If you're thinking about how your church can connect with your community, make sure Facebook advertising is part of your strategy.
Here's 10 reasons why you should advertise on Facebook.
1. Time on Facebook accounts for 29% of all time Australians spend online. If people in your community spent 29% of their leisure time at the local shopping centre, you'd have a presence at the shopping centre, wouldn't you?
2. Not only do Australians spend a lot of time on Facebook – there are a lot of Australians on Facebook – nearly 9.5 million of us, in fact.
3. It's not expensive – there is a minimum daily spend of just US$1. Obviously a spend this low won't get thousands of people clicking through to your website, but it's a whole lot cheaper than the minimum spend for a television advertisement. You can also choose to run the campaign for as long as you like – I've run campaigns for just a couple of days.
4. You can target who sees your advertisements, so that only people in your local area see the ads. The ads I run are only viewed in the suburbs surrounding my church – people in Melbourne don't need to hear about our Simply Christianity course!
Facebook will also tell you many people are on Facebook who live in your targeted area:
6. You can target people by other criteria – such as age, likes and interests, relationships, and more. Running a marriage-enrichment course? Create an ad campaign, and target people who are married or engaged.
7. You can experiment with different content and images, to see what messaging is most effective at connecting with the people you'd like to invite to your church. Not only does this help you improve your Facebook ads, but you can learn lessons for your offline marketing activities too. If lots of people click on an ad with the title ‘Come back to church', perhaps your church could run a ‘Back to Church Sunday‘ event?
8. It's easy. You can run your campaigns using your own Facebook account, with no technical expertise required (but if you do get stuck, Facebook offers a comprehensive FAQs section to help you out).
9. Facebook will provide you with valuable data on how your campaign is going, so you can improve it on the fly. You can also see how many people have come through to your website via a Facebook ad – and what they did when they got there. There's lots of valuable data to learn about how to make your campaigns and online outreach even more effective.
10. People still need to hear about Jesus.