Easter is like the Super Bowl of Sundays for churches. Weeks of planning and dreaming go into this Easter Sunday. Why? Well, for most churches it’s where they see their largest turnout and an opportunity to introduce the church to new visitors.
However majority of this energy is usually poured into church signage, the worship service and making sure the parking is easy to get in and out of. For the most part, this makes sense. These are things that leave the an immediate impression on your visitors and probably weighs heavily on whether or not they’ll come back.
Of course in recent years we’ve seen a shift to where most churches are starting to take their online presence seriously and while this is welcomed transition, the online presence for Easter for most churches hasn’t changed that much.
This has been true of our church as well. So this year our digital team decided to step up our game and see how we could approach things differently and improve our online presence for Easter and create something unique.
For the most part, these efforts were a success. In fact, in some ways these efforts are going to be hard to top for next year (which is always a great problem to have). While we didn’t perfectly execute everything, we did walk away with few lessons and some things that we’ll want to repeat again. Here’s what we learned:
1. Families Want Memories
Now, I’ll admit that this first idea was one that I wasn’t sure was going to work. Our ideas was simple. Majority of the families that come together on Easter usually want to capture that day in some way. So we decided to help them capture that day by building a photo booth.
Our worship leader, Michael Boggs, constructed a wood panel booth with mason jar lights and we purchased a ring light from Amazon to give us the right look (I love this light and would purchase a higher-end one if we had the money). We then set up a camera and some signs around the building letting people know about the photo booth.
At first, I didn’t think anyone was going to show up. Usually on Easter Sunday most people are trying to get in and out of the building before they get stuck in traffic. So I figured that most people wouldn’t take the time to do it. Well, I was wrong. Before we knew it we had a large line of families waiting to get their photos taken.
Now here’s where the online presence part comes in. Instead of collecting email addresses and trying to deliver photos through email or Dropbox, we decided to post the photos on our Facebook page (we posted signage stating that’s where the photos would be). The goal being that people would visit our Facebook and tag family members or friends in the photos. These tags would then populate other people’s news feeds, who would then visit our page as well.
Hey, #chsocm friends, doing an Easter photo booth and then posting the photos on Facebook has been a huge hit for us. pic.twitter.com/jSI9Ojbn9G
— Darrel Girardier (@dgirardier) April 5, 2015
So did it work? Well, we took about 750 photos (about three per family) so we know that families enjoyed having the photo booth. From an online standpoint our Facebook reach skyrocketed to over 40,000 during the next three days. However, this wasn’t the sole reason that it skyrocketed…
2. People Want to Relive Key Worship Moments
Our social media guru Katie had the idea to cut clips of the Easter service and put them on Facebook. Now normally when we cut clips it’s to put clips of our pastor preaching. However, Katie decided to post videos of choir singing. Now normally that wouldn’t seem like a big deal, however let’s look at the results.
As you can see as of today we’ve reached over 20,000 news feeds and over 8,000 people watched the video. For us, those are really good numbers. What does it tell us? Well, we need to start realizing that our people just don’t want relive the sermon through video clips, they also want re-experience the worship music as well.
3. Create Something Unique for Online Visitors
One of the other ideas our team dreamed up was a separate website dedicated to Easter. Why? Well, we determined that we typically ask our congregation to invite people to one of our campuses for Easter. However, when they’re inviting someone this usually means that some point that potential visitor will visit our website to get more information.
While we believe that our website is visitor friendly, we also know that we could even a better job serving them by making a website exclusively designed for them. That’s why we designed BrentwoodEaster.com.
The goal was to make a visitor friendly website, but to also create a website that would easy for our church members to share with others. So we included a feature that would allow others to share the page and Easter graphics on Facebook (all credit for this amazing website goes to Josh Jenkins who did the coding and heavy lifting).
Overall, the website was well received by our staff and members. We’ll be taking a hard look over the next few weeks at the data to see the usage numbers and get an idea of how we could make this better.
I think our online presence for Easter was raised to a new level. My hope is that we can take these lessons and determine ways to increase our reach next year.
What did you do for church’s online presence this for Easter? Click here to share below.