When it comes to any church event publicity is key – there are so many strategies that often require a great deal of time but don’t yield results to match. There is absolutely a place for older school approaches like handing out flyers, changing your display by the road or mailing out letters to the community, but, we have to begin to engage with people amidst the technological culture we are immersed in – and it’s exactly where they’ll be too.
Our church has used paid Facebook advertising, and also added videos to events and had our members share it on their personal page – this can go a long way to reach the community. People know, and trust, their friends and their judgement – and let’s face it, sharing something is really easy to do!
So, I happened to see a colleague of mine had a temporary Facebook profile picture frame for her church’s Easter event. Immediately I was amazed – so easy but effective! I researched, and found that making such a thing is easy to do, in fact I mocked up ours in an hour, which included time getting used to Pixlr!
Now, I am far from a graphic designer – my background consisted of work in Microsoft Paint through my intern year and has progressed to Microsoft Publisher – hardly an experienced pro! Having said that, I was satisfied with what my effort produced. Here’s why – I create a frame, I can launch it on both my profile and ministry page where anyone connected to it can adopt it themselves. Their friends then see the frame, that has a short description attached and a path through to our ministry page. Genius. And free! Hashtags are great, but that’s just not where our church is at – this is something easy for people to do that gets awareness out into the community. Furthermore, you can set it so the frame appears within a geographic radius of your church building increasing the reach you have in your community.
Facebook’s Frame Studio was relatively simple and easy to use, allowing me to briefly dabble with frames that will also appear for those using the camera feature in-app. This means that those youth kids snapping selfies left, right and center during VBS week can get more promo going for you as the frame appears more readily based on pages connected to and geographic location.
This is my first experiment in this field, but within minutes of sharing the design on my social media page a colleague from another church was already inquiring as to how I achieved the frame – result! If you have questions, I encourage you to contact me so I can help you set this up for your VBS or other big event!
– Jared Simpson