Browse
Fairborn UMC is a Juicys Winner - Social Media Strategy

Fairborn UMC is a Juicys Winner - Social Media Strategy

Posted November 16, 2015 by Jerod Clark

(The Juicys are a way to recognize and reward those churches who’ve worked to improve their church communications during the last year.  It includes giving them a grant to jump start their next project. To see past winners, click here.)

 

The Project: Social Media Strategy

Like many churches, Fairborn United Methodist Church, a congregation of around 225 people in Ohio, was chugging along with their social media efforts. They were getting good interaction, but some aspects were missing. Without focus and intentionality, the church had to answer a basic question, “Why should our church do social media?”

Associate Pastor Rev. Dr. Meghan Howard says the answer became clear.

“There are people we are connected with on a daily basis who still do not know Jesus - and social media is the perfect opportunity to share Jesus with them,” she says. “We determined this was the right communications strategy because we realized social media wasn't a trend and therefore wasn't going anywhere. We knew there was more to social media than just random posts - it required an intentional focus and strategy.”

 

The Process

As leaders at Fairborn UMC became more focused on social media, several strategies became key to increasing interaction.

  • Those attending worship are encouraged to tweet or post images, memorable moments, quotes, funny moments or anything that helped them engage in worship.
  • On most Sundays, Fairborn UMC provides a "tweet-able or post-able" phrase that sums up the sermon. They also make a point to tell people to actually post that phrase. 
  • At least once every sermon series, the church does a Q&A at the end of a message where the pastor will answer questions submitted on social media from the congregation. They also encourage those watching online to tweet/post questions.
  • The church created a 28-day content calendar to streamline communications into an intentional and focused manner rather than just posting/tweeting on a whim each day.
  • On a regular basis, Fairborn UMC uses analytics tools, along with A/B testing, to measure how successful various types of posts are in reaching people.

While Meghan would tell other churches that implementing a strategy like this takes time, she says the results are worth it.

“We saw more people become connected with the church,” according to Meghan. “We saw an increase in church attenders sharing stories from worship and/or their faith. Engagement levels with the church social media sites increased. An entire new audience was reached within the Fairborn community on Twitter. People began reaching out through social media for information, prayer requests and resources. Our live streaming on Sunday mornings started to impact more people in other areas of the country and world. We saw lives touched by posts.”

Fairborn UMC on Facebook and Twitter

What We Liked

Great communication takes intentional planning and this entry from Fairborn UMC is proof. The church developed a plan, made adjustments while reviewing analytics and found a way to make it easier for congregants to share their church with their friends. It’s a great model for a church of any size.

 

Up Next

Fairborn UMC wants to add an app to their digital communication toolkit. Meghan believes the app is key to growing engagement with the congregation and the community. It will feature incentives that reward people with points and badges as they attend church, get involved with community outreach, attend community events, donate items and more. The church is learning from popular incentive-based apps like FitBit and Nike+.

“The more you do something, the more a habit is likely to be created,” explains Meghan. “Therefore if we can help others start to create healthy Godly habits through the use of our app, the Kingdom and their spiritual lives benefit.”

Filed under: Church Juice, The Juicys, Social Media

About the Author

Jerod Clark

Jerod joined ReFrame Media in 2007 and built Church Juice from scratch. He poured all his passion for branding, marketing, and messaging into the ministry, publishing e-books, blog posts, and speaking at conferences to help churches energize their communications. He also served as ReFrame’s in-house graphic designer. Before beginning his work at Church Juice, Jerod was a local TV news reporter. In 2016, Jerod stepped away from the ministry to pursue interests in marketing and communications on new horizons.

Don't miss a post

Join our email list

Comments (0)

Leave a Comment

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

Recent Posts

Should You Be a Church Communications Specialist or Generalist?
Should You Be a Church Communications Specialist or Generalist?
0

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
0

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.
A Crowd Attracts a Crowd
A Crowd Attracts a Crowd
0

Posted May 6, 2019 by Joe Gallant

Your community is a great source of content to share with... your community! Find out how to use your existing community to attract new people in!
Post What You Preach
Post What You Preach
0

Posted April 29, 2019 by Joel Gorveatte

If we’re not careful, church communications can be limited to information, sign-ups, and advertising for the next knitting club event. What if it is an opportunity for so much more?
Death by a Thousand Cuts
Death by a Thousand Cuts
2

Posted April 17, 2019 by Owen Scott

Communications ministry is an always-flowing stream of demands—on your time, energy, and heart. If you’re not careful it could kill you, not in a big show of force, but slowly over a thousand cuts. Take time to set yourself up to thrive in communications ministry.
Podcast: What to do When Your Attendance Drops at Easter
Podcast: What to do When Your Attendance Drops at Easter
0

Posted April 15, 2019 by Bryan Haley

We’re talking with a pastor of a growing church that sees their attendance drop on Easter. What do they do instead?
Clarifying Your Message
Clarifying Your Message
0

Posted April 10, 2019 by Bryan Haley

We’re all busy. What you communicate needs to be clear, concise, and compelling to be as effective as possible.
Podcast: Partnering With Your Community
Podcast: Partnering With Your Community
0

Posted April 8, 2019 by Bryan Haley

Easter is a great time to find new ways to partner with your community. Here’s the story of how one church partnered with their community for an Easter egg hunt.
We’d Love Your Feedback
We’d Love Your Feedback
0

Posted April 3, 2019 by Bryan Haley

Your feedback will help make Church Juice an even-better resource for your church.
The Ultimate List of 25 Free Stock Photo Sites for Churches
The Ultimate List of 25 Free Stock Photo Sites for Churches
5

Posted March 27, 2019 by Bryan Haley

Sometimes stock photos are needed to fill gaps or spark creativity. Here are 25 websites with completely free photos for your church.