3 Top-rated Social Media Marketing Apps for Churches

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Is your church struggling to keep its members engaged and interested? Are you finding it hard to grow membership for your church?

If your answer is yes, a good social media marketing tool is just what you might need.

3 Top-rated Social Media Marketing Apps for Churches

Why social media, you may ask? The number of worldwide social media users is expected to grow to 2.5 billion by 2018, according to a B2C report.

Despite the staggering increase in the rise of social media users, only 46.1 % of churches understand the importance of social media. Other churches continue to focus on legacy and outdated methods of outreach and engagement, such as knocking on doors (24.7 %), newspapers (14.3 %), and TV advertisements (5.8 %).

If you’re one of the 53.9 % of the churches who’re still not prioritizing social media as an important way to communicate with your members, in time your membership rolls will dwindle and it’ll be increasingly difficult to attract new members.

Considering the ever-increasing importance of social media outreach, in this article we’ll look at three social media marketing apps that can help improve membership engagement and attract new members.

The three top-rated social media marketing apps for churches are:

(Please note: The feedback given in each of the “Common user feedback trends” sections are the opinions of Capterra’s reviewers, and do not represent the opinion of Capterra. Read more about our methodology at the bottom of this article.)

Top-rated Social Media Marketing Apps for Churches

Buffer: Manage and maintain multiple social profiles

Buffer is a social media management app that lets you maintain and manage up to 10 social profiles and over 50 applications via its dashboard. Churches can use the tool to schedule posts for the entire week across all the social media platforms they use.

Buffer offers social analytics about clicks, likes, reach, shares, comments, and retweets. To help churches track engagement and interactions with previous posts so they can better target their future posts.

Buffer also provides browser extensions that make it easy to share an article or image you find on the web to your social channels, as well as a mobile app. The Pablo Image Creator helps users customize images and upload video content and animated GIFs.

Social Media Profiles in Buffer

Social Media Profiles in Buffer

Common user feedback trends

Based on analysis of user reviews on Capterra, here’s an overview of what Buffer features users like best, as well as those that can be improved upon.

What users like

  • Convenience and user-friendliness: The tool’s single dashboard, simple interface and design make managing various social media accounts a user-friendly experience. Some users appreciate its integration with automation tools like IFTTT and Zapier, which further simplifies workflows.
  • Automatic scheduling simplifies the process of ongoing communication: Buffer’s auto-schedule feature lets users schedule posts for automatic updates in the future, which enables consistent communication across social platforms and constant communications with members/customers.
  • Re-buffer feature increases engagement: Users appreciate Buffer’s re-buffer feature, which lets them schedule repeat posts within seconds. While it’s no longer offered with the free plan, the feature is available to users who subscribe to the lowest-cost plan.

What users think could be improved

  • Increase the number of social accounts supported which each pricing tier: Buffer’s free plan only supports three social accounts, and while free users would like access to more accounts, some paid subscribers feel similarly constrained by the account limits in the higher-priced plans.
  • Offer more bulk-scheduling options: With its free version, Buffer allows scheduling of only 10 posts in advance. Some reviewers would like more flexibility around the number of posts that can be scheduled in advance.

Who should consider Buffer?

Buffer is a good fit for churches or religious organizations that are looking for an easy-to-use and affordable social media management tool that supports automatic scheduling and the ability to manage multiple social media accounts.

HootSuite: Launch social media marketing campaigns and grow your church community

HootSuite is well-suited for users who are looking for ways to better engage their church’s youth community, or who are looking to grow their audiences—and memberships—quickly.

Like many other social media marketing tools, Hootsuite helps users launch social media marketing campaigns, identify their audience, and grow their community. What sets Hootsuite apart is the wide variety of social networks it supports—including Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Slack—and its robust analytics features.

Hootsuite lets users target communication across multiple channels and schedule up to 100 posts. The tool lets you track activity trends and measure community growth on various social media platforms. Users can also monitor social conversations about their organization using keyword, hashtag, and location.

Facebook insights in HootSuite

Facebook insights in HootSuite

Common user feedback trends

Based on an analysis of user reviews on Capterra, here’s an overview of what Hootsuite features users like best, as well as those that can be improved upon.

