SHOULD MY CHURCH PAY FOR A FACEBOOK AD?
Josh Burns is director of web and social media at Park Community Church in Chicago. Here’s his perspective:
You can spend $30 to create a sponsored story on your church’s Facebook page that will potentially reach thousands of people. It is also interactive, and best-case scenario, you create value for that person and they “like” your Facebook page. Since your church’s social media presence is the new greeter anyway, this is exactly what you want to happen. (Of course these numbers depend on how many people already “like” your church’s Facebook page, but even if you have less than 200 “likes” these numbers could be accurate.)
This doesn’t excuse you from crafting well-written, visually appealing posts that create value for your community. Just because you can throw money at your Facebook page doesn’t mean you’re doing it right. You must first create valuable content for your community on a consistent basis. This is what is actually going to help you in the long run. Your church should be using social media as a relationship platform, not a broadcast platform, and no amount of money is going to make up for that. But after you’ve created value for your community, then you can think about creating a budget.
HOW TO RUN A FACEBOOK AD IN SIX STEPS
Here’s the step-by-step approach from Randall Curtis, TheHolyGeek.com
1. Make a Facebook page for your church and post to it weekly. Make sure you get as many people from your church as possible to like your page.
2. Go to https://www.facebook.com/ads/create/. You can advertise your Facebook page rather than individual posts or your website. This way when people click on your ad they go to your Facebook page. If they see an active, alive place, they’ll “like” it and become connected to your church. Later, when you post pictures and activities, they are likely to see it. Because people will be taken directly to your page, it’s important to have your service times and events prominently posted. When you hover over a post on your page, you’ll notice you can “pin to top.” This will let people see your service times and special events or plans as soon as they get there.
3. Select the page you want to advertise. You’ll see a screen asking you to upload images that are 600 × 225. Consider posters or logos for sermon series, special events or services.
4. Add text to your photos. The headline of your ad is the name of your page. You can add text up to 90 characters, and you’ll see a preview. If you upload multiple images, they’ll change for your viewer, but the text will stay the same.
5. Decide who you are targeting. You can select people in your city, over or under 18, not already connected to your page, etc. Play Facebook Family Feud. You’ll see a field labeled “interests.” Just like in Family Feud, consider, “People who like my church also like________.” Fill the interest field with what goes in that blank. You will then see your potential reach rise or lower. Here you can use Facebook’s data on its users to target your ad to people who like things that people who might want to go to your church like. Examples: Episcopal Church, NPR, Downton Abbey, Democratic Party. Be creative and honest. People might like the Bible and Jesus, but they are probably more likely to like certain television shows, political parties, action groups or books on Facebook.
6. Set your budget. You can choose a “Lifetime Budget.” You can also “Bid for Clicks” and manually set your bid price. If you’re getting as many clicks as you want, you can switch it to automatically optimize to get more clicks. This charges you a higher variable per click, but you’ll get more clicks. (On average: 80 cents per click). With these settings, once your budget runs out, Facebook will pull the ad. This also assures you that you were only charged for the people who clicked your ad.