School’s out and kids (and parents!) are itching for new exciting activities to spend their summer days. As your church starts to plan for Vacation Bible School or day camps, how can you best get the word out so families know about the fun that will take place at your church?
Using social media as a tool to reach new and existing families in your church is an easy and cost-effective way to spread the word about your upcoming summer programs.
Here are 5 tips for promoting VBS on social media.
1. Make Shareable Videos
People spend on average 5 times longer watching a video on social media than a static post. On social media, video is key to increasing engagement and reach. And thankfully, video on social media doesn’t have to be high-quality production so even a small church with a small budget can create short videos to share. Simply pull out the camera on your phone and start recording!
Here are some ideas of videos you could post to draw attention to your VBS programs.
- Share testimonials or highlights from last year’s attendees. Don’t have video from last year? Interview a few of your “biggest fans” about why they loved VBS last year and are coming back this year!
- Post “sneak peeks” about the theme or activities.
- Make it exciting! Get your pastor involved in the excitement and do something out of the box. Dump slime on a staff member, pie the pastor, or issue an invite challenge to church members. Parents will love showing silly videos to their kids to get them excited about attending VBS (and slime ALWAYS wins with kids)!
2. Create a Facebook event
A Facebook Event is an easy way to get the word out to your community who might not know about your church yet. When creating your Facebook Event, make sure all of the information about your church and the event is filled out and you have a good cover photo or video. Your church can create the Event and connect it to your Facebook Page so that it shows up in the Events tab of your page.
After you create the event, it’s time to get the word out! Encourage all of your church staff and children’s ministry volunteers to share the event on their personal pages and also RSVP. At your weekly services, make an announcement about VBS and encourage your members to do the same. The more the event gets shared and the more RSVPs are made, the farther your reach and impact will be!
3. Boost your event.
Once you’ve created your Facebook Event, you can also boost it to expand your reach even more. Boosting your event is an easy way to create a paid advertisement about your event. The event will show up in the NewsFeed of new audiences. Just $10 could potentially help you reach 500+ new people in your area!
The other great thing about boosting your event is you can target based on location and families. Targeting specifically helps you maximize your ad spend so that you’re reaching people who would potentially be interested in sending their kids to VBS at your church.
Pro Tip: For churches hosting VBS mid-July or later, you can still send a postcard invitation to your community and pair it with social media ads to get maximum reach! Right now you can get $300 in free social media ads – click here to learn more.
4. Find an “influencer” in your church community to help spread the word
Influencer is a buzz word in the social media world, but really it just means someone on social media who has a high following or “influence.” Every church has the mom or volunteer that everyone knows. Enlist her to help spread the word on social media with her following! A personal invitation is the most effective way to reach families who may be hesitant about sending their child somewhere new.
If your church doesn’t have an “influencer mom,” find a high school student who previously attended VBS to make some “testimonial” videos and help spread the word with other families. Younger kids will think the high schooler is “cool” and parents will love to see the long term impact of VBS attendance.
Once you’ve set the foundation for marketing your VBS, it’s time to start building anticipation! Keep families excited about what’s to come by posting “teasers” leading up to VBS.
Here are some ideas to help build hype for VBS on social media
- Post a teaser pic of the theme. As you’re building the set, printing invite cards, or working on the curriculum, give your followers a small taste of what’s to come.
- Go Live on Facebook Live or Instagram Stories. Your children’s pastor can give hints about what activities are planned or give behind the scenes access to the setup. Live videos engage people 3x as much as a pre-recorded video, so this is a great tool to help build excitement and increase your reach.
- Get feedback from your audience and help engage with kids by posting a poll! Both Facebook Pages and Instagram Stories allow you to create polls to collect user feedback.
- Make a meme/branded graphic for others to share promoting VBS. If you purchased your VBS, many times these graphics are included in your curriculum bundle or you can create your own.
Don’t wait to start promoting your VBS! Parents start planning out activities for their kids well in advance for the summer. Make sure your church’s VBS is on the calendars of families all over your community by promoting on social media!