Social media strategists and church leaders around the world search for common grounds between healthy church growth and how to reach that growth level. In the 21st century, technology drives the way of life in America, as well as other large countries across the globe.
Communication that began with simple hand-written letters hundreds of years ago has advanced to the immediate delivery of visual and text-based messages via smart phones and tablets. Changes in the way people communicate create a need for changes in the way churches communicate with their members and the community.
Many pastors and church leaders agree that social media alone will not bring growth to the church. However, there is a need to reach and communicate with and to the community through social media. Specific tactics for social media strategies, such as how many Facebook or Twitter accounts should a church use to promote different ministries, should be evaluated prior to creating multiple accounts. Social media strategies, if used correctly, can aid churches in their communication and ministry reach in the community.
Author Chris Williams with Aginto Solutions, identifies three ways to use online marketing strategies to help grow churches. The first aspect of online marketing Williams suggests is utilizing social media. Secondly, churches should research and explore methods to enhance SEO strategies. Lastly, social media sites, such as YouTube and Vimeo have created inexpensive avenues to market videos. Producing videos, such as testimonies, church events, announcements, and outings on social media allows members to share and comment about the exciting things happening at their church.
Grasping a hold of this fairly new content marketing strategy can prove to be somewhat intimidating and challenging for church leaders, as well as pastors. They question the need to change strategies that have been successful in the past. According to an article, “Are You Using a Yellow Pages Strategy?,” many pastors have a yellow page strategy in an app store world. They continue to use old school strategies such as post cards and billboards that have become marketing of the past. Although many pastors believe content marketing strategies are necessary for growth and outreach, others believe that church growth will occur only through spreading God’s word and love from the pulpit.
Regardless of the strategies chosen by each church, one aspect of church growth remains consistent for most church leaders. Outreach consists of ministering to individuals and families at the local, state, national, and international levels, and offers them hope in a world full of despair.