As we head into the busiest season for churches, now is the time to wrap your head around Facebook as your new best friend for church event outreach. It’s one of the best (and least expensive) ways to share your event, be it a Fall Festival, Trunk or Treat, Harvest Party, or holiday event, getting your church message seen on Facebook is becoming more challenging every day.

Facebook Organic Reach, the number of people reached without having to pay, is on the decline. Recent stats put your unpaid reach at 3-6% of the people who have “liked” your page.

While it’s frustrating, the reasoning is simple.

The average Facebook user has 1500+ possible posts to see every time they log in. Facebook knows the typical user would never scroll through that many posts, so they narrow it down. Picking the top posts, they believe you will engage with, based on your previous visits. The more you visit, the more Facebook refines what they show in your feed.

With such a small percentage of your followers seeing your posts, getting seen by your community requires paying for reach.

Thankfully, Facebook ads are one of the best values available for targeted reach into your community in order to get in front of the exact group of people you want to.

With Facebook, there are new main ways to do this 1) through the boost post feature and 2) through Facebook Ads:

Boost Post Feature

  • Create posts like you normal would and watch the organic reach (how many people interact with it)
  • Choose your posts with the highest reach and pay to boost them

This feature allows you to:

  • Add a Button
    • Choose the type of response you want; Learn More, Sign Up, Call Now, etc.
  • Choose an Audience
    • Target who sees your boosted post
      • People who like your Page
      • People who like your Page and their friends
      • Custom Audiences
    • Set a Budget
      • Costs as little as $1 per day
    • See Estimated People Reached
      • Refine your audience and budget to reach more of the people who matter toyou
    • Set a Duration
      • How long do you want to run the boosted post
    • Track Conversions
      • Know how many people have seen, interacted with and responded to your post

Facebook Ads Manager / Facebook Power Editor

  • Allows you to pick a specific task you want to accomplish with your Facebook Ad
    • Reach people near your church
    • Send people to your website
    • Increase conversions on your website (perform an action like register for an event, join an email list, etc.)
  • Allows you to target the exact person you want to see your Facebook Ad
    • Location
    • Age
    • Gender
    • Language
    • Include / Exclude people who match specific details
      • Demographics
      • Interests
      • Behaviors

Once you have picked a task and audience you can then:

  • Pick a Placement
    • Show the ads on mobile, desktop and more based on your desired response type
  • Pick a budget
    • Per day or per campaign options
    • Costs as little at $1–5 A Day
    • More effective reach for $30–40 Per Campaign
  • Create a delivery schedule
    • Length of campaign
    • Days of week for campaign
    • Time of day for campaign
  • Optimize for Ad Delivery
    • Pick the type of tracking you want
  • Create you Facebook ad
    • Text
    • Image
    • Link to follow
  • Start your ad campaign
  • Track your ad results in real time with Power Editor analytics

Both solutions will get your paid post seen. I’ve experienced good response to posts and ads using both options.

The question for you church is, how much control do you want and how much tracking information is important. In the long term, the Power Editor is your best bet, but it can be overwhelming at first. Take time to investigate how it works now, so you are familiar with it when your next church event roles around.
For more help with how to set up the Facebook Ad Manager to spend just dollars a day on your church marketing, check out this article and video tutorial over at RAD-Ideas.com.