5 New Facebook Trends Your Church Needs to Know

in Social Media / 21 May 2018

Facebook reigns as the king of social media with more than 2 billion active users every day! If that’s not impressive enough, take a look at this: five new Facebook profiles are created every second. No wonder several churches worldwide are using this potent tool to interact with their congregations and communities. In fact, 92% of churches find Facebook to be the most effective platform for engagement.

Is your church already engaging on Facebook? If so, you need to step up your engagement strategy with these latest trends. Continue reading this blog post to learn what they are and how your church can make the most of them.

1. VIDEO IS STILL THE MOST POPULAR CONTENT

Did you know that more than 8 billion videos are watched on Facebook every day? In addition, social videos generate 1,200% more shares than text and images combined! Given these staggering numbers, it’s vital for your church to post more videos on your page. This will not only reach a wider audience, but also boost engagement dramatically.

Here are four easy-to-implement tips to help you leverage videos on Facebook:

2. FACEBOOK LIVE CONTINUES TO BE THE RAGE

Since its debut in 2016, Facebook Live has only gained more popularity. After all, it not only receives more engagement, but also reaches more people – for free. What’s more, Facebook Live offers viewers a more realistic and personal experience compared to curated videos or image posts; this, in turn, drives engagement.

So, how can your church make the most of Facebook Live? For starters, don’t limit your Live videos to snippets of your sermons or events. Brady Shearer, founder of Pro Church Tools, suggests asking your lead pastor to shoot a 5- or 10-minute session to talk about lessons from his or her life. For instance, your lead pastor could share a few marriage or parenting lessons from his or her experience.

Brady says, This social media tactic works well because it is rooted in the idea of show, don’t tell”. In order words, learning from one’s personal experience is often more compelling than watching a sermon. However, keep in mind that your Live videos need to be of good quality as video quality is the most important factor for 67% of viewers.

3. MESSENGER BOTS ARE BECOMING A NORM

Another raging trend is the increased use of social messaging. In fact, bots on Facebook Messenger grew from 33,000 to 100,000 in just a year. So, why should churches like yours use chatbots? For starters, it helps you automate responses to those who contact you, saving you much time and effort.

How can your church make the most of chatbots? You can use chatbots to welcome new visitors, take feedback about a service, take prayer requests and so on. Take a look at how National Community Church uses a chatbot to engage with visitors here. You can use tools such as Chatfuel or Landbot to set up your church’s very own chatbot.

Here are three tips to help you create an effective chatbot:

  • Give your bot a personality: Giving your bot a character would make it more humanlike and relatable. For example, you could start your bot with an opening line such as this – “Hi, I’m Teddy from City Church and I’m so happy that you stopped by!”
  • Set a goal for your bot: While creating a bot, think about whom your bot is going to target. Would you like your bot to engage with newcomers, church members or both? Once you’ve identified your target group, think about the purpose of the bot. Is it to invite newcomers to a service, inform visitors about events or ask for feedback? Answering these questions will help you set up an effective bot.
  • Build it to be conversational: Although your chatbot has a specific goal, it’s important to remember that it needs to be friendly and conversational in nature. Therefore, make sure that your bot is having a dialogue with a visitor rather than dumping information. For example, it would be good to acknowledge a response before asking your next question.
4. USER-GENERATED CONTENT BOOSTS REACH

What is user-generated content? Simply put, any content that is created by your audience is user-generated. Big brands have incorporated user-generated content into their content strategy because it not only generates engagement, but also trust.

Does your church repost user-generated content on its Facebook page? If not, make it a point to include it in your content plan. This will encourage more people to share posts about your church, resulting in reaching a wider audience.

5. MOBILE USERS CONTINUE TO RISE

With Facebook seeing a 21% increase in mobile users year-over-year, mobile-viewing is only going to rise. So, what does this mean for your church? Simply put, you will need to curate content optimised for mobile viewing. For starters, you will need to create image posts of the recommended size. You can click here to learn all about the different sizes for various images on Facebook.

You will also need to ensure that your videos are optimised for mobile-viewing. One good way to do that is by posting square or vertical videos as they occupy more screen space on mobile devices, attracting more attention. In addition, limit the text in your posts to 160 character or lesser.

How many of these trends were you already aware of? Are there any other trends that you would like to add to this list? Leave your comments below and let us know.

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