Browse
4 Ways to Leverage Your Church’s Online Presence

4 Ways to Leverage Your Church’s Online Presence

Posted September 5, 2017 by Bryan Haley

Each day we are bombarded with thousands of messages. Beyond the messages we seek out (think news, entertainment, and our friend’s posts on social media), experts estimate that we see anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements each day. As a church, when we are communicating to our people, we are adding just one (or a few) to these thousands of messages being thrown at our people. So how do you break through the noise? Here are four things that you can do in your church to help break through the noise and use your online presence better.


1. Be Simple

When you’re dealing with online messages, simplicity is king. A simple message conveys only the key aspects of your message, nothing more. Think about the messages you see and which ones stick with you. Think about McDonald’s - what is their key message? How about Coca-Cola? These are two of the largest corporations in the world, with similarly large advertising budgets. Yet, their message remains simple. Coca-Cola builds entire campaigns around their tagline “Taste the feeling.” McDonald’s does the same thing with “I’m lovin’ it.” So, when you are communicating something—an event, a sermon, a program, some sort of news—how simple are you making your message? Simplicity should always be your rule of thumb.

On social media, this means you should post short, shareable moments. Post things on your social media channels that are bite-sized and easy to get excited about or engaged with. On your church website, keep information on your homepage simple enough that a visitor can digest important information upfront, but also easily click into the website for deeper engagement and information.


2. Be Authentic

When trying to build engagement and relationships with people online, authenticity is key. And in order to be authentic in how and what you communicate online, you need to know who you are as a church. You may feel like you instinctively know who your church is, but it is always helpful to write it down. This doesn't have to be an arduous process, but it does have to be honest. Identify things like: What's your mission, vision, and values? What are you good at? Who are the people in your pews? Once you've identified this basic information, the next step is to make sure your online presence reflects it.

Using real images of real people in real situations on your web and social media helps give your potential guests a better idea of who you are, what you’re about, and what to expect when they attend a special event or Sunday service. On social media, it is important to take into consideration the climate of your congregation and community when posting. Has your community seen a recent rise in violence? Is your congregation going through a painful leadership transition? Don't ignore these realities. Instead, embrace the realities of your struggle to post relevant and meaningful gospel content. This helps you engage your audience where they are at in a meaningful way.


3. Prioritize Your Audience

Naturally, we tend to think that our church-branded messages are geared toward everyone because the gospel is relevant for everyone. But when you’re trying to use your online presence to its full potential, you need to identify and prioritize your audiences for each message and platform. When creating a message for a specific outlet online, make sure the message applies to the potential audience. For example, a post on your church’s Facebook Page reaches far beyond your congregation and includes many potential visitors. Prioritize non-church members when you craft messages and think of this page as an  outreach-oriented opportunity. For more “in house” church communications, like prayer requests or funeral announcements, using a congregation-focused Facebook group might be a better bet.

On your church website, make visitor-focused information the most easily-accessible. Guests need to know very basic information, so the front page of your website should be geared around that. They should also be able to easily get a glimpse of what the church is about and what to expect. Members will likely need more involved information with more details or content. This information should still be on the website, but can be located deeper in the pages.


4. Have a Plan

Whatever online message we’re crafting, it should always be part of a larger plan. When you have a church communication plan in place, whatever you decide to post online should fit well into that overall strategy. Even if your church doesn’t have a full plan yet, you can start with a baseline. Creating a strategy, or plan, for how and what is communicated—through all mediums—means that you have thought through what types of things are communicated. Having a plan means that you’ve done your research. You have thought about who your congregation is, who you want to attract, what those people need to see and hear, and how we should best deliver that message.



Having an effective online presence means that your church is able to reach more people with the gospel than ever before. With that much potential, let’s do things well! I’d love to see some of your successes online. Do you think you have an awesome social post or website that hits on these 4 points? If so, send me a screenshot—bryan@churchjuice.com.

