Promoting your service or event on social media – before, during and after

15/02/2019

A clear and simple approach to social media can go a long way to building anticipation and excitement for your service or event and reach more people with an invitation to come along. We’re sharing this blog ahead of Lent and Easter to help churches think about how you might get the best use from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Here are our top tips:

Before the event 

  1. Put all the details of your event online 

Before you begin to talk about your event, update your A Church Near You page and/or website and add the event to your Facebook page if you have one. Make sure all the details are clear and correct, with sign up links where necessary.  

  1. Create a varied content plan for social media 

Start by creating a plan for when and what you will post leading up to, during, and after the event. Try out the different features on the platforms to create a variety of posts and keep your target audience in mind.

When you are promoting your event, it is good to follow an 80/20 rule with 20% of your posts encouraging people to do something. Think creatively about other content you could share that will build excitement for your event. 

Content ideas: 

  • Share stories from people who have attended in the past or are coming along this time. Do they have an interesting or moving story to inspire your audience to come along? 

  • Photos from a previous event to give your audience a sense of what they can expect. 

  • Behind the scenes preparations to build anticipation. 

  • Create some intrigue with a sneak peek of what is to come (without giving it all away!). 

  • Consider sharing special announcements by going Live on Instagram or Facebook. Have a look at our blog on using Facebook Live here

  • Share regular updates about your service or event so your audience is fully informed. 

  • Celebrate your team of volunteers who have been pulling it all together.  

  • Profile organisations that you will be supporting through your event. 

  • Create a poll for your audience to vote on a feature within your event. 

Tips: 

  • You don’t have to plan every post. Sharing spontaneous and candid moments with behind the scenes preparations can perform well, as it shows authenticity and allows your followers to be a part of the journey.  

  • Don’t repeat the same images. If your audience has seen it before they may tune out to new and important information.

3. Create some eye-catching visuals to promote your event. 

Use photos or create an advert using an online tool such as Canva. For ideas take a read of our blog on how to create great posters using Canva.   

4. Use Facebook Ads to invite more people within your community. 

On average only 2 per cent of your audience will see your posts, but with Facebook Advertising, you can expand your reach out into your community. Facebook has provided some free online courses on how to use Facebook Ads. 

5. Be ready to answer questions 

People attending your event may use social media or your website to ask questions so check your inboxes regularly and ensure everyone coming along has a great day. 

During the event 

1. Post live to social media 

Posting live during your event you will encourage your audience to join in and help others who are not in the room experience it with you which may inspire them to come along next time. Engage with your audiences’ posts by liking, commenting and sharing.  

 Do read the safeguarding advice available here.

2. Go behind the scenes 

From your team of volunteers to backstage moments, your community will love to see the unseen footage from your event and the people who made it happen. 

3. How can others help? 

There are a few key roles you may be able to delegate to others to help you on the day Can someone help capture the event by taking photos and video, or another who can help post live to Twitter, Instagram or Facebook? Prepare them by taking them through the flow of your event and the key moments they need to capture.

After the event 

1. Extend the excitement around your event  

Your community will love to see the photos captured on the day, and when they share them with their friends it will help to raise the profile of your event: 

  • Create an album of photos of Facebook. 

  • Share a selection of photos to your Instagram stories. 

  • Collect tweets into a ‘Moment’ on Twitter. 

  • Ask your audience to share their photos and videos.

Don’t delay in sharing the memories with your audience, the longer you wait after the event, the less likely they are to engage with it online.  

2. People stories 

Sharing stories is one of the best ways to promote how successful your event has been. Ask attendees to share a memorable moment or a bit about why they came. Capture as video on your smartphone, or a photograph to share alongside a quote.  

3. Do you have another event coming up?  

Take the opportunity to invite those who attended to come along to your next event whilst your community is still buzzing about the last one. 

4. Lastly, take a moment to review how it went 

Look at your insights on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and consider what worked well to repeat again, or what you would change for next time.  

You can read other Labs Learning blogs here

 

Liz Morgan, Church Digital Champion, The Church of England