You’ve heard or experienced random acts of kindness. In Texas, that manifests itself as people standing on a street corner handing out ice cold Cokes or bottles of water to people stuck in traffic. It’s a pretty powerful invitation tool because people aren’t used to getting free stuff. But even then, it’s not perfectly effective, because there’s usually an invitation card taped to the free gift.?That turns it into a promotion tool instead of a random act of kindness.
But I want to propose to you an idea that will invite people to your church without diminishing the power of the random act of kindness. I call it random acts of social media kindness.
How it Works
Setup an area search on Instagram or Twitter. Look for people in the general vicinity of your church, and start checking out the posts. Whenever you see someone who’s having a bad day, send them a gift card to Starbucks. Do it from the church account.[quote]Whenever you see someone who’s having a bad day, send them a gift card to Starbucks.[/quote]
If you want to take it to the next level, give them a gift that matches what’s going wrong with their day. Car problems? Give them a gas gift card. Kids having a rough day? Get them an ice cream gift card.
Since most of these people won’t be connected to your church already, you’ll have to be creative in the way you get it to them. You might try DM’ing them if they don’t have that shut off from people they don’t know. Otherwise, you might just let them you know you’re sorry they’re having a bad day and offer them a little gift that you hope will make it better.
Once you’ve given the gift, that’s it. You don’t need to invite them to church. Chances are, they’ll ask without you having to let them know about your church services. You can bet they’ll visit your profile and probably your church website to learn more about you.
Plus, you can be certain they’ll tell their friends about what happened. It’ll go well beyond this one simple act.
Leading Up to Christmas
I suggest, leading up to Christmas, you do this once a day. Choose someone who looks like they need some encouragement and give it to them. Of course you’ll want to do it for everyone, but you don’t need to. I love what Andy Stanley says:?”Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.”[quote]Andy Stanley says:?”Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.”[/quote]
If you want to be a marketing genius, make sure your profile info or latest posts are all about your upcoming Christmas services. So when they check you out or retweet/repost your gift, people can see an easy call-to-action: Visit us on Christmas.
Do this as often as your time or budget allows. It might be one of the most effective promotional tools you use on social media this year.
Tips to Do This Well
- Don’t be creepy. This is inherently a little creepy. So don’t be overly detailed in your reply. Just make it a happy accident that you ran across the post.
- Be positive. Don’t be negative toward a company or the situation. Just try to ease the emotion of the situation. Don’t offer a solution.
- Be personal. Speak in first-person. If it’s a company speaking, people will assume you’re trying to sell something. Make sure they see there’s a real person on the other end of this exchange.
- Don’t over-market.?You don’t need to screenshot this or share anywhere that you’re doing this. You also don’t need to explicitly invite the person to church. Just make it an act of kindness and move on.
So what do you think? Do you see this working for your church? Or have you tried something like this in the past? How did it work for you? Share in a comment below!