It feels like we just celebrated the New Year, and Easter is here already.  Of course it is actually a bit early this year on March 31.  But that only means we have to be on our toes to be strategic for Easter to be a way to welcome newcomers, casual attendees and friends / family that might be visiting from our of town.

One of the easiest tactics almost any church can utilize to spread the word about Easter Sunday services is Facebook advertising.

Not only is it affordable since you actually set the bid and budget caps for your campaign — so your expenses won’t go wild and out of control.

But Facebook advertising is extremely effective in reaching friends of those that are attending your church already.  This is where leveraging social networks for church outreach messaging is perfect.

FACEBOOK ADVERTISING ALLOWS YOU TO TARGET VERY SPECIFIC DEMOGRAPHIC GROUPS

Here is an example of an ad I set-up today for Liquid Church’s Easter Services.  You’ll see that I’ve been able to set-up 3 demographic factors — People who live in the US, live in NJ in particular and who are 18 years or older.

Facebook Advertising for Easter Demographic Targeting

 

The interesting part is that you have even more control of who sees your ad — I added two additional parameters to this Facebook ad campaign:

  1. People who are NOT already connected to Liquid Church’s Facebook page.  I am setting up separate messaging (ad graphics, headline, ad copy and click through URL landing page) for people who are already fans of our Facebook page.  This ad is for people who have not LIKEd our Facebook page already.
  2. Only people who have friends that are connected to Liquid Church’s Facebook page.  So, here I’m not just targeting anyone in NJ over 18 that’s not part of our FB page community.  This parameter adds the social element.  Our ad will show up ONLY if they have a friend that has already LIKEd our church Facebook page.

By adding these two filters, I can leverage the fact that anyone seeing this ad has a chance of already hearing about Liquid Church from their friend (or their friend’s FB timeline feed) or at least has someone they know that knows about Liquid Church (because they’ve already liked our page).  

In a way, this ad is helping to seed the “invite a friend” behavior we hope our own community members are going to carry out over the next week or so.

FACEBOOK ADS ALLOW YOU TO TALK DIFFERENTLY TO YOUR OWN COMMUNITY MEMBERS

If you’re following along, you’ll now understand that your ads for your current attendees (we can assume these are basically the people who “LIKE” your Facebook page) can be a bit different.

In fact, here is an ad set-up that is intended for people who already know about Liquid Church and is a part of our Facebook community today:

Facebook ad for easter services

Instead of a generic “come to Easter services” type messaging, we have the ability to help equip our own people to invite their friends and family.  This can be done by sending click throughs to a page on your website that has downloadable content to share with their friends.  What would you put there?  Things like:

  • Video invitation from pastor with social sharing or forward to a friend email link
  • Facebook cover image people can use for the week
  • 1-step tweet links like this one: http://bit.ly/clicktotweetabouteaster2013 (TRY IT!)
  • Social sharing friendly videos about Easter like this one called social media Easter

 

Are you using Facebook Advertising for Easter promotion?  What questions do you have about using Facebook Ads for church?

nils-smith CBConlineToday’s post is from Nils Smith, who is the WebPastor at Community Bible Church in San Antonio, TX.  As WebPastor he oversees the entire web presence of CBC including CommunityBible.com, mobile app, Online Church, and all future developments online. Nils is also the author of The Social Media Guide for Ministry.  Connect with him here: Blog | Twitter | Book // I’ve asked him to boil down what he does on Facebook for CBC Online to some key tips that any church on Facebook could really benefit from.

5 Tips for Churches on Facebook

church-on-facebook-tips

Continue Reading…

So many times the core offering is great, but it falls on dead ears. Why?

Have you ever considered it was because the user experience was lacking?

What if you reinvented the *experience* you are delivering along with your core offering? Most likely, you haven’t paid as much attention to the “post-sale” experience as you do to the crafting of the core offering to your audience targets.

Check out these fast food reinventions of the user experience:

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When seeing these new environments, i was impressed. They woke up and realized they needed to consider the people they depend upon — their customers.

If McDonald’s and KFC can pay attention to the experience they offer and really consider how the customer engages with their brand, can’t you too?

What can you do to really ramp up the experience interacting with your organization?

Did you know that 90% of users out there primary consume content.  While 9% curate it.  And only 1% create content.

If your nonprofit or church has a YouTube page, you are part of the rare breed of content creators.   But that’s not enough.  With 70 HOURS of video uploaded every single MINUTE, your audience needs your help.  The 90% — content consumers — are looking for content curators to help them sort through the millions of hours of video available today.

One way to do this on YouTube is via Playlists.

Instead of being presented with a random smattering of videos in your account (by upload date), your audience gets the chance to find sequences of videos that make sense and are related to each other.  The end result is better engagement with your content because they can go deeper, or discover new categories of video content that you offer.

Church YouTube Channel Playlist

 

YouTube’s playlist feature allows you to highlight sermon series, topical sets of videos, and more.  Here’s a glimpse at how to set a playlist up in YouTube according to their own help pages:

Set up a YouTube Playlist from the video watch page:

  1. Click the Add to button under the video you’re watching.
  2. From the drop down menu, type in the name of your new playlist and click the Create playlist button.
  3. You can choose if you want your playlist to be public (viewable by others) or private (only viewable by you).

