By Rev. Marty Levesque
Who are you trying to reach on social media? As we start to think about setting budgets for 2021 where are you willing to invest in social to maintain and develop new connections?
One of the things that social media has allowed churches to do for the past decade is micro-target ads and messages to certain demographics. For giants like Facebook, this has always been their best marketing feature.
But microtargeting an audience on a single platform won’t be as effective for the next decade as different generations rush to different platforms. And each of the platforms has a unique way to shape content that helps churches tailor their message to the demographics they wish to reach.
Currently, 7 in 10 adults in Canada are active on Facebook, so this should still be the main platform that focuses much of our energy in driving content and conversations. Facebook is perfect for a few pictures, a microblog post and sharing upcoming events.
Yet, we should also be aware of demographic shifts in social. Facebook currently is skewing to a Baby Boomer audience. Millennials meanwhile prefer Instagram where they can develop Stories on their feed and even post short videos. Moving into this space will require photo and video editing software and a willingness to learn how to develop eye-catching content.
Gen Z or Zoomers alternatively are on Snapchat and TikTok. Snapchat offers similar features surrounding stories as Instagram, while TikTok is a short video platform. Unlike Instagram, both of these platforms are populated by a younger generation that creates using their phones rather than professional cameras and editing software, so there is a lower barrier of entry and it is perfectly acceptable to be campy.
To make your church stand out, save time, and enhance the experience, take advantage of each social media platform’s features to weave these different content styles together to reach out to all ages, or nations, and teach them all that Jesus has taught.
Rev. Marty Levesque is the diocesan social media officer and rector of All Saints’ in Waterloo.