Power to the Pews: Paint the Web

Power to the Pews: Paint the Web

May 23, 2012 by

This is part six in our series on guerrilla church marketing, Power to the Pews.

Last time we talked about ways to paint the town for your church. But we’re in a digital age. Paper is so last century. Let’s talk about ways lay people can paint the web for your church.

There are endless ways you can promote your church online and we’ll just list a few ideas to get you started. Remember that the idea is to spread the word about your church, not relentlessly spam people. Keep it relevant and personal.

  • Facebook – It’s the largest social network ever. If you want to connect with people, they’re probably on Facebook. There are a lot of ways to promote your church on Facebook, from liking your church’s page to adding comments on their posts. To get more involved you can share their content with your friends, post your own links, photos or videos, invite your friends to church events and more. The activity of your friends is what gets noticed on Facebook, so talking up your church is a good way to casually introduce your friends to your church.
  • Local Listings – Make sure your church is listed accurately in local sites like Yelp, Foursquare and more. Check in, post a comment, add a rating or review. Whatever the particular service lets you do, do it so your church has some activity and credibility.
  • Create Pages – Head over to some of the content creation sites like Pinterest, Squidoo, Storify or Wikipedia and create pages for your church. Maybe you pin your church’s sermon graphics or you create a Squidoo page about an upcoming event. It might be harder to meet Wikipedia’s guidelines, but some historic churches might fit (remember that Wikipedia is about unbiased facts, not marketing—follow the rules or your page will get deleted).
  • Create Groups – Create groups for your church on various social networks like LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, etc. It’s a good way to pull people from your church together and that can be stickier for new people. Sometimes it works best to have a specific topic in mind, like a jobs/networking group for LinkedIn.
  • Conversations – There are a lot of local groups, forums and sites online where you can join some local conversations. This is where you need to be personal and relevant. Form relationships and talk about your church when it’s natural. Don’t just blow through local forums posting random invites. That’s spam and will do a disservice to your church.
  • Links – It’s as simple as linking to your church. Google has turned links into gold by pairing them to search results. So link to your church from your site. Add links in your blog posts whenever you can and help boost your church in the search results.
  • Email Signature – It’s kind of old school, but your email signature is another place where you can promote your church online. It might be a little odd to constantly promote your church there, so maybe reserve it for special events or tack on a holiday invite when you’re emailing local friends.

Do you have more ideas for how to paint the web for your church? Share ’em in the comments.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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4 Responses to “Power to the Pews: Paint the Web”

  • David Pohlmeier
    May 25, 2012

    I agree with everything you’ve said in the above article. In fact, we (iMinistries) did a study and created a nice infographic to go along with it that proves what you are suggesting above is what churches should do.

    View the article and infographic here.

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  • Minister Yorba Linda
    May 29, 2012

    Its very true that today you have to promote your church where people are most likely to be found. But it doesn’t end after just creating pages. You have to create a community of like minded people by regularly participating in the conversation.

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  • Paula
    June 1, 2012

    Hi Kevin,
    I’m so glad you wrote this. Churches often think it’s necessary to hire someone to do all their marketing or communicating but the web loves organic. When the people make the effort, they become more connected to the mission of the church and word gets spread. Much like talking with your neighbor or the parents at school about whatever your church is doing. Sharing via the web matters too.

    Where do you recommend starting for churches who’ve had fear in this arena?

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    • Kevin D. Hendricks
      June 4, 2012

      I think churches need to empower and encourage their people to do it. This shouldn’t be a replacement for marketing efforts–if your church has no social media presence, it’s going to be hard to get people talking about your church (and there will be no way to easily gather or collect those voices).

      It would help to have a pastor leading the way.

      And if your church is fearful of online efforts, then you’ve got an uphill battle. ;-)

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