From Video Manager:

  1. Sign into your account and click on your username in the upper right corner of your screen. Click on Video Manager in the expanded menu.
  2. Click on the Playlists tab on the left side of the screen.
  3. Click the +New Playlist button and enter in a Playlist title and description.
  4. Click Create Playlist.

Adding to an existing playlist:

  1. Click the arrow next to the Add to button under the video you’re watching.
  2. From the drop down menu, select the Playlist you want to add your video to.

Do you have playlists set-up on your YouTube channel?  Please feel free to list the link to your YouTube channel here so others can see some examples in action!

Tomorrow I have the privilege of meeting up with some of the good folks over at www.thehighcalling.org in a Google+ Hangout.

If you are around, please consider joining the conversation as we talk about faith, tech and our work. Or follow the conversation with #THCLive

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G+ hangout: www.thehighcalling.org/onair at 3pm EST on February 27

social media revolution

 

I’ve previously blogged about Erik Qualman’s Socialnomics book and work on “socialnomics” — here’s the latest version of his Social Media Revolution video for 2013:

What statistics stand out as you view the video? Drop a comment and your reflections here. I’d love to hear them.

Do you use your cell phone in church?

Is it encouraged or shunned in your church?

Churches that discourage cell phone use during church worship service

Westminster Presbyterian Church is part of the Presbytery of San Fernando in Burbank, CA. Prior to the service they actually showed this video of how they handle cell phones in church.

This is such a great topic because you’re probably firmly rooted one side or the other.  .  .

Either cell phones are a menace, to the preacher, to the people around you, and a distraction from the activity of worship itself OR it can be an amazing tool that augments the worship experience as well as empowering the congregation to be evangelistic *during* the actual service itself.  

What is interesting is that ministries like YouVersion have even explicitly built services to encourage smart phone usage in church.

Which side are you on?  Are smart phone cell phones something that should be allows in church? Share your comments below.

I’m excited to share with you that I’ll be speaking once again at the Redeemer Ei Forum conference April 5 & 6 in New York.  If you don’t know about the Center for Faith & Work at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, you really should.  It is an amazing ministry.

Within Redeemer’s CFW is the Entrepreneurship Initiative – which hosts an annual conference on Gospel Entrepreneurship.  They also run an annual business plan competition, where ventures run by christian entrepreneurs have a shot at awards up to $25,000 for their non-profit, for-profit or arts start-ups.  This year’s theme for the Ei Forum conference is RISK: Faith or Folly.  I’m looking forward to hearing Tim Keller’s reflections on how thoughtful christian entrepreneurs can consider risk in a faith and work integration framework.

Redeemer Presbyterian Church conference - Ei Forum April 2013

 

Here’s the blurb for my talk:

Risk and Rewards of PR & Social Media:

Do you feel the pressure to have a social media presence, but don’t know exactly how it will further your venture’s objectives? Are you a bit fuzzy about when your media campaigns are actually helping or hurting your cause? Strategic communications advisor Kenny Jahng will share concrete content marketing tactics at this year’s Ei Forum.  Kenny’s insights will help you reap the rewards while avoiding the risks involved with publicity campaigns for your venture.

 

Ei Forum conference details

 

Whether you can make it or not, what questions do you have about social media, PR and how you approach communications with the various audiences related to your organization?

Most non-profits, churches and other organizations I work with that have a decent website know about the free Google Analytics service.  You drop a snippet of code into the HTML of every page (usually in the footer of the page code).  Then Google shows you graphs, data and other interesting tidbits about who’s visiting your site, how they got there, and what they’re doing while on your website.

But at the same time, a large part of the webmasters and communications directors for these organizations don’t know how to use the analytics data in a strategic manner.  What do I mean by that?  Are you looking at your stats in Google Analytics and just observing things about your site visitors….and then not do anything else different?  Or are you looking at your data and then making some decisions that change the way you communicate on the site or off the site?  Is the data helping you to refine the content produced and published on your site?  Are you able to reach out to new potential partners to explore how you can increase the impact and effectiveness in engaging your audience?  Most people are not in a position to say yes to most of these questions.

Here’s a great “tour” of Google Analytics that I recommend to people when they want to study up on all the goodness that Google offers through this free service for websites and communicators that use the web to reach and influence people.

Google Analytics instructions

 

The site has a decent list of topics listed so that you can either go through it all sequentially or jump around at your leisure.  Click through and check it all out:

Click here to check out the Google Analytics Tutorial

What is the latest thing you learned about Google Analytics or how to use data that it presents across various reports?

New Media Project

Digital Church Theology and New Media

Today, I had the chance to spend time in NYC with other folks interested in today’s church and new media usage by church leaders and their communities. The New Media Project was the host of todays conference on the Digital Church: Theology & New Media.

For some reason, this conference on the digital future didn’t have any form of content streaming. One of the speakers who runs a large print magazine outfit even commented how he envisioned this conference with live interaction elements with Twitter, etc. He said he thought there would be some monitor with ongoing tweets or some other live connection to new media. He was right, there were a bunch of missed opportunities (i.e. the org’s new website is “under construction” a major no-no in today’s web reality, without the most critical piece, an email capture form that could be building an audience well before they are ready to roll).

Eugene Cho Digital Church Conference
So I did what any self-repecting digitally native participant would do: I lit up a Google+ Handout and invited people to join. (Eugene Cho dropped in while were were chatting away during a break).

It is important to keep investing in your trade, or as Seth Godin calls it, your art. What are you doing to keep yourself moving forward, growing in your own art? Continue Reading…