What users like

  • A large number of features in the free version: Many users appreciate that Hootsuite’s free version offers a wide variety of features, including social media management for three profiles, basic analytics, 30 scheduled posts and more.
  • User-friendly interface: Hootsuite is widely praised for its user-friendly interface. Many users found the ability to track responses and engagement activities of their online audience from one single platform very useful.
  • Easy reach: Reviewers note that tracking social media hashtags is easy with HootSuite. They have also pointed out that social media management—sending and scheduling posts across channels—is notably easy to perform.
  • Robust scheduling feature: Many HootSuite users particularly like that the posts can be scheduled even before a period of one month.

What users think could be improved

  • Limited reporting and analytics features: Many users have noted that they need more support with HootSuite’s reporting features. The free analytics available with HootSuite are considered by some to be unsatisfactory, requiring users to purchase a subscription plan to get access to advanced analytics.
  • Lack of automatic notification and alerts: Some Hootsuite users state that the company could improve on automatic email communication whenever content upload completes. This would help avoid manual checks for post updates, and let users know immediately when a scheduled post is live.
  • Offer additional insights related to posting: Some users feel that HootSuite should also recommend certain tips, such as the best time to post content and campaign budget.

Who should consider HootSuite?

HootSuite is perfect for users looking to quickly improve their social media performance and better engage their audiences. It’s a good choice for churches because of the large number of features available even in the free version. Churches can easily reach more members, post notifications about upcoming events, send social messages and more.

Zoho Social: Provides advanced insights and customer support

Zoho Social is social media marketing tool that can provide your church with insights to improve engagement through social media activity.

Zoho Social offers a real-time monitoring dashboard which allows users to search and track specific keywords and watch how members are reacting to recent posts. The SmartQ module helps you predict the best time when your followers are most likely to see your posts. You can also target posts on the basis of timezone, location, country and language.

Zoho Social has a brand inbox that offers a unified view of all messages. You can turn all messages into conversations and filter them by the name of social media platform. This feature is useful for churches if they want to communicate and have close-loop discussions with church members.

Analytics in Zoho Social

Analytics in Zoho Social

Common user feedback trends

Based on analysis of user reviews on Capterra, here’s an overview of what Zoho Social features users like best, as well as those that can be improved upon.

What users like

  • Robust Integrations: Users appreciate that Zoho Social integrates with several apps such as Zoho CRM, Facebook and Workato.
  • SmartQ helps drive maximum outreach with church members: SmartQ helps users automatically organize and schedule online content. Reviewers like that the feature keeps them informed about the best time to post, to make sure that each post is reaching the maximum number of users.
  • User friendly interface and customer reporting capabilities: The app has been reviewed positively for its simple and visually appealing design. Many users have also commented favorably on the interface for its customer reporting capabilities.

What users think could be improved

  • Difficulty posting to Instagram: Some reviewers have experienced issues with posting and scheduling posts on Instagram. In these cases, many users had to use their mobile phones to directly post to Instagram, which undermines Zoho Social’s basic premise.
  • Improved reporting and analytics: Some users of the app feel that Hootsuite could better report stats and offer improved data analytics.
  • Lackluster customer support: Zoho Social reviewers have noted that it can take a long time for customer support to respond to users’ support requests.

Who should consider Zoho Social?

Zoho Social is well-suited for ministries and nonprofit organizations who want to boost their social media presence and improve engagement with their online audience. Its focus on analytics can help churches identify the best time of the day to post, and help them monitor parishioner engagement and sentiment in real-time.

Next steps

We discussed three social media marketing apps suitable for churches in this article. All the three apps offer free trial and demo versions that can help users pick the right choice for their organization.

Capterra recommends you evaluate more apps on our social media marketing software page, so you can better understand the industry landscape and find apps that best serve the specific needs of your church. You can read reviews and filter out products as per their rating, features, etc.


Methodology

The solutions highlighted in this article are the social media marketing software with the highest average overall user rating from churches at the time of writing. For this article, we evaluated 117 social media marketing software systems and a total of over 60 user reviews (approximately) on Capterra’s website, exclusively from users in the churches.

Here’s an overview of our method for choosing this list of top-rated apps:

  • We analyzed reviews from users in churches and shortlisted those products that had 4+ out of five stars with a minimum of 20 user reviews.
  • From that list, we considered only those which are listed on Capterra.
  • The “common user feedback” sections include “what users like” and “user recommended improvements” for each product, based on feedback from users who left reviews.
  • The “who should consider this software” section is a summary of analysis conducted on the general comments from software users. This section highlights the most popular features of the software product and recommends who should consider buying that product and why.

Looking for Church Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Church Management software solutions.

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