Texas Annual Conference Hosts First Ever Course on Micromarketing & Social Media to Reach New Members
By Lindsay Peyton
How do we strengthen our faith community? Micromarketing is the answer – and the Texas Annual Conference is ready to show members how they already have the solutions to make it happen. A series of upcoming courses will demonstrate how to go to the next level and reach more individuals in your community for Jesus Christ.
Micromarketing is a strategy where advertising efforts are focused on a small group, or target audience. By grouping individuals based on certain demographics, organizations can determine where their advertising will be most effective.
The same model can be followed by churches that want to identify new, potential members, Shannon W. Martin, Director of Communications for the Texas Annual Conference, explained.
All clergy need are data – and the Conference already provides MissionInsite for free to its clergy members. The software provides a look at demographics, lifestyle, attitudes and spending habits of each community surrounding our churches.
“It gives you every single piece of information that you would want to know about your community,” Martin said.
She explained that this technology can be paired with social media to reach new members with social media. Pastors and church leaders can purchase ads on Facebook, for example, that are designed for their target audience.
“Micromarketing is one of the best tools for churches to reach new people in their community today,” Martin said. “Still, there are very few churches that know how to use the data in their MissionInsite to effectively market the group of people they are trying to reach.”
The conference has scheduled this first time series of upcoming classes to bridge the gap.
First, pastors are invited to a free MissionInsite 101 webinar will be offered at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4 to learn the basics of how to use the technology. To register, go to www.txcumc.org/micromarketing
“We want all of our pastors and church leaders to come out and learn about how MissionInsite can benefit your church and help you understand your community better so you can reach more people for Christ,” Rev. Robert Besser, Director at the Center of Congregational Excellence, said. “This is for people who have never heard of MissionInsite and for people who want to learn more about who else they can reach in their community. They will get so much great information from this webinar.”
The step after understanding the basics of MissionInsite is finding out how to pair the information with micromarketing.
There are two sessions planned to help – and church leaders can select the closest location to learn more.
The first is scheduled for Wednesday, March 4 at FUMC Longview, 400 N Fredonia St, 75601. The MissionInsite 201 session will be held at 9 a.m. and a second program from 12:30 t-3:30 will be hosted for pastors/communications or social media directors where teaching will be focused on how to use MissionInsite information to find new members with social media.
A second identical opportunity for the course is scheduled for Thursday, March 5 at The Woodlands UMC, 2200 Lake Woodlands Dr, 77380. MissionInsite 201 starts at 9 a.m. and the Using MissionInsite to Target new People with Social Media section is from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30.
The cost is $25 a class, with lunch provided for participants attending both sessions.
“This is not something difficult to do,” Besser said. “Come to class, and we will teach you. We’ll hold your hand through the entire process. Just bring your laptop and be ready to spend the day learning.”
Martin explained that micromarketing can start a wave at area churches. “This is going to be huge,” she said. “We can reach lapsed members through social media. It’s just a matter of time before people begin walking back through those doors.”
New members can also be attracted through social media. “A few years ago, we didn’t have to do anything and people would find the church,” Besser said. “Now we have to work harder. People shop for churches. They go on the web. They might even listen to a sermon online first.”
With micromarketing training, pastors and church leaders can learn exactly how to build up an online presence – in a smart way that reaches their target audience.
“Churches know what they want to do – and who they want to serve,” Martin said. “So, let’s go get them – and let’s do it.”
She added that social media is an effective way to attract younger audiences to church – as well as become a tool to share each congregation’s unique story.
“This is the way churches are reaching people now,” Martin said. “Who else can we reach for Jesus? Who else is out in our mission field?”
Head to the workshops and find out. Registration in the courses is limited. To reserve a spot and for more details, go to txcumc.org/micromarketing.