Filed under: Social Media, Website

About the Author

Bryan Haley

Bryan joined the ReFrame Media team in 2017 with a passion to help churches reach people with the gospel using effective church communications. As producer for Church Juice, Bryan helps congregations energize their church communications by overseeing the Church Juice blog, publishing in-depth ebook resources, and developing training on topics like marketing, branding, social media, internal communications, and website development.

Bryan brings years of communication and outreach experience gained both in full-time church ministry and the field of church website design. Bryan and his wife, Denae, enjoy Michigan summers, Detroit sports, and family time.

Don't miss a post

Join our email list

Comments (1)

  • Mark Steinbrueck
    7:43 AM
    Fri, Sep 8, 2017

    Bryan, this is great information.  Although all 4 points are excellent, I especially like what you wrote about being authentic.  Though it is human nature to not want others to see our scars and bruises, people naturally gravitate to things that are real.

Leave a Comment

Share your thoughts about this blog post with us.
All fields are required.

Recent Posts

Say it Like You Mean It
Say it Like You Mean It
0

Posted July 16, 2019 by Joel Gorveatte

We can often be frustrated by a lack of engagement with what we are wanting people to know and do. What if that could change? Here are 4 questions to answer before the next time you communicate.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? A Guide to Reaching Out to Your Community
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? A Guide to Reaching Out to Your Community
1

Posted July 9, 2019 by Kristen Eleveld

You want to help your church be part of its community—but how can you make that happen? Here’s how you can reach more people in the neighborhood and on your church campus.
Communications Isn’t Sexy
Communications Isn’t Sexy
0

Posted July 2, 2019 by Owen Scott

When we think of our dream job in communications we have a pretty sexy picture in our mind. Lattes, hand-lettering, and designing to our hearts content. But communications is not sexy. Sometimes it can be downright painful. But is it worth it? I’d think so.
Step by Step Process to Keep People Engaged Through the Summer
Step by Step Process to Keep People Engaged Through the Summer
0

Posted June 27, 2019 by Tyler Rominger

Here are four simple steps to surround your ministry with a healthy level of enthusiasm and interest throughout the busy summer months.
The Case for Apps
The Case for Apps
0

Posted June 25, 2019 by Ernesto Alaniz

A well-executed app can drive engagement, increase connection, and bring true blessings to many within and outside our walls.
No, Your Church Doesn’t Need a Custom App
No, Your Church Doesn’t Need a Custom App
2

Posted June 18, 2019 by Bryan Haley

For many of us, we’re tired of our church being “behind the times.” We want our church members to have better access to the multitude of information, content, and communication available to them each day. So why not create a mobile app?
3 Ways to Reach Families with Special Needs in Your Church
3 Ways to Reach Families with Special Needs in Your Church
2

Posted June 11, 2019 by Kristen Eleveld

If you are struggling to think of ways to reach the special needs community in your church, you are not alone. Here are a few ideas to help you launch your communication campaign to include people and families of all abilities.
Fundraising in your Community
Fundraising in your Community
0

Posted June 4, 2019 by Tyler Rominger

We live in a culture that prizes actions taken on behalf of those that are in need. Invite your community to participate and invest themselves in their local church’s efforts. You’ll be surprised at how warm the reception to such a call to action can be.
Should You Be a Church Communications Specialist or Generalist?
Should You Be a Church Communications Specialist or Generalist?
1

Posted May 14, 2019 by Robert Carnes

Church communications pros often come in two different varieties: either you’re a specialist, or a generalist. That may be obvious, and you may already know which category you fall into. But it’s still interesting to consider if there are advantages to one over the other.
You’re Not the Boss of Me
You’re Not the Boss of Me
1

Posted May 8, 2019 by Owen Scott

Working in a team is essential to survival in ministry. But working in community is often easier said than done. Here are some practical tools you can put in place to lead effectively in your team environment.