Leveraging Facebook Ads this Christmas

It’s December, so it’s time to talk about Christmas—at least that’s what my kids tell me. And with Christmas Eve falling on a Sunday, we’ll have more discussion later about what services and activities churches are planning for this year. But for now, let’s talk about Facebook, Christmas, and your church.

Facebook advertising is the most effective way of getting the word out about your church’s Christmas programming and services. Every church should be using Facebook in some way to promote their services to those in the community. Here are six essentials for doing so:

  1. Target your audience. If you’re going to spend money to reach people, you want to target a specific group as much as possible. Facebook’s ability to target boosted posts or ads to specific zip codes is the best way to reach those in your community with messages from your church.
  2. Use high quality graphics. While advertising will increase your paid reach, your organic (unpaid) reach will greatly increase when you use attractive graphics. Don’t use clip art. If you can’t afford a designer, simply use Christmas templates from Canva or a template from your Christmas cantata publisher if they provide one.
  3. Create Facebook events for your major events. By creating an event for special events during the Christmas season, you can remind those who like your page about the event. You can also share relevant details and answer any questions someone may have about the event.
  4. Encourage members to invite guests. Personal invitations are still the most effective way to get guests to come to your church. Ask your members to share with their friends the Christmas-related events or graphics you’ve already created.
  5. Change your header and avatar. This is a subtle, yet effective tactic that can lead to more engagement with your page online. People notice when an avatar changes. If possible, use your Christmas graphic. If not, maybe a Christmas-themed church logo. Be creative.
  6. Focus your advertising on one or two things. Other than focusing on your audience, focusing on your main event is the most important thing. You don’t have to put money toward promoting every activity if you can’t afford it. But pick the one major event you really want to emphasize (likely your Christmas Eve service or major Christmas program) and put your resources toward that. If you have the budget to do more, great. But if not, focus your advertising money on one thing rather than many. It is better to spend $100 boosting a post for one event than $20 on five different events.

What is your church planning for Christmas? Do you have a budget to advertise on Facebook?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jonathan Howe

Jonathan Howe serves as Director of Strategic Initiatives at LifeWay Christian Resources, the host and producer of Rainer on Leadership and SBC This Week. Jonathan writes weekly at ThomRainer.com on topics ranging from social media to websites and church communications. Connect with Jonathan on Twitter at @Jonathan_Howe.

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

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