Unsurprisingly, Christmas is one of the things churches do best, and there’s also a really great opportunity to do a brilliant job of Christmas on social media. Social media is a fantastic place to get people thinking about the real meaning of Christmas as there are so many ways to communicate it. I’ve put pen to paper (or more accurately fingers to keyboard) and pulled together a few ideas to inspire you in your Christmas social media strategy.
Telling the Story
Throughout the Christmas season, try and find interesting ways to tell the story. It could be through photos, graphics, videos or even gifs. Try and be as creative as possible, the more unusual and unique the better. For example: why not turn the church into a giant Advent calendar, revealing the next bit of the story each day? It would be perfect for the community to get involved in but also a great thing to share each day on social media.
One of the easiest things to do is to share relevant Bible verses (don’t forget that they’ll need to fit into 140 characters on Twitter). This is a great reminder for people that Christmas is about more than presents and food. Go one step further and turn the Bible verses into graphics. Not only will you be able to fit longer verses onto a graphic but they should be more engaging. As people scroll, they’ll stop to take a look at images. I’ve shared some resources on other posts which will make it incredibly easy to make quote graphics.
Promoting the Services
This might seem obvious, but don’t forget to promote your service times. Create a clean, simple and easy to understand Christmas timetable graphic and share it regularly. Don’t forget to post it at different times of day to reach different groups of people. It’s also worth tweeting individual service times and reminding people how welcome they are to come. It’s not always easy to ask someone face to face if they’d like to come to church, but retweeting or sharing a post about the Christmas service times isn’t nearly as daunting and is a great way to to invite friends to church for the first time.
Don’t forget to make the Christmas service times prominent on your website; if people have to search for them, they’ll probably just give up.
There’s so much you can share on Twitter and Facebook in the run up to Christmas. Churches can look really magical at Christmas time with candles and decorations, so use that to make people want to visit your church: share photos of the christmas decorations going up, the stages of the nativity crib scene being put into place or a video of music being practised. It builds up the anticipation and excitement for the main event. Think about the things your church does to get ready for Christmas that people might not know you do, or look for the humorous side in the preparations. Take a photo of the tower of mince pie boxes you need for a service or how you get such a large tree into the church.
During/On the Day
Not tweeting during your Christmas Day service (or during other Christmas services) might be a missed opportunity. Here are just a few ideas for you to consider:
- Why not share photos of the church filling up and updates of how you’re celebrating in church – you could live tweet the whole thing!
- Take a short video clip of the entire church saying Happy Christmas. Short means you can share the video on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Why not try vine also? An app from Twitter which lets you share 6 second videos
- Share videos from individuals about what they think Christmas is, you could also do it with still photos and have them hold up their message (perfect for Twitter and Instagram!)
- Take multiple photos throughout the service and create stop-motion style video of the service
- Live-stream it: use an app like Periscope to live video stream the service around the world. You’ll need to plan ahead and know what’s happening where but it’s worth the effort.
A video is a perfect way to share the Christmas story. Not only can you tell the story in unique and creative ways, it will also be more engaging on social media than text or image posts (plus perfect to show in Church too!). Have a look at my list of best Christmas videos, including All Saints, Peckham who used the overground train running past their church to tell the Christmas Story. Read my blog on cheap and easy video ideas which prove you don’t need a big budget or a budding director in your church to make a video. If you do create a video and also plan to post it on Facebook, don’t forget to upload the video straight to Facebook rather than using a Youtube link as you will get a lot more people watching the video.
Got ideas of your own? Why not share them in the comments below.