church, but was a positive influence in your community. You can help others and grow your church through social media, but it will require more strategy and less random verses.

Most likely the youngest or the techie (or trekkie) got the job of social media point person. They might be the best person, but they need vision on how to use your church’s social media presence. You need to speak vision into your online strategy. You need to move beyond just a Facebook page to having an online community. The first step is integrating your social media and other online ventures into your overall strategy.

Here are my four social media tips summarized:

1. Align your social presence with your church’s vision (Think: strategry)

2. Write down your daily post topics and times of posting (Think: calendar)

3. Use photo templates to promote series and extend the reach of each post (Think: brand)

4. Positively lift others up through engaging your online connections (Think: pastoral care)

The secret to social media is to treat others on your social media channels, as you want to be treated.

I write more about this topic in my new eBook “Social Media Made Easy for Small Businesses” available at www.socialmediamadeeasysb.com

Jay-KrandaJay Kranda is the Online Campus Pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. Jay oversees: Saddleback’s 167 online services that attract over 23,000 people weekly,  1,200 small groups gathering non-locally, and 63 extensions. To learn more about the ever changing and evolving world of church online visit www.JayKranda.com

 

 

Digital Mission FieldAt every talk on social media these days, I point out that the big 4 search engines you need to pay attention to are: (1) Google (2) YouTube (3) Amazon (4) iTunes. Most people got the first, but underestimate YouTube and the others. While tweeting with Sean Cannell recently, I asked him to share some of his YouTube for Churches awesomeness with my readers. Sean is the Campus Pastor of The Church OC, co-founder of THiNK International, a Church Leadership Blog and well known YouTube channel, and Author of YouTube for Churches. Well, here it is — enjoy!

youtubeforchurches.com
YouTube is the most underrated and underutilized social network by church leaders and churches. Facebook is usually the priority, followed by Twitter or Instagram, with video hosting and sharing usually on Vimeo. If a church does have  a YouTube channel, it usually is an afterthought, not receiving the best energy of the creative staff or volunteer team.

I think our social media priorities are out of order.

What most church leaders don’t realize is that YouTube has almost as many unique monthly users as Facebook (over 1 billion), and is the 2nd largest search engine in the world, while being the  3rd most visited website in the world.

When it comes to reaching people with social media, YouTube is one of the most important platforms for churches and church leaders. This is true now, but will be even more true in the future with the accelerated growth of online video.

How is YouTube a mission field?
YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world! That means 2nd only to Google, people are searching for answers to questions on YouTube. That is a huge opportunity for for churches and church leaders who have biblical answers to those questions.

Your church, your team, and you and your iPhone, have the opportunity to be on the other side of that search query!

YouTube can help you  practically reach people by helping your website rank higher and your church get discovered locally, BUT, beyond that, YouTube gives you access to a global audience to share the Gospel and answers to questions people are asking!

Using the YouTube Keyword Tool you easily can discover some of these questions. “Is God Real?” is searched 25,200 times a month. “Is Jesus God?” 50,000. The solo term “God” is searched over 5.3 million times a month! People are looking for answers to life’s biggest questions on the same website they watch viral cat videos on.

Don’t Wait, Start Using YouTube to Reach People!
Tapping into YouTube’s search power is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how it can be used by churches and church leaders.

So take YouTube seriously, make a plan and take action!

And if you are interested in a YouTube Crash Course, just go to YouTubeforChurches.com and you can access a free 4 video training series and a free ebook to help you save time, energy and get legit results with YouTube.

Keep crushing it,

Sean Cannell

p.s. Access a free 4 Video YouTube Training Course and eBook at youtubeforchurches.com

 

 

Pinterest Pinboards of Churches

 

One of the last social media platforms for churches to consider is Pinterest.  Several months ago, when I took a look at compiling a complete list of churches using Pinterest as a part of their social media communications toolset, there weren’t that many to list.  My twitter buddy @djchuang also took a swipe at listing churches on Pinterest recently you should be aware of.

But there’s plenty of reasons why Pinterest is something all churches should take a look at.  Here are some of them:

  • The average Pinterest user says on the site for 98 minutes per month. That’s more than 1.5 hours to capture their attention.
  • 20% of all US women are on Pinterest.  And 80% of Pinterest users are women. Guess who also typically makes the decision for which church to attend in a given family?
  • Pinterest users SHARE content – 80% of pins are shared content.
  • Unbelievable growth – From 9/2012 to 9/2013, there was a 60% growth in web traffic referrals.
  • 4.8% of Americans are using Pinterest at work.

Today, there’s a bunch more that have jumped on the bandwagon.  Take a look below at the 150+ churches with Pinterest accounts and active on the platform:

Complete Updated List of Churches on Pinterest

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National Back To Church Messaging

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communication approach

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