Digital marketing agency, BuzzPlant, conducted a survey of over 250 randomly chosen churches in the United States to find out if and how churches use social media on a regular basis.
The churches surveyed consider social media as their most effective method of outreach, with Facebook, Twitter and Google + being the main streams of communication. “It’s encouraging to see the church integrating with social media,” says Bob Hutchins, owner of BuzzPlant and author of Faith-Based Marketing and The Recommendation Age. “What the survey shows is that they use it regularly and see it as one of their most important outreach tools. As more and more resources are devoted to social media in churches, the congregations will become even more connected to each other and their community.”
140 million people attend a church service each Sunday in the USA. On any given Sunday, 44% of Americans are in Church. Gallup Poll, National Opinion Research Center, and the Institute for Social Research’s World Values all report that 40-45% of Americans regularly attend church.
36% of the churches surveyed responded that they follow and watch current trends with social media, but a quick 31% said that they are slow to adapt and are traditional. With church staff members being encouraged to update their Facebook and Twitter pages at work and with over 50% of the Pastors blogging on a regular basis of 1-2 times per week, most churches are not equipped with a designated staff person to maintain a solid web presence.
From the information collected by the survey, church staffs see the importance of social media, but they don’t understand the full scope of a solid, interactive presence and how to grow their church “fan base” and activity. Over 50% of the people surveyed stated that they would be willing to invest in seminars and training in their area if available.
With only 3.5% of the people surveyed saying they are resistant to technology, BuzzPlant is seeing new trends increasing firsthand. “With our growing client base, including companies such as Worship Band in Hand and MediaShout, we see how businesses are serving churches’ needs in terms of worship and outreach,” says Hutchins.
Worship Band in Hand is a brand new, free mobile app that works with devices that your church may already have access to such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Providing church and worship leaders with a pre-recorded backing band, this app can be tailored to fit individual church worship needs.
MediaShout is another BuzzPlant client serving the church communities, providing tools to create worship presentations for church services. Designed for volunteers and professionals alike, MediaShout makes it easy to create beautiful presentations and deliver sermons to any size audience.
“Not only does BuzzPlant provide experience strategizing online marketing plans for faith-based products, we also lend a hand to the entertainment industry,” stated Hutchins. With recently released independent movie ‘Blue Like Jazz,’ based on the New York Times Best Seller book, BuzzPlant was able to utilize the film’s fan base on Facebook to help determine theater markets based on demand and online communication. “Currently, our team is working on an upcoming movie release titled ‘Unconditional’ starring Michael Ealy. With the use of social media and strategic ad placement, we are able to aggressively grow their fan base and create viral content about the September 21st release date. Being able to use those resources to tap into the actor’s fan-base and leading church influencers, it creates an organic and quality online community that will most likely buy movie tickets opening weekend.”
To download an infographic showing Buzzplant’s survey results, click here!