What really is a social media strategy and do you have one as a church?

Or are you flying by the seat of your pants?

I’m guessing the second one.

Either way, use this guide to help your church build a winning social media strategy.

Keep reading to review the 5 steps to go through with your  team to define your social media strategy. 

Step #1: Define Your Church’s Social Media Win 

Step #2: Determine Who You Want to Reach 

Step #3: Build Out Your Content Strategy 

Step #4: Plan and Schedule Your Content 

Step #5: Track and Measure Your Results 

Step #1: Define Your Church’s Social Media Win

The main question to start with when it comes to creating a winning social media strategy is this: What do you want to accomplish with social media? 

You’ll always compare yourself to other churches and be unhappy with your results, if you don’t know what you were looking for in the first place.

You need to make sure your win is realistic and makes sense for your church with where you are at. We often want to go from zero to Elevation on social media and that is just not realistic, nor should it be the goal - although they do great work! 

Social media is an ongoing marketing effort that you build upon one week at a time.

Here are some examples of what your win might look like as a church. 

  1. Building Awareness of Your Church
  2. Educating People on Your Cause and Mission
  3. Educating People How to Live for Jesus 
  4. Raising Funds and Getting New Donors 
  5. Engaging Your Current Community Throughout the Week
  6. Increasing Your Reach by Attracting People You Don’t Know
  7. Inspiring Action like Signing Up for Events or Conferences 
  8. To Serve Others through Inspiration and Encouragement 
  9. Bringing New People to Church

Notice I didn’t add gaining more followers to this list. The reason is because gaining followers is a product of having a clear win and focusing on serving others through your content.

Your church’s win needs to be deeper than gaining followers, although I want that for you too! 

Step #2: Determine Who You Want to Reach 

Determining who you want to reach on social media helps you to define your content strategy. 

How can you know what content you are even going to create if you don’t know who it is for?

The main types of audiences to think about for churches are: 

  1. Believers or Non-believers
  2. Current members, new members or potential members
  3. Local, regional or worldwide
  4. Age range

Go through each type of audience and narrow down who you are wanting to reach. 

Defining who you are targeting will help you to decide if you want to use church-y language or common language, what type of content would be relevant, and what social platforms are most important for your church to focus on. 

For example: a post to a potential church member, would be worded completely different than a post to a current church member. 

Once you decide, when you create content imagine you are talking to that one person, every time. 

Step #3: Build Out Your Content Strategy 

Determine what platforms are most relevant to your church. Generally, Instagram and Facebook are a good bet. 

If you have a mostly younger church, Instagram is best. A mostly older  church, you may want to focus more on Facebook.

Either way, you can set your posts to publish to both platforms automatically, so you may want to do both and then put a special focus on one.

Once you got these two down, then you can think about expanding to TikTok or Twitter if that makes sense for your church. 

You also need to decide what to post each week as part of your content strategy.

For a quick easy way to plan, share at least one post from each of these categories every week! 

  • Value: Quotes, testimonies, how-to’s, message recaps, myths, limiting beliefs 
  • Promotions: Event testimonies, conference promo, invitations to church, classes or groups
  • Personal: Behind the scenes, goals, volunteer highlights, Q&As, ministry highlights 

The key to your content is going to be to share stories about people as much as possible. Take the focus away from “your church” and put it on how Jesus is changing lives, then you won’t look like every other church. 

For more on building out a content strategy for your church, head to this post: How to Plan Your Church Social Media Calendar.

Step #4: Plan and Schedule Your Content 

Once you’ve dialed in your social networks to focus on and the categories to post about each week, it’s time to write it out and get organized.

Create a digital content calendar (here’s mine if you need one!) that outlines what you are going to post each week.

I recommend planning at least one week in advance. But if you are feeling inspired, go for a month. 

Then use an auto-publishing system to schedule your posts so you can “set it and forget it”. Wouldn’t it be great if all your posts went out for a whole week and you didn’t even have to think about it? 

Try Meta Business Suite for free or if you are looking for a paid version try out Later or Planoly. Later has a 50% discount for qualified nonprofits too! 

Step #5: Track and Measure Your Results 

Lastly, track those results! Social media is all about looking at your analytics and improving based on your findings. 

For Instagram, make sure your account is listed as a Business or Creator account so that you can get access to Instagram Analytics. 

You will never really know what works for your church unless you try new things and then check out the analytics over time. 

Experimenting is the name of the game.

If you see a certain type of post performing well, post more posts just like that one! 

You will also be able to learn valuable information like who your audience is, what time of day they are active, and what type of content they engage with most often. 


Remember, social media takes trial and error, so be patient, keep trying new things and then refine your strategy depending on what is working and what is not. 

You got this!  

Aug 17, 2021
Social Media

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