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10 Reasons Why Your Church Social Media Accounts Fail to Get Any Real Engagement In 2023


Social media has become an integral part of church life, but many churches are still struggling to find success in this arena. Despite having followers and posting regularly, they’re not getting the traction or engagement they were hoping for. The truth is, there are a number of reasons why this might be happening.

Churches can have three possible objectives when it comes to their social media activities: raising visibility, establishing an identity, and fostering meaningful conversations. The first objective is to raise the visibility of the church's mission and message by increasing content reach and engagement. The second objective is to establish a recognizable identity for the church by creating a consistent brand image throughout all posts. The third objective should be to foster meaningful conversations between the church and its community through active dialogue. This can include responding to comments, addressing questions that arise, hosting live Q&As, and engaging in thoughtful discussions.

Your church should consider viewing social media as more than just a platform to post updates about your services and programs. Instead, it can be used in an overall communications strategy to engage with the community and build meaningful relationships. By applying what marketers call “top of the funnel” principles, you can attract new followers by creating content that is interesting, informative, and relatable.


Top of the funnel (ToFu) is the first stage of the audience experience journey. In this stage, your church's goal should be to create brand awareness and reach as many people as possible with your message. By utilizing social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, you can engage the target audience in our neighborhood and help drive engagement and visits by creating meaningful relationships. Through consistent posts, conversations, polls, surveys, and other activities on these networks, churches can gain valuable insights into their community and use those insights to build deeper relationships that go beyond online interactions. With the ultimate aim to move online conversations offline into IRL (“in real-life”) relationships.

But without understanding why you're using social media, and what outcomes you want to drive, it's hard to produce content and manage the engagement effectively in a way that produces the results you want and the results you are able to experience.

So in the end, many churches end up with nothing.  No real engagement. Just a lot of time wasted on the “dread-mill” of death for the content machine beast that requires you to feed it each and every day.

There are many reasons why most church social media accounts do not get any real good traction and engagement – some of which may surprise you!


10 Reasons Why Your Church Isn't Getting Engagement On Social Media In 2023

1. Not expecting conversations with followers:  As a social media manager, you need to remember that social media is a two-way street. While it's important to post content regularly, it's equally as important to engage with followers. Responding to comments and questions or just taking the time to start conversations helps build relationships within the community. You need to schedule time consistently to respond to people's comments so that you respond in a timely manner.

2. Not staying up to date with the latest social media trends: Social media moves quickly, and if churches don't keep up, they can be left behind. Staying on top of trends and adapting quickly is essential for getting the most out of social media platforms. There are many good places to stay current: The Social Media for Churches Facebook Group, Church Social Media Managers Group, ChurchTechToday.com, Social Media Examiner, and other outlets all provide great resources and news on updates you can benefit from.


3. Posting too much content that's not intended for interaction: Too often churches are so focused on posting content that they forget about engaging their audience. It’s important for churches to take time for relationship building; otherwise, followers will have no incentive to stick around or take any action.  And by interaction, I don't mean just asking for likes, comments, and shares generically. Is your content thought-provoking? Is it sharing an opinion with structured back-up? Is it contrarian, counter-intuitive, or counter-cultural? There a many angles to ensure your content isn't just seen and scrolled by.

4. Not developing relationships with other community leaders: Community leaders in many places have a lot of influence, so forming relationships with them can help church leaders reach more people and get more engagement from their posts. Developing meaningful connections here can really pay off down the line. For this, there are two places: online and offline. What local organizations, leaders, and other outlets have a good presence and community online?  What offline businesses, organizations, and leaders are active in the community?

5. Over-promoting and not providing value: Just like any marketplace, people want something in return for their attention or loyalty — and this includes churches too! Church social media accounts should focus on providing real value first before asking anything in return; Otherwise followers won’t feel any connection at all.  Dispoable content drives disappointing engagement. Think how you can make reference-worthy content. Bookmarkable, remarkable, memorable, referenceable content.

6. Publishing generic, impersonal content: Churches must also make sure all their content has a personal touch rather than coming off as generic or scripted messages that lack connection and emotion. Personalize each message by making sure it reflects your church’s values, mission, and goals — this will make followers much more likely to engage with your posts over time. Are you talking to the the “air” over a crowd “out there”?  Or are you using literally “you” language?  Talk directly to the ONE person that's reading a post on their phone, not the assumed “masses out there.”

7. Being too corporate or formal on social media sites: Churches should not take an overly professional tone when communicating with their audiences on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter; This kind of approach often comes across as cold and uninviting, which does little to encourage engagement from followers. People have relationships with people, not institutions.

Side view of young businessman drinking coffee and checking social media on mobile phone.

8. Focusing solely on evangelism instead of building relationships: Evangelizing doesn't always mean convincing someone who doesn't believe in church beliefs – sometimes, it also means connecting genuinely with current members! Church leaders should focus enough energy on building relationships through conversation, so they create an authentic dialogue online between themselves and their audience. The point isn't to convert strangers on the spot as if you're handing out samples at Costco, and expect people to turn into “all-in” followers immediately. Instead, conversations about Jesus and committing someone's life takes time and a relationship. Be social, and stay social.

9. Treating social media as a bulletin board, vs office hours: Many churches treat social media like a one-way communication platform such as an email newsletter or poster board – but this is far from effective! To really get traction, Church leaders must interact, engage, ask questions, listen, reply, thank, etc – basically, use all the tools available on each platform!

10. Ignoring feedback and requests from followers: It's very important that church leaders acknowledge any feedback given by their audience. Acknowledge questions/comments even if you can't reply right away – doing so encourages further participation from your following base. Most of the time, it makes sense to try and suggest/move conversations offline.  Conducting any sort of detailed exchanges in public usually isn't productive.

It's clear when you follow a church's social media accounts for any given amount of time if they are struggling to get the traction and engagement, they desire because of any of these 10 mistakes. Using these insights, what creative strategies do you think churches should use to engage their community in a meaningful way online?

Kenny Jahng
Kenny Jahnghttps://www.kennyjahng.com
Kenny Jahng is Editor-In-Chief at ChurchTechToday.com. He also serves as Chief Innovation Officer at ChurchCommunications.com which has a community of 29,000+ church leaders. Kenny is a Certified StoryBrand Copywriter Guide and founder of Big Click Syndicate, a strategic marketing advisory firm helping Christian leaders build marketing engines that work. You can connect with Kenny on LinkedIn.


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