Update 3/13/18: This piece has been updated with the most recently available statistics and key takeaways for each stat.
As churches grow and adapt to the era of omnipresent Wi-Fi and smartphones, social media has become one of the most effective—and necessary—ways of reaching new members.
Some church leaders are reluctant to completely welcome technology (and all of its complications) into the sanctity of their church. Learning how to effectively and comfortably use church technology and software can be a long process.
It’s more important than ever, though, for churches to utilize social media, but the percentage of those that do remains alarmingly low.
As a church leader, you need buy-in not only from your leadership team but also from your congregation as a whole to enact church-wide change.
10 Powerful Church Statistics on Social Media
Let’s take a look at 10 statistics that illustrate just how crucial social media is to church growth, how badly churches currently utilize it, and key takeaways to help you build (or fix) your social media strategy.
Takeaway: Your followers are using the internet and social media as part of their worship routine in ever-increasing numbers. You need to have an active social media presence to take advantage of that fact, since that’s where your audience is. Here’s a guide on building your church website, and one on building your church social media strategy.
Takeaway: If your church doesn’t offer Wi-Fi, you’re in the minority and could be driving guests away. Here’s a guide from FaithEngineer on upgrading your church’s internet situation.
Takeaway: If you want to successfully market your church and increase membership, social media is no longer a “nice to have” but an essential line of communication. Here are some great examples of church social media campaigns from pro church marketer Brady Shearer to get you started.
Takeaway: Facebook is the king of church social media tools. If your church doesn’t have a Facebook profile set up, make that your first priority. A Facebook page doesn’t just give your members a place to interact with each other, it also gives you access to a network of active, online communities where you can get ideas and ask questions. Here are 14 great church Facebook groups to join, recommended by church communications expert Katie Allred.
Takeaway: Just because most churches are late to the Twitter and Instagram game doesn’t mean you should be among them. According to Statista, Instagram has more than 800 million users, and Twitter had about 330 million as of the end of 2017. That’s an enormous audience to tap into. Start with this Instagram guide for churches, and this one for Twitter.
Takeaway: This stat is a few years old, but email marketing has been around for almost 40 years so it’s still relatively young. The advice here is straightforward: email communications that include a social media link are way more effective at generating clicks from readers. Don’t leave them out!
Takeaway: Consistent posting is crucial to social media success, but this task often falls to an unpaid volunteer (especially at smaller churches). The good news is that social media posting is easy; virtually anyone can do it. Give whoever runs your social media pages some guidance, such as these church social media mistakes to avoid.
Takeaway: Cisco predicts that by 2021, 82% of all consumer internet content will be video. The number of young people watching religious videos online will only increase. To take advantage of this, incorporate video into your social media plan. Here are seven church videos you can learn from, and five tips on creating professional church videos from church media expert Jeremy Poland.
Takeaway: Social media is a lifeline to your outside community, and one you need to use if you want your church to thrive and grow. As Efrem Smith, co-lead pastor of Bayside Church, Midtown in Sacramento, said, “To stay relevant, the church must diversify.” Use tools like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to share pictures and news with your own church members, and attract new members by promoting events (use hashtags!).
Takeaway: Don’t worry, video isn’t taking over (yet). Don’t scrap your physical location for an online only campus, but consider livestreaming your services for those who are unable to attend, traveling, or deployed. Here’s a beginner’s guide to getting your church’s livestream set up. Know your congregation; run a survey to determine your church’s needs before diving in.
Your church stats?
Have you stumbled across any interesting church technology research lately? I’d love to hear about it. Share it with me on Twitter @CapterraAC, or drop it in the comments below!
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