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Using social media to boost Christmas attendance

Published: 7th February 2024

Facebook page for St Thomas, StourbridgeSt Thomas’ Church in Stourbridge saw a significant increase in attendance at its Christmas services this year, which the vicar, Andrew Sillis, is crediting in part to a campaign on social media.

Andrew said: “Although as a church we have had Facebook and Instagram pages for a while, we hadn’t used them much other than to share our posters. However, in the run up to Christmas this year, we were encouraged to post more often and to use video as a way of increasing the profile of a couple of our services and this definitely made a difference to the numbers of people coming along.”

The number of people attending normally promoted Christmas services at St Thomas were up about 15-20% overall, but the two services which were the primary focus on social media saw more significant increases. The family carol service almost doubled with over 300 people attending and about 180 people came to the service of Nine Lessons and Carols, which was 45% more than usual.

Instagram page for St Thomas, Stourbridge“For our family carol service we encouraged everyone to dress up as their favourite nativity character and to take part in the presentation,” continued Andrew. “The only way that most people would have known to do that was through a social media video and we were delighted by the number who came in costume!”

Andrew and his team worked with Digital Media Agency Nexus who have been engaged by the diocesan communication teams using a grant from the Healthier Churches Fund to specifically support parishes with their digital communication. They met with a team from St Thomas’ Church over three half-days and came up with a whole range of different ideas to try. They also provided a helpful sounding board and helped to improve the technical skills of Andrew and his team.

“Not everything that Nexus suggested was relevant to what we were trying to achieve, but their ideas certainly made a difference. We created quite a few content ideas that we wouldn’t have done without their input. We also attended Canva training run by them which was very useful and spent some money on Facebook advertising to help boost the posts. I’ve now got experience of creating videos and reels and feel more empowered to continue to do this for future events – particularly at key festivals and events which we will promote throughout the year”.

Page last updated: Wednesday 7th February 2024 11:27 AM

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