An online magazine for pastors and church leaders.

We?ve already talked about how Christmas this year was different at Church on the Move. It wasn?t their usual big, high entertainment production. Because of this, marketing the service was a bit more complicated. They couldn?t rely on previous Christmas services to drive attendance to the 2014 service. There were no flying people, no big countdowns, no Grinch?

So the marketing goal when talking to their own people wasn?t necessarily to downplay the services, but instead to let people know what the plan was. This also included letting people know that there was only one day they could go to a service?Christmas Eve. In the past, they had multiple days leading up to Christmas when?people could attend. But for those going out of town for the holidays, it wasn?t as easy to make it to a service.

They focused on the service times and letting people know there would be a strong salvation pitch in the services. They even used words like ?a new Christmas tradition? to let people know it wasn?t going to be like previous years. This was also a reflection of the fact that their previous creative director, Whitney George, wasn?t leading the charge this year. Because so much of Whit?s DNA was part of the creativity of Church on the Move, they all knew it would be different than previous years.

Of course, this approach was primarily only in their services?not public on social media.

Instead, they focused on posting very shareable things on social media. In fact, they approached this a bit differently than many social media folks at churches do. They expected people to simply click ?share? on the post rather than crafting their own text to go along with their share graphic. So they posted the post exactly like they wanted it to read, then published a separate post asking people to share. ?Please share the last post we published.? This made sure the folks seeing the shared post wouldn?t see the ?please share this? plea. Great idea!

They also started posting videos natively to Facebook instead of just linking to the Vimeo video. This allowed them to capitalize on the auto-play feature of Facebook. Plus it made sharing easier since Facebook seems to give priority to native videos.

Their posts were primarily informational based. They didn?t want to give away a taste of the show?they wanted it all to be a surprise when people showed up at the Christmas Eve services. The only exception to this was a post for their south campus. They posted a picture of the room decorated and set up in the round. They did this because they wanted to get people excited about that service instead of just trying to make the journey to the central campus.

Beside that, they didn?t do too much other promotion. Their invitation cards were a bit bigger than previous years?empowering their congregation to invite their friends and family. But they didn?t do much external advertising at all.

Here?s the take home for you and your church this Christmas season: What tweaks can you make to your social media promotion to better empower your people to share with their friends?

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