Facebook_engagement_church

With the rapid decline of organic Facebook reach, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit one practical strategy that will increase the engagement and reach of your church’s Facebook page.

Many churches use Facebook like a virtual bulletin. Listing events and what is happening on the next Sunday.

The problem is that Facebook doesn’t work that way. It see’s low engagement with those styles of posts and lowers the reach. When this is repeated over and over again the Facebook algorithm penalises the church’s page and lowers it’s reach.

Here is the upside. When people comment on your posts it sends a signal to Facebook. A very important signal. It says your page is relevant to your audience.

Then Facebook will show your post to more people. The more times you do this. The more your organic reach will grow. The more your organic reach grows, the higher likelihood that people who don’t follow your page will see the posts.

But its not just about reach. Engagement is about, well engaging. Showing that you are interested in your audience. That is the whole point of social. It’s a two-way conversation [read my 21 social media tips for churches article if you want more in-depth tips].

Question #1: Fill-in-the-blank question

It goes something like this. “Fill in the blank. The bible passage I am reading right now is ____________”   or “Fill in the blank. My favourite scripture passage is ____________” All your audience has to do is fill in one word. It is such a low barrier to entry that even on mobiles when people are skimming their feeds they will stop and answer.

Question #2: One-word response

Some examples can be “How often do you pray? Daily, hourly, weekly or monthly?”. Another example is “How many books are there in the old testament 38 or 39?”

Question #3: Discussion starters

You may have common questions that your congregation is asking and you can reply through doing a Facebook Live discussion. Or you can simply lead with the question and ask the community what it thinks (If you want to do some Facebook Live here are 9 important tips you need to know).

Question #4: Challenges

 You can ask your FB community what their biggest obstacles, challenges or fears are. What is their biggest challenge in raising their children? What is their biggest challenge at work? What are the biggest challenges in their spiritual journey? How have they overcome them? You may be doing a series on parenting or relationships and you could ask questions around the topic to eventually invite people to come along to a service to hear some more answers to the questions that they have to ask. 

Question #4: God-given dreams and aspirations 

Where have people seen God give them pictures or dreams? How has that come to fruition? What dreams do you have for your life? What dreams do you have for your children? You get the idea.

Question #5: Community wisdom

Some may find this a little risky. But ask questions that draws other people into helping others. “Tell us your tips for raising Godly children?” How do you raise children with passionate spirituality? What dating tips do you have that honour God? Any financial/stewardship tips to share with the community? 

If you have trust, you may be surprised by how much wisdom there is in your church community.

Question #6: Sermon inspiration

Some may find this challenging. But you may be preaching on a topic and you may want insights (not answers) into the current issues/problems around a topic you are speaking on. Tell them that you are writing a sermon on a topic and you would like to know what challenges they face in this area. Or what tips they would share in an area. Asking a related question can help your congregation feel included but also it will help give you a different perspective on the topic you are preaching on. 

Question #7: How can we pray for you?

This is a highly engaging and genuine opportunity to minister to your community and beyond. I’ve written at length about the dramatic impact it can have here.

Recommendation

If you are going to ask questions. Make sure you are around to engage with the answers. It shows you are actually genuinely interested and want to interact. The side bonus here is that it also sends a very positive signal to the Facebook Algorithm which will mean the organic reach of your page will increase if you are consistent in this practice. 

Listen here to my recent podcast with Phil Bowdle about improving your social media strategy. Some great tips inside!

Your turn

Got your own questions? Or can you help others by sharing your ideas or tips around this topic? Comment below.