Let’s recap the economics of how social media companies work. Your church gives the social media companies free content (video, photos, etc…). In exchange they provide a free service that will connect your church with social media users.
Of course, somewhere in this exchange, the social media companies need to make money, so they sell ads to companies who can then target users based on what their users display an interest in. Therefore the more users that join their social media platform and use it, the more money the social media platform can make.
Social media platforms have one goal: keeping users engaged. Whether that’s watching videos, interacting with comments, or just scrolling through articles, they want to keep the users on their platform for as long as possible. By keeping users engaged on their platforms, they can charge companies to show ads to their users.
However, social media platforms’ goals often do not align with most churches. For most churches, the goal of social media is getting the word out about their events and programs with the hope that the viewer will click on the social media and leave the platform to view the content on the church website.
So how do we solve this problem?
Most churches’ first reaction is to see if they can create more engaging content that will organically reach people. And while that should be a consistent strategy with creating content, it doesn’t always solve the problem.
So eventually at some point we will need to pay for social media ads. That’s right at some point, your church will need pay to promote its events and programs. So let’s talk through some key things you need to know about paying for social media ads.
You can do it yourself. You don’t need to hire an expert to run ads on Facebook or Instagram. Social media platforms have made running ads a self guided process. While it doesn’t hurt to consult with an expert, your church does not need to spend additional dollars on social media experts to run your ads. In fact, just a quick search on YouTube will give you plenty of free tutorials on how to place ads on social media.
Know who your advertising is. If you can identify who you want to target with your social media ads, then you’re halfway there. Spend some time thinking about who you want to reach with your ads. What do they like? Where do they live? What do they care about? Identify those things and then you’ll have more success with your ads, because they’ll go to the right people
Start small with your budget. One of the great things about advertising on social media is that you get immediate feedback on whether or not your ads are working. So start with a small budget and then test to see if the ads are working. If they’re not working try adjusting images, videos, or text that are on your ads. Or look into adjusting who your target audience is.
Don’t be afraid to pay for social media ads. It will require some practice and repetition, but these newly acquired skills will pay huge dividends in the long run as social media grows in